CBP has advised that their “informal” entry value will increase from $2000 to $2500.  The anticiapted effective date for this change is slated for January 7th, 2013.  The posting from the CBP website provides the following information:

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Washington— The United States Government announced that it is delivering on a key commitment under the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border Action Plan through the publication of a final rule in the Federal Register titled “Informal Entry Limit and Removal of a Formal Entry Requirement,” which will increase the value threshold for expedited customs clearance. The rule will increase the value thresholds to $2,500 for expedited customs clearance from the current levels of $2,000.

This rule will facilitate trade for low value shipments. Importers will realize an annual benefit of an estimated $13 million. The final rule is effective on January 7, 2013.

On October 28, 2011, CBP published a proposed rule in the Federal Register proposing to amend title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations to increase the informal entry limit from $2,000 to $2,500, the maximum statutory limit, in response to inflation and to reduce the burden on importers and other entry filers. CBP received comments on the proposed rule for 60 days. Currently, for any merchandise valued over $2,000, CBP requires importers to provide a surety bond, complete CBP form 7501, and pay a minimum of $25 in Merchandise Processing Fees.

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Historically CBP has required formal entries on a number of differing “special” commodities such as textiles, rubber/plastic goods, and furniture (to name a few) regardless of value.  This change in informal value limit eliminates the need for formal entry on these “special” commodities.  The impact to importers is paying less in merchandise processing fees (MPF).  The MPF on a formal entry is a minimum of $25.00.  Now with these commodities being allowed on informal entries, importers will only have to pay $2.00 maximum MPF per entry.

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