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February 2, 2023  |  Taylor Coble  Customs Entry Writer 

aerial view of the front end of a container ship at sea 
Canada to U.S. Shipments: Your Guide to Reducing Import Costs

Is your organization taking advantage of the available cost-saving opportunities U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offers for goods entering the United States from Canada? Read on to learn more about the programs that may help reduce your import costs for cross-border shipments.

Cost-savings opportunities to consider
  • United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement: The United StatesMexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in July 2020, offers duty-free entry for qualifying goods, including exemption from the Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF). If you have not been taking advantage of USMCA, be sure to review your previous entries for USMCA eligibility—you may be able to retroactively claim back duties you paid on qualifying goods. Reach out to your C.H. Robinson representative to learn about the refund process.
  • Special classification provisions: While CBP specifies that merchandise is dutiable upon importation into the United States, special provisions—such as the United States and foreign goods returned provision—allow duty-free entry  on “products when returned within three years after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad.” Additionally, if your organization imports goods of Chinese origin from Canada, your goods may qualify for the Section 301 China Tariff exclusions, which are special classification provisions to remove additional duties imposed by the China Tariffs.
  • De minimis: Do you import shipments of low value? When the aggregate value of imported articles entered into the United States by an organization on any day does not exceed $800, Section 321 and Type 86 entry allow goods to enter free of duties, taxes, and fees. However, certain product types cannot be cleared via the Section 321 process, such as products that require inspections prior to entry and goods subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties. Learn more about de minimis.
How can C.H. Robinson help?

International shipments require international expertise. Leverage our experts to help you manage your cross-border customs clearances.

  • U.S. Tariff Search Tool: Use C.H. Robinson’s U.S. Tariff Search Tool to help analyze your costs to import. Within seconds, this free tool generates a customized report based on your HTS code portfolio and highlights potential trade agreement opportunities, such as USMCA, and potential duty exclusions and refund eligibility.
  • Navisphere® U.S. Customs Analytics: This business intelligence tool provides both a high-level and SKU-level analysis of your customs spend. Easily pinpoint imported items that may be eligible for duty-free entry under USMCA or special classification provisions. Learn more about how Navisphere U.S. Customs Analytics can help you manage your customs activity and maximize potential cost-savings opportunities in our recent Trade & Tariff article.
  • Trade compliance assistance: C.H. Robinson’s trade policy team is available to help guide you through numerous trade compliance matters—including tariff classification assistance and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) qualification, such as USMCA. Connect with a trade policy expert.
  • C.H. Robinson’s northern border team: Find out what you need to know about northern border truck clearances and how our dedicated northern border team can help make cross border a seamless experience.
Additional resources


In other news
2023 PMS calendar

CBP published the 2023 Periodic Monthly Statement (PMS) dates for 2023. PMS is a free program offered by CBP that allows importers to pay their duties, taxes, and fees directly to the government.

Section 301 China Tariffs

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently extended hundreds of Section 301 China Tariff exclusions. The USTR public docket closed on Jan 17, 2023, for members of the trade community to comment on the “effectiveness of the Section 301 China Tariffs.”

Forced labor update: CBP to require Chinese postal code

On March 18, 2023, CBP will begin implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Region Alert enhancement into the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

Foreign supplier verification program

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published its final guidance on foreign supplier verification programs (FSVPs) for importers of food and animals, originally released on January 10, 2023.

Our information is compiled from a number of sources that to the best of our knowledge are accurate and correct. It is always the intent of our company to present accurate information. C.H. Robinson accepts no liability or responsibility for the information published herein.

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