April 11, 2023

What is Section 321 and How Can Businesses Take Advantage of the Cost Savings?

Have you heard of Section 321? If you're a business owner who imports goods to the United States, this might be the money-saving tactic you've been waiting for. Section 321 is a U.S. shipment type used to clear U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and allows businesses to bypass the duties and tariffs typically associated with shipping internationally. The best part? It's 100% legal!

But who qualifies for Section 321? The main qualification is that your shipment must be valued at $800 or less, also known as the “de minimis”. Additionally, you can only send one shipment to one address per day, and multiple shipments are not allowed and may be subject to a fine. If you meet these requirements, you're good to go!

However, there are a few exceptions to Section 321. Goods that require inspection, those subject to Anti-Dumping Duty (ADD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD), and those regulated by Participating Government Agencies (PGAs), like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), do not qualify for Section 321.

So, how does it work? It's simple! You import inventory through a U.S. port, such as the San Diego or Los Angeles ports. Your inventory is shipped to its destination, where it's held in bond. When an order is ready to be fulfilled, it's picked, packed, and shipped tax and duty-free back to the U.S.

In theory, it's straightforward. In practice, it's all about who's doing the legwork. Filing paperwork, navigating governmental regulations, and fulfilling orders at lightning speed and laser accuracy can be overwhelming. It might be in your best interest to seek help from a logistics company like WARP. 

At WARP, we leverage our expertise and relationships to manage the entire process for shippers, helping them to realize the significant cost savings while removing the burden of paperwork and other time-consuming tasks.

WARP provides additional support to shippers through our extensive network of customs brokers and experts. Our partners help alleviate the complexities of international customs clearance that are specific to Section 321 shipments.

So how do we do it?  Section 321 requires submitting an eManifest specifying that a U.S. shipment is on the way. This eManifest includes vital details like the number of goods, the consignee, the total value, and the origin of shipment. WARP handles this process to ensure accurate and timely delivery of these goods. 

Importing inventory can be a headache, but with Section 321, business owners can maximize their savings while minimizing stress levels. If you're interested in using Section 321, speak to a WARP team member today. 

Jeff Lerner

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