U.S. and Canada raise dollar limits on qualified expedited customs clearance requests
Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 6:31 am

A higher value of goods crossing the U.S.-Canada border can qualify for expedited customs clearance, U.S. and Canadian authorities have agreed.

This is another step in adapting rules to allow a higher flow of goods between the two countries, according to Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) of New York’s 21st Congressional District.

Under the new rules by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), goods valued at up to $2,500, US or Canadian, are eligible for an expedited border clearance program in both the United States and Canada.

Previously, the limit was $1,600 Canadian for goods entering Canada and $2,000 US for goods entering the U.S.

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

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

“This is another step towards simplifying the process for conducting business across the border,” said Owens. “With 13 border crossings in the district, this is incredibly important to New York. It means increased commerce between the United States and Canada and greater opportunity for communities along the border to grow and create jobs.”

This announcement comes following a recent Canadian effort to increase duty-free purchase allowances for Canadians shopping in the United States. Beginning last spring, 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 could return with $800 per person in goods, up from $400.

“This effort builds on the ‘Beyond the Border’ agreement, which is already working to expedite border crossings and increase the flow of goods. I applaud the good work that is being done at the Northern Border, and look forward to building on this activity in the future.”

In the 112th Congress, Owens was co-chairman of the House Northern Border Caucus. He will reorganize the caucus and serve as co-chair in the 113th Congress.