Federal Bill Would Narrow Current De Minimis Entry Exemption for Import Duties

Currently, one person may make one entry per day of imported goods valued at less than $800 (considered a de minimis entry) exempt from import duties, including antidumping and countervailing duties. Last week, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced legislation (H.R. 6412) which would eliminate the de minimis exemption for countries that have been found to have a non-market economy (which would include China) or are on a priority watch list (for intellectual property violations), as well as articles subject to action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 or Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

A few days after H.R. 6412 was introduced, the House released the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521), which is focused on competing with China and contains text similar to H.R. 6412.  Last year, the Senate passed its own competitiveness bill (S. 1260), but its version does not attempt to limit the de minimis exemption.