Schock Advances Solution to Help Economy Grow
Legislation to Modernize Costly Regulation Picks Up Crucial Support in House
Dec 7, 2012 -
Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) issued the following statement after House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced H.R. 6642, the Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2012, which includes legislation, H.R. 1653, sponsored by Schock and supported by over 140 bipartisan Members of the House that would help both consumers and small businesses by modernizing the U.S. customs duty rates.
Presently, the value of all items entering the U.S., are reviewed to determine the regulations, duties, and loads of paperwork that apply. However, despite inflationary growth and the values of the products being imported to the U.S., the rates have not been adjusted since 1998 and in one case not since 1993. The failure to modernize the customs duty rates schedule and levels has led to another cost incurred by small businesses and customers as they are forced to shell over more of their hard earned money for imported products.
“Small businesses and customers alike are searching for ways to reduce costs and save money. One way to accomplish both is by modernizing and streamlining the rates of customs duties which has not been done in almost two decades in some cases,” stated Congressman Aaron Schock. “Updating these rates will put in place another mechanism to help lower the cost of production for Illinois small businesses, help create jobs and ultimately strengthen our economy. By having my legislation included in the Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act it increases the chances that my legislation will be passed and we could see the cost savings provide a much needed jolt to the economy.”
Schock’s legislation can be found in Section 402 of H.R. 6642, the Customs Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act of 2012. As written in Section 402: Raises the informal entry amount from $1,000 to $2,500 and de minimis amounts from $200 to $800 to reduce paperwork burdens and facilitate the movement of cargo, especially by express air.
In April 2011, Congressman Schock introduced H.R. 1653 to amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to increase the dollar amount required for articles and merchandise under the administrative exemptions and entry under regulations provisions of that Act. Schock’s stand alone legislation has received significant bipartisan support in the House and currently has 144 co-sponsors.
Currently, for all items entering the U.S., the value of the good determines the regulations and duties applied:
H.R. 1653 would modernize the customs duties rates through an increase in the de minimis threshold from $200 to $1,000 and the informal entry band from $200 to $1,000-$2,500. Schock’s legislation would reduce labor/operator and brokerage expenses through fewer formal entry filings, facilitate commerce with small businesses through low value shipments and reduce costs and paperwork. Increasing the de minimis threshold would also demonstrate U.S. leadership among other countries, encouraging them to increase de minimis levels on a global scale and reduce the costs of businesses for American exports. Additionally, widening the thresholds would improve border security by reducing and simplifying the workload for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. Resources would be freed to allow border offices to focus efforts on security issues and high risk/high value shipments.
- The threshold for exceptionally low-value items to receive minimal regulatory treatment, known as the “de minimis value,” is $200. This rate was set in 1993.
- Low-value imports valued at $200-$2,000 receive treatment in the “informal value band.” These avoid the full measure of customs paperwork, but still pay duties to the U.S. This rate was set in 1998.
- Items in excess of $2,000 require duties and completion of large administrative paperwork requirements.