Last month, we posted a blog about how upcoming changes in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations are expected to greatly streamline customs clearance for cross-border parcel shipments.

As we discussed, statistics indicate that online shoppers are getting increasing comfortable buying from merchants located in other countries. This has resulted in a “parcel tsunami” at the borders and has overwhelmed freight forwarders and customs officials who are used to handling much larger shipments.

The volumes increased because of the increase in de minimis values from $200 to $800, which raised the threshold under which duties and taxes would not be applied by CBP to Section 321 shipments. But with the exception of a few global parcel carriers who are exempted, filing for parcel customs clearance is a very manual process. That is expected to change with new filing procedures envisioned by the CBP.

According to a recent article in Freightwaves: “The ACE test announced on Aug. 12 is a test that is open to all ABI [Automated Broker Interface] trade participants,” a CBP spokesperson said in an email. “This new test process will provide commercial trade data from $800 and below, and allow for the use of our single window to enhance PGA [partner government agency] admissibility.”

The new regulations are expected to strike a balance between the interests in border protection and accommodating the need for eCommerce speed. One of the impacts of the regulations will be to enable more freight forwarders and customs brokers to file electronically and compete with global parcel carriers who have had their own freight forwarding and customs brokerage operations. This should ultimately mean more delivery choices and logistics service innovations.

The global parcel industry will be sure to watch this space very carefully.