United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published theCBP Trade and Travel Report for the 2020 fiscal year. In addition to highlighting CBP’s national security programs, ongoing technological advancement, and efforts in restricting forced labor, the report details international trade developments during a year of unprecedented change.
Along with COVID-19’s social consequences, its economic impacts were vast — disrupting supply chains, creating labor shortages, and changing the nature of trade. While overall trade volume decreased by 8 percent compared to the previous fiscal year, the data in their entirety paint a different picture: growing interdependence. With COVID-19 proliferating ecommerce and forcing international cooperation, the United States and other countries continue to strengthen regulating mechanisms to ensure fair and safe international trade.
CBP enforces nearly 500 trade laws and plays the central role in collecting duties, especially those under Section 201, Section 301, and Section 232: collecting $900 million, $35.6 billion, and $1.3 billion respectively. Moreover, CBP collected duties under 45 more AD/CVD orders than the previous year, totaling to 540 orders currently in effect. The CBP collected $7.2 million in AD/CVD duties that were underpaid by importers and identified $203 million more that parties owe to the US government.
To protect consumers against counterfeit and unregulated COVID-19-related goods, CBP instituted the COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team (CCRT). The CCRT coordinated with local, state, and federal agencies to facilitate the importation of personal protective equipment, test kits, ventilators, and other essential medical supplies. In total, they responded to 2,494 trade inquiries to release goods, and CBP seized “177,356 Food and Drug Administration-prohibited COVID-19 test kits in 378 incidents; 12,709,390 counterfeit face masks in 352 incidents; and 38,098 Food and Drug Administration-prohibited chloroquine tablets in 221 incidents.”
Despite COVID-19’s challenges, international trade continues to grow and evolve. Ecommerce exploded in 2020, spiking air cargo and truck shipments by 219 percent and 123 percent respectively. Furthermore, CBP recorded a 28 percent increase in the total volume of shipments under $800 (de minimis). The US also entered into two trade agreements in 2020: the US-Japan Agreement in January and US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in July.
The CBP report highlights the complicated framework that exporters and importers navigate. Whether you are a small business or large corporation, CLK has the expertise to help you with international trade’s comprehensive regulatory system. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
*All facts and figures can be found in the CBP Trade and Travel Report Fiscal Year 2020