Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today that both countries have increased and harmonized the value thresholds for expedited customs clearance to $2,500 and US$2,500 respectively. This is an increase from the current levels of $1,600 for Canada and US$2,000 for the United States. In addition, Canada has increased the low-value shipment threshold to $2,500 for exemption from North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin requirements, aligning it with the current threshold of the U.S.

The harmonization of the value thresholds for customs clearance for both Canada and the United States will facilitate and expedite trade between our countries, allowing Customs to focus on maintaining a secure and efficient border, “ said Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. “Reducing the administrative burden will improve Canada’s competitiveness, especially for our small businesses. “Today’s announcement will make it easier and faster for Canadian and American businesses to move goods across our shared border,” said Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. “Increasing and harmonizing these thresholds will allow an additional 1.5 million shipments to be cleared on the day of arrival, instead of these goods being held up in customs clearance.

“Canadian and U.S. businesses are the true beneficiaries of the Beyond the Border Action Plan and the change implemented today,” said Mike Tierney, President, UPS Canada. “Each day, more than $1.6 billion worth of goods cross our common border bringing the annual value of traded goods to more than $580 billion. Yet, every year $16 billion in trade activity is lost due to border delays. This change will allow for swifter movement of goods for importers and exporters of all sizes.”

Prime Minister Harper and President Obama released the Beyond the Border Declaration in February 2011, and a detailed Beyond the Border Action Plan in December 2011. The Declaration and Border Action Plan articulate a shared vision and approach by which our two countries work together to address threats at the earliest point possible, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people, goods and services across our shared border.