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

As ISPA previously alerted you, the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521), is focused on competing with China on several fronts.  Last year, the Senate passed its own version of the competitiveness bill (S. 1260).  The House version passed last month, however, is different from the Senate bill in several respects.  Of concern to ISPA is the limitation of a de minimis exemption for Chinese imports.  Currently, one person may make one entry per day of imported goods valued at less than $800 (considered a de minimis entry) that is exempt from import duties, including antidumping and countervailing duties. The House COMPETES Act 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.

Now that both the House and the Senate have passed their own versions of the same legislation, a Conference Committee will meet to resolve the differences. No timeline for the Conference Committee process has yet been announced.