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Bill Would Update Customs Law

Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced on Dec. 8 a bill to modernize U.S. customs law in what they say will provide Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the necessary tools to meet the demands of modern trade in the global economy. 

The U.S. Customs Modernization Act of 2023 (S. 3431), which seems to focus more on enforcement than trade facilitation, does not change the current de minimis threshold of $800. But the bill gives CBP greater authority to collect more information on de minimis shipments, including information from any party in the supply chain to verify the $800 limit (per person, per day) is being observed.

Key provisions of the Customs Modernization Act of 2023:

  1. Expands CBP to access data by allowing access prior to the entry of goods and from parties throughout the supply chain;

  2. Clarifies CBP’s authority to provide information to relevant supply chain parties when CBP has a reasonable suspicion that goods are counterfeit or otherwise illicit;

  3. Reduces uncertainty for law-abiding importers while giving CBP the tools they need to hold bad actors accountable;

  4. Enables CBP to collect more information on duty-free shipments under $800 to better counter illicit trade;

  5. Cuts bureaucratic red tape, increases transparency of shipments entering the U.S., and creates an appeals process for CBP decisions on imports. 

See press release and full text of bill.


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