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How China skirts tariffs into the US

March 26, 2024

In Maersk’s press release last week about a new warehousing facility in Tijuana, Mexico, one line stood out. It was sandwiched between a list of value-added services offered and a paragraph about the facility’s sustainable energy practices and certifications.

“Alternatively, it could operate [fulfillment or e-fulfillment] operations into the United States, leveraging the Section 321 Shipment Type** for e-commerce shipments.”

Under U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules, a Section 321 shipment is an import to the United States that, because it’s valued at less than $800, is exempt from tariffs. This rule has gained attention as a strategy to sidestep the extra costs of moving goods into the U.S. So Maersk’s inclusion of it in the release is no afterthought.

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