De minimis value

About “De minimis value”

Many countries exempt tariffs on imported goods below a certain amount, this value is called “De minimis value”.

“De minimis value” is a valuation ceiling set for imported goods (including documents, private gift packages and trade samples) that do not exceed a certain value or weight, are exempted from formal customs and declaration procedures, import duties and taxes.

This regime is originated due to the imbalance between high cost of administrative processes and low revenue raised for imported goods, particularly low-value consignments.

For example, under U.S. Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, it raised the value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day that generally may be imported free of duties and taxes from US$200 to US$800. This raising of the de minimis exemption is due to an amendment of the Tariff Act of 1930 included in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.

As a result, shipments to U.S. valued at $800 or less for the de minimis exemption are eligible under the same processes and with the same restrictions that applied to de minimis shipments of $200 or less.

Why “De minimis value”

“De minimis value” is a threshold that exempts imports from duty and or tax/VAT and differs by country. It has a significant impact on e-commerce since Business-to-Consumer (B2C) orders which are typically at a much lower value than Business-to-Business (B2B).

“De minimis value” provides faster clearance and opportunity to sell into overseas markets with stronger competitiveness. Increasing “De minimis value” levels would have a significant positive impact on exporters and would help invigorate economic growth – particularly for small and medium sized businesses.

Benefits of “De minimis value”

  1. Provide equal opportunities to small, medium, and large exporters and importers.
  2. Promote cross-border e-commerce, increase trade and stimulate economic growth and employment.
  3. Speed up custom clearance process.
  4. Shorten delivery time and reduce handling costs.
  5. Reduce tariff costs and operating expenses.

“De minimis value” by Countries


These values are subject to change from time to time by the stipulated federal authorities. HKTDC does not take any responsibility of any liability for the inaccuracies contained therein or decision made by the information listed below.