Key points:

  • The de minimis value is a threshold below which imported goods are exempt from customs duties and taxes
  • The US has a generous de minimis threshold of $800, which businesses can leverage to save on shipping costs
  • Understanding de minimis values is crucial for businesses navigating international trade
  • Importing from China to the US? Fulfill orders directly from Hong Kong with Easyship to reduce costs and speed up delivery times
  • Use the Easyship Import Duty Calculator to estimate import duties and taxes on your next shipments for FREE today!

The number of de minimis shipments entering the US has exploded from 685 million packages in all of the 2022 fiscal year, to over 1 Billion in 2023! eCommerce giants such as Temu and Shien have been using this rule to bypass scrutiny by US customs by shipping millions of packages directly from Chinese suppliers to US consumers.

The de minimis rule, a cornerstone of international trade law, offers a threshold below which imported goods are exempt from customs duties and taxes. This allows smoother and cheaper cross-border shopping.

In the dynamic market of global e Commerce, understanding how to strategically use the de minimis value can be crucial for store owners aiming to optimize their operations and reduce costs.

This article explores the US de minimis level, plus how you can take advantage of this trade provision to boost profits and give your store a competitive edge. Plus, find out how Easyship can help you create an international shipping experience customers love today!

De Minimis Value and Its Global Variance

The de minimis value, or minimis threshold, refers to the maximum value of a shipment not subject to customs duties or taxes upon entry into a country. This provision dramatically shifts the cost and efficiency of global eCommerce, affecting everything from trade facilitation to consumer purchasing strategy.

While in the United States, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act has set this threshold at USD $800, other countries like Canada and Mexico have their own standards, reflecting a broad range of values that directly impact international commerce.

What is the US de Minimis Threshold?

The United States boasts a generous de minimis threshold of USD $800. This means that any shipment valued at or below USD $800 entering the US will be exempt from customs duties and taxes. This significantly simplifies the import process for businesses and can lead to substantial cost savings.

How Can Your Store Use the De Minimis Rule? 9 Ways to Save When Shipping to the USA

The de minimis value offers a powerful tool for eCommerce businesses to optimize their US shipping strategy. Here are 10 ways your store can leverage the de minimis rule to save on costs and enhance your competitive edge:

  1. Targeted Product Bundles: Create product bundles with a combined value slightly below the US de minimis threshold (currently USD $800). This entices customers to purchase more while keeping the shipment duty-free.
  2. Free Shipping Threshold Alignment:  Set your free shipping threshold strategically just below the de minimis value. This incentivizes customers to reach the free shipping point without incurring additional customs fees.
  3. International Inventory Storage: If your business volume justifies it, explore storing frequently ordered items in one of Easyship's global fulfillment centers. This can help eliminate shipping costs and potential customs delays. Get in touch for a free fulfillment strategy consultation today!
  4. Transparent Communication: Clearly communicate customs charges and thier implications on your website. This builds trust with US customers and avoids any confusion about potential customs charges.
  5. Utilize Lightweight Materials: When possible, use lightweight packaging materials to decrease overall shipment weight and potentially reduce shipping costs.
  6. Use Discounted Rates: Find favorable shipping rates with Easyship, especially for small packages, to maximize your profit margins on de minimis-compliant shipments.
  7. Track De Minimis Changes: Stay informed about potential changes in the US de minimis value. Proactive adjustments to your shipping strategy ensure continued cost optimization.
  8. Offer Duty Prepayment Option: Consider offering a duty prepayment option at checkout. This provides transparency and potentially speeds up customs clearance for your customers.
  9. Embrace Technology: Utilize technology solutions like Easyship that automate customs documentation and duty calculations, streamlining the de minimis compliance process.

By implementing these strategies, your store can leverage the de minimis rule to its full potential. Remember, staying informed about customs regulations and adapting your approach accordingly is key to maximizing cost savings and remaining competitive in the US market.

Product Splitting: Splitting large orders to avoid duties is tempting, but it could violate customs regulations. Don't risk delays or penalties – declare your items accurately.

Strategic Implications for Businesses

Understanding and leveraging the de minimis rule can substantially reduce operational costs for businesses. For example, by structuring shipments to fall under the de minimis threshold, companies can avoid the complexities and fees associated with customs regulations. 

This strategy is especially beneficial for fast-growing eCommerce stores importing into the US, as it simplifies the import process for low-value shipments. This allows for more agile and cost-effective supply chain management.

de Minimis Value

Easyship Import Duty Calculator to United States

Easyship provides a user-friendly duty calculator tool to estimate import duties and taxes on your shipments to the United States. Click here to access this calculator for FREE now! 

