There will be some changes to US Customs for imports from January next year which, if not complied with, could result in your products being delayed at the US border or even rejected.
The US will as of January 1st 2020 require all imports to have electronic data attached to them when going through customs clearance and transit – otherwise they may be refused entry. This has always been the case for the private sector and post but has only really been enforced for the private sector. Post shipments are now required to meet the same data standards. Originally, this was to come into force as of August 2019 but this has been extended to January.
The US has also announced that further tariffs will be placed on certain products originating from the EU.
US customs will start a limited pilot program aimed at improving data accuracy and completeness in the ecommerce sector for low value imports. The pilot is intended to improve risk assessment by the authorities.
You might think that your carriers will handle all the paperwork and electronic data notifications for you and to a certain extent that would appear to be the case. However it’s critical that your product descriptions are up to date and this can include everything from materials, country of origin as well as the exact product classification. Whilst carriers will do their bit, their ability to get your packages cleared through customs and their electronic data will only be as good as the information that you provide.
“In light of these regulatory changes, businesses need to ensure they are up to date with their product descriptions in order to allow their products to flow through customs smoothly. The importance of this cannot be understated as not making the necessary changes may result in packages being rejected by customs and a poor customer experience with your business.”
– Martyn Noble, Chairman and CEO, Hurricane Modular Commerce