ICC Policy Statement on Global Baseline De Minimis Value Thresholds (2015)

  • 11 November 2016

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released its Policy Statement on Global Baseline De Minimis Value Thresholds.

This ICC Policy Statement coincides with a number of international developments seeking to facilitate and reduce barriers to trade by simplifying border procedures. A significant barrier to international trade is the processing of low-value and low-risk shipments at the border. ICC, therefore, seeks to set a global de minimis value and provide practical inputs on the key considerations for establishing a de minimis regime. De minimis is a valuation ceiling for goods, including documents and trade samples, below which no duty or tax is charged and clearance procedures, including data requirements, are minimal.

Increasing the de minimis value threshold will generate net economic benefits by refocusing public revenue collection on more efficient revenue sources, ultimately enhancing customs efficiencies. Raising de minimis thresholds will maintain key data elements provided for screening, safeguarding security concerns, and providing significant benefits to businesses of all sizes. Setting a meaningful de minimis level will most notably impact small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and offer opportunities for increased e-commerce. Furthermore, setting such a base value will boost the global economy and will have a positive impact on job creation.

ICC recommends a preferred de minimis value of US$ 1000 and no less than US$ 200 to be applied to the value of the goods and not to the dutiable amount, with clearances not requiring the mandatory use of customs brokers. The de minimis value level must be regularly reviewed by governments to take into account inflation and exchange rate fluctuations. Setting such de minimis value[s] shall not affect the right of Customs to examine, detain, seize, confiscate or refuse entry of goods, or to carry out post-clearance audits, including in connection with the use of risk management systems. Through these recommendations, ICC urges intergovernmental organisations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to cooperate on the harmonisation of customs duty and thresholds.

See related ICC webstory: E-commerce can make trade more inclusive, but greater coordination is needed.