This tool can be a valuable resource for eCommerce businesses looking to determine the landed cost of their products and ensure they are adhering to de minimis regulations.

Challenges and Considerations

Navigating de minimis values is not without its challenges. The variance in de minimis thresholds across countries necessitates a nuanced approach to international trade. Businesses must be aware of the specific regulations in their target markets to fully benefit from de minimis provisions.

Moreover, with the rise of global eCommerce, there has been increased scrutiny from customs and border protection agencies to prevent abuse of the de minimis rule, such as breaking down shipments to evade duties.

Impact on International Trade Law

The de minimis provision has become a focal point in discussions about international trade law and trade facilitation. By setting a value below which goods can enter a country duty-free, de minimis values play a critical role in streamlining customs procedures and promoting trade efficiency.

This can support the growth of global commerce and the expansion of market access for American businesses and those from non-market economies alike.

Related post: What's the Cheapest Way to Ship Packages in 2024?

de Minimis Value

Shipping From China to the US? Fulfill from Hong Kong Today!

Tired of the challenges of directly importing from China? Easyship offers a powerful solution: fulfillment from Hong Kong.  This dynamic business hub provides a smoother and more cost-effective way to get your products to customers worldwide.

Why Choose Hong Kong?

  • Faster Delivery Times: Hong Kong boasts superior global connectivity, shaving up to 3 days off delivery times compared to direct China shipments.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Major carriers offer a wider range of high-quality services with superior tracking options in Hong Kong.
  • Reduced Costs: As a free port, Hong Kong offers significant cost advantages. There are no import or sales taxes, and depending on your product value, you might avoid US import tariffs altogether.
  • Improved Customer Service: Faster customs clearance and frequent tracking updates free up your team to focus on what matters most – your customers.
  • Business-Friendly Environment: Hong Kong's strong legal system and trade-focused regulations make it ideal for international businesses.

Your Biggest Challenges?

  • Rising Costs: You're constantly seeking ways to reduce expenses like shipping and fulfillment to maximize profits.
  • Time Management: Limited resources make efficient time management a struggle. Ideally, you'd free up time for strategic initiatives.
  • Shipping Complexity: As your business grows, navigating shipping complexities like labeling, carrier selection, international regulations, and customer expectations becomes overwhelming.
  • Growth Constraints: You see the potential of international markets but feel limited by the expertise and time needed to implement such a strategy.

How Easyship Can Help Your Store Grow:

Easyship's user-friendly platform empowers you to:

  • Reduce Shipping Costs: Compare rates from multiple carriers and access exclusive discounts to save money
  • Save Time: Automate tedious tasks like label creation and customs documentation
  • Simplify International Shipping: Easily navigate the complexities of global shipping with Easyship's streamlined processes
  • Grow Your Business: Expand your reach to new markets with confidence and support from Easyship's global network

By fulfilling from Hong Kong with Easyship, you can achieve your goals of growing your business, reducing costs, saving time, and reaching new customers internationally.

Looking Ahead

As the landscape of international trade continues to evolve, the importance of de minimis values in facilitating low-value shipments and reducing administrative burdens cannot be overstated. For businesses looking to expand their reach in the global market, understanding and utilizing de minimis thresholds will be key to navigating customs duties and enhancing competitiveness.

For growing companies, the ability to strategically manage shipments to align with de minimis thresholds offers a competitive advantage, enabling cost savings and more efficient supply chain operations. As trade policies and regulations continue to adapt to the changing landscape of global commerce, staying informed and agile will be crucial for businesses aiming to thrive in the international marketplace.

In conclusion, the de minimis value is more than just a threshold for customs duties—it's a strategic lever that savvy businesses can pull to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and enhance their global trade footprint. 

As international commerce grows and evolves, understanding and leveraging these thresholds will be key to success in the competitive world of global eCommerce.


What does de minimis mean?

De minimis means "concerning minimal things" and refers to a value considered too small to be important.

What is considered de minimis value?

The de minimis value is the maximum value of a shipment exempt from customs duties and taxes in a specific country.

How do you calculate de minimis value?

You don't calculate the de minimis value itself, it's a pre-set threshold set by each country.

What is the duty de minimis value?

Duty de minimis value is another term for the threshold below which customs duties are not applied.

What is the de minimis rule?

The de minimis rule is a legal principle that allows for disregarding minor matters.

What is the de minimis threshold price?

De minimis threshold price is another way to say the maximum value of a shipment that qualifies for duty exemption.

What is a de minimis limit?

De minimis limit is the same as the de minimis threshold set by each country.

What is the meaning of de minimis value?

The meaning of de minimis value is the threshold set by a country to determine if customs duties apply to imported goods.