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

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

The Policy Statement highlights that the additional revenue collected by customs administrations is often offset by the costs incurred in processing low-value and low-risk shipments. ICC has consistently called for the need to set a global de minimis value and through this policy statement outlines the definition of de minimis value as a valuation ceiling for goods, below which no duty or tax is charged and clearance procedures are minimal.

ICC suggests that 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. By affirming that this can be fulfilled without compromising security, as key data elements would still be provided for screening, ICC strongly believes that raising de minimis thresholds will provide significant benefits to businesses of all sizes. Setting a meaningful de minimis level will most notably have a positive impact on small- and medium-sized enterprises and offer opportunities for increased e-commerce.

This ICC Policy Statement coincides with a number of international developments seeking to facilitate trade by simplifying border procedures to reduce barriers to trade. ICC strongly believes that establishing a global baseline de minimis value of at least US$ 200 will generate economic benefits by refocusing public revenue collection on more efficient revenue sources – boosting the global economy and enhancing job creation. Ideally governments should strive to implement a commercially significant de minimis value of US$ 1,000.

The Policy Statement provides practical considerations for establishing a global de minimis regime and calls on governments to review the de minimis value threshold on a regular basis, taking into account inflation and exchange rate fluctuations. Through its recommendations ICC urges intergovernmental organizations such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to cooperate on the harmonization of customs duty and thresholds.

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