ship duty free ti usa section 321

Worldwide Shipping e-commerce direct to USA

Jet Worldwide's logistics team is assists International companies reach their North American customs. To the USA, online sellers - both American and outside the USA - are learning to incorporate direct shipping of online orders to complement traditional ocean to warehouse to customer processes.

Best in class logistics teams are diverting their traditional bulk order container flows to more agile shipping of direct orders via high volume parcel import processes.


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Please note that this post and all our online is for general information purposes only.

About this Post: This page provides a deeper dive into the section 321 processes to help build best in class import solutions for shipping direct to the USA (and to the USA via Canada).

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Supply chain is becoming more of a consumer-facing activity. Jet helps companies develop core competencies in logistics better control the buyers experience.

Benefit from us join your team, sharing our knowledge. Build best in class scaleable solutions for e-commerce shipments to and from North America, Asia and Europe.

Common Carrier Shipping Options to the USA

Shipping to the USA Via Local Postal Options

international post to USPS graphicNational parcel post services are usually the best option for individuals shipping small parcels and personal items to the USA. The shipping options to the USA usually include low cost small packets (under 2 kg) and larger parcels many of which can include tracking options. The packet option is a service per Universal Postal Union agreement.

Contact our team to benefit from global direct entry and USPS labeling and delivery:

Ensuring Valid USPS shipping labels

Shippers using lower than market rates are likely victims of fraudulent practices. This includes using counterfeit labels and processes to inject into the USPS. Learn more about fraudulent USPS labels.

Shipping via FedEx, UPS and DHL to the USA

American dominant carriers FedEx and UPS - along with global leader DHL- offer reliable international shipping options to the United States.

FedEx and UPS shipping international options Include

  • International Air Express to the USA
  • International economy air shipping

Shipping to the USA and Canada via Jet Worldwide

  • Jet Worldwide provides logistics support to the USA and Canada. Often, - of course - this means utilizing the couriers as well as direct air freight, clearance solutions and reverse logistics.
  • We can also direct shippers to multiple carrier sites to assist in finding the best options for shipping to the USA from Asia, Europe and South America
  • Jet’s Direct Import Services bring a more local American presence for your company using your local warehouse and fulfillment infrastructure.
  • Low cost access to USPS services from any international origin. Minimum volumes necessary.
  • Contact Jet's team for details.

Shipping Online Orders Direct to the USA

The logistics of shipping online orders direct is a critical skill that all online sellers should become familiar with. The traditional flows of large bulk order now includes shipping online orders directly.

International shippers can connection to the US Postal service can be via their local Post (see above), a USPS partner such as Pitney Bowes or direct via USPS Global Direct Entry.


Air Freight direct to zones: The USA is actually many different markets with their own demographics and buyer personas. Sellers may wish to target, for example, buyers in the North East who may more naturally fit their buyer persona than consumers in other regions.

As volumes build, shippers can build more efficient zip code routing rules to lower costs via"zone skipping" and benefit from express low cost ground delivery. Allow Jet Worldwide to become part of your team:

Fulfillment in Hong Kong for direct shipping to your customer

Benefit from low cost fulfillment in Hong Kong and have your orders ship directly. Useful information about Hong Kong warehousing and direct shipping.

Shipping Online Orders Direct to the USA

The logistics of shipping online orders direct is a critical skill that all online sellers should become familiar with. The traditional flows of large bulk orders to domestic warehousing are less necessary due to shipping online orders directly from origin. Whether a US seller who needs to lower their costs and improve reaction to market trends to non-US sites who seek ways to scale their sales to the USA: Contact Jet Worldwide's team for assistance.


Diverting Ocean shipping with New E-commerce Air Import

  • Ocean shipping delays are impacting retailers orders and impacting inventory for the US holiday season.
  • Ocean transit times from China to the USA have more than double to nearly three months in some cases.
  • Industry experts do not expect the ocean shipping capacity will normalize until capacity comes on line in the next 2 years.

The increase cost in shipping orders direct is offset by the duty free status of section 321 entries, no domestic warehousing, lower inventory levels and faster reaction to market trends.

