Amazon, FedEx, eBay, DHL and UPS in CBP data pilot
January 28, 2020
Amazon, eBay, FedEx, DHL and UPS are among the companies participating in the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Section 321 Data Pilot, a voluntary collaboration with online marketplaces, carriers, technology firms and logistics providers to secure ecommerce supply chains and protect American consumers.
In December, CBP expanded the scope of the pilot by accepting data for shipments arriving by ocean and international mail, and extended the pilot till August 2021.
“The Section 321 Data Pilot is a significant step towards executing CBP’s overall ecommerce strategy,” said CBP acting commissioner Mark Morgan. “CBP has worked closely with the trade community to identify appropriate information that will advance the trade enforcement mission of CBP, and our partner government agencies, while preserving the facilitation of low-value shipments which American consumers rely upon.”
The pilot’s participants comprise ecommerce supply chain actors including Amazon, eBay, Zulily, FedEx, DHL and UPS, as well as technology firm PreClear and logistics providers XB Fulfillment and BoxC Logistics. Although the pilot is currently limited to nine participants, CBP plans to expand access to all interested and qualified participants in early 2020.
The pilot will allow CBP to test whether the transmission of additional advance data, beyond the data elements currently required for shipments arriving by air, ocean, lorry or rail, will enable CBP to perform more effective and efficient targeted screening with respect to Section 321 shipments.
Section 321(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, authorises CBP to provide an administrative exemption to admit free of duty and tax shipments of merchandise imported by one person on one day that have an aggregate fair retail value in the country of shipment of not more than $800. Bona-fide gifts and certain personal and household goods are subject to different requirements to qualify for separate administrative exemptions.
Prior to the enactment of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA), the Section 321 exemption applied only to shipments valued at less than $200. Section 901 of TFTEA amended Section 321(a)(2)(C) of the Tariff Act of 1930 to raise the de minimis value cap from $200 to $800. This has greatly increased the number of shipments qualifying for the Section 321 exemption.
Combined with the exponential growth of the online shopping market in the USA over the past five years, CBP has seen a significant increase in small, low-value packages. In fact, today CBP processes more than 600 million express consignment and international mail shipments a year – approximately 1.8 million a day.
The unprecedented growth in volume of these low-value shipments requires creativity to interdict illicit and dangerous products to enter the USA, including illicit narcotics, unregulated prescription drugs, brand counterfeits, and unsafe food and beauty products.
All nine participants must transmit certain required data elements to CBP for the Section 321 Data Pilot. Moreover, CBP has given participants the flexibility to transmit optional data elements as they are able to test the viability of sharing additional information. This information will help CBP ascertain data that are key indicators of compliance with US trade laws and consumer safety.
With these additional details, CBP hopes to focus more resources on high-risk shipments while expediting the clearance of legitimate shipments.