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January 11, 2013

Expedited customs clearance limits increased

Should speed deliveries for approved carriers

PLATTSBURGH — U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Services Agency has increased the maximum values of goods eligible for expedited customs clearance. 

Under the new rules, goods valued at up to $2,500 in both currencies are eligible for an expedited border-clearance program in both the United States and Canada.

Previously, this limit was set at $1,600 Canadian for goods entering Canada and $2,000 for products entering the United States.

FASTER CLEARANCE

The limit is for carriers, such as United Parcel Service, that are authorized to use the low-value-shipment processing system, which includes pre-notification of what goods will arrive. They can be released on the day of arrival rather than be subjected to a more lengthy customs clearance.

In addition, Canada increased its low-value-shipment threshold to $2,500 Canadian for exemption from North American Free Trade Agreement Certificate of Origin requirements, bringing it in line with U.S. levels.

Both of these actions serve to simplify customs clearance procedures by harmonizing U.S. and Canadian policies. 

‘INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT’

“With 13 border crossings in the district, this is incredibly important to New York,” Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) said in a press release.  “It means increased commerce between the United States and Canada and greater opportunity for communities along the border to grow and create jobs.”

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas thanked Owens for his support of the measure.

“We have been advocating for this in collaboration with our partners all along both sides of the border,” he said by email. “Every such advancement for common sense and fluidity at our shared border is good for the North Country and for our Quebec-New York Corridor.” 

DUTY-FREE ALLOWANCES

The announcement comes following last year’s Canadian effort to increase duty-free purchase allowances for Canadians shopping in the United States. Beginning June 1, 2012, Canadian shoppers were able to return from New York with $200 in goods per person duty free (up from $50) in a 24-hour period. For a 48-hour visit, Canadian shoppers can take $800 per person in goods home with them, up from $400.

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