In this post, we provide a deeper dive into shipping e-commerce orders directly to the USA (or via Canada). The best way to build a scaleable and secure parcel supply chain is to build access to multiple ports of entry (including via Canada), multiple entry processes and, most important for peak periods, express clearance options. Being able to throttle between express, cargo, and conveyance methods ensures lowest last mile delivery costs and predictable delivery times for your US customers.

Best in class shipping direct to USA consumers includes access to multiple ports, multiple section 321 entry types including ECCF and via Canada.


The key data elements for shipping online orders to the USA include:

  • Shipper Address, contact name and details
  • Consignee name address, contact name (of shipping to a company) and contact details
  • Contents of the package (the more specific/ descriptive, the better)
  • HS Code (necessary for some types of section 321 entries, see below)
  • Country of origin
  • Value of items
  • The weight and dimensions of the package

The data for e-commerce consolidations is for both prior notice requirements for security purposes (prior to departure) and entry to US Customs.

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Describing your Item(s) for import of online orders

While section 321 requires only a description of the item, the lack of clear descriptions is a common cause of import complications. Even if not always necessary, adding the Harmonize System code can be helpful (see next section).


Harmonize System Code (HS) for online orders to USA

A key advantage of most Section 321 Entry types (see section below) is that the Harmonize System Code is not necessary. However, best practices includes either including the HS code or - at a minimum - to be aware of the general codes of your goods. HS CODES

Valuing your Item(s) for import to the USA

When importing e-commerce shipments to the USA, declaring a value is simply the transaction value. The biggest issue for US customs and when sellers undervalue their goods - although this is not as common with the high US$800 duty free threshold. REVIEW HOW TO VALUE YOUR INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS

What is Section 321 for Importing Online Orders to USA

Section 321 of the Tariff Act of 1930, is a provision of U.S. law that allows for the importation of certain low-value shipments without requiring the payment of duties or taxes. The purpose of Section 321 is to facilitate the flow of small shipments and to reduce the administrative burden on customs authorities.

  • ECCF: Express / no HS code
  • CFS: Freight / no HS Code
  • Type 86:  Freight/ HS code necessary

Under Section 321, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allows the importation of certain low-value shipments, known as "informal entries," without requiring the payment of duties or taxes. To qualify for treatment under Section 321, a shipment must have a value of $800 or less, and it must not be subject to any other special requirements, such as a license or a permit.

Informal entries under Section 321 are generally process quickly and with minimal paperwork, making them a convenient option for small and low-value shipments. However, they are subject to CBP review and may be subject to duties and taxes if they do not meet the requirements of the Section 321 provision.

If you are planning to import a low-value shipment into the U.S., contact our team.

The term “Section 321” is from this provision’s statutory source, 19 U.S.C. § 1321(a)(2)(C).

Jet helps companies explore the variety of methods to clear orders up to $800 duty free using a simpler “section 321” process. We help companies uncover best practices using multi port express clearance (via an Express Consignment Clearance Facility - E.C.C.F, CFS and Type 86 processes). READ ABOUT POSSIBLE CHANGE TO SECTION 321 ENTRIES

In addition to the "type 11" section 321, "type 86" section 321 entry is available for more traditional ACE brokerage systems (see next section).

Different Section 321 Entries Explanation


USA Section 321 Express Consignment via ECCF

Using an Express Consignment Clearance Facility / ECCF, retailers benefit from express handling and clearance. Best in class parcel import systems includes access to an ECCF to ensure clearance during peak periods or other customs slow downs.

USA Section 321 Cargo via CFS

The cargo CFS processes are essentially the same as ECCF but without the customs fee and express clearance commitment. Shippers should build in both CFS and ECCF capabilities.

USA Section 321 Type 86 via ACE

Using traditional brokerage clearance systems, retailers can take advantage of type 86 entries. The format requires application of HS codes. This system is available for all forms of conveyance but subject to a higher level of inspection and delay. Type 86 Section 321 can clear via traditional CBP Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) brokerage software.

USA Section 321 via Canada Cross Border

Section 321 is available via Canada USA cross border systems giving another option for online orders to the USA.

Section 321 and Other Government Agencies

US customs / CBP newer Section 321 de minimis entry processes (namely ACE Entry Type 86) enable approval from other government agencies. However, the reality of "one window clearance" is not perfect. