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New threshold on US customs duty is brilliant for business

Whether you’re an online retailer, eBay trader, heritage store or a cottage industry, you will surely welcome the latest news from across the pond.  A change to the US law has raised the value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day from $200 (approximately £140) to $800 (approximately £560) before duties and taxes are payable.  It also means that goods valued below $800 will not have to go through formal customs procedures, which will reduce your administrative costs as well as speeding up deliveries to the US.

This is really good for people who sell online, but it’s also great for lots of small businesses who export, or would like to export, to the USA.  And it’s not just about reaching out to US consumers while they’re at home, explains MBE’s chairman, Simon Cowie:  “The raised threshold will also encourage visitors from America to spend more money while they are in the UK – for example, tourists and business people buying British products to send home, whether it’s a shirt in Jermyn Street or an Aran sweater.”  (It should, however, be noted that the new law does not apply to alcohol or food items.)

Anyone who currently exports smaller value items to the USA should see business increase and admin costs go down, while anyone who hasn’t yet dipped a toe in the pond might want to get some advice from their nearest MBE store.  We offer export services via more than150 stores around the country, and we have many small business customers.  

We work with all the leading shippers, including DHL, UPS, FedEx, Parcelforce Worldwide, TNT and Royal Mail, and as international experts we are always happy to advise our customers on how duties, taxes and customs requirements will affect them.  So if you have any questions about how you can benefit from this new legislation, or how to exploit the opportunities it presents, we’ll be delighted to help.


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