Last week the new North American trade deal between the USA, Canada and Mexico was revealed. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), when it is ratified, will replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new terms of the deal will have ramifications for marketplace sellers trading within the area.
Specifically, as eBay Canada has pointed out in an announcement, the new de minimis levels will apply only to private couriers and not national postal carrier such as Canada Post and USPS. You can find the full explanation here and as it says:
Under the new USMCA, the de minimis threshold for goods coming from the US and Mexico and imported via express carriers will change: Canadians will be able import up to $40 CAD in value without incurring taxes and up to $150 CAD without incurring duties. It’s important to note that these changes do not apply to postal services (i.e. goods shipped from the US using USPS and delivered in Canada via Canada Post). As a result, the current $20 de minimis threshold will remain in place for goods imported by postal carriers.
– eBay Canada
This follows on from a comment made last week by eBay Canada GM Andrea Stairs on Twitter which is rather more critical:
A C$150 duty threshold makes for a great headline, but Canadian consumers and SMBs will be sorely disappointed when they discover the change only applies to private couriers. It’s status quo for the 30yr old $20 duty threshold on postal shipments. #USMCA @CBCNews #Cdnpoli https://t.co/bNAdj3P1Ei
— Andrea Stairs (@astairsk) October 1, 2018
eBay Canada is right to point out this rather disappointing anomaly and stress that the new North American trade deal could have been significantly more preferential to small businesses marketplace sellers. However, it’s also worth noting that there is no immediate need for concern because the process of ratification will likely take considerable time and doesn’t come into force until then.