Comments on duty-free threshold; effects on PGA admissibility of imports

Comments on duty-free threshold

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Treasury Department together recently released an interim final rule that amends existing regulations to reflect an increase to the duty-free value of certain imported articles to $800 (up from $200). The increased duty-free value may affect “partner government agencies” (PGAs)* because with the new value threshold, these PGAs may no longer receive information that would be pertinent to their decisions on the admissibility of imports.

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*CBP collects information for PGAs (for example, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture) on imports, at the border.


CBP has specifically solicited comments regarding data collection for PGAs on imports valued below $800. Comments are due by 26 September 2016. Read TaxNewsFlash-Trade & Customs 

The request for comments in the interim final rule specifically provides:


“In particular, CBP is seeking comments on how CBP can maintain the collection of data required by Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) for imported merchandise to prevent unlawful importations when shipments of merchandise valued below $800 that qualify for an administrative exemption are admitted through release from manifest…. CBP is aware that the manifest information may not contain all the necessary information required by PGAs for admissibility purposes." 

KPMG observation

Trade and customs professionals have observed that the new duty-free valuation threshold may be of particular interest to any company importing products subject to control by a PGA.  Due to the simplified entry procedures for “de minimis trade,” many PGAs may no longer receive information that they previously received from CBP for imports valued in the $200-$800 range. Therefore, this new threshold could possible be a concern for PGAs in respect of their ability to make admissibility decisions on shipments whose value falls below the new threshold. 

As noted above, CBP has specifically solicited comments regarding data collection for PGAs on imports valued below $800, with such comments due by Monday, 26 September.


For more information, contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:

Douglas Zuvich | +1 (312) 665-1022 |

Andrew Siciliano | +1 (631) 425-6057 |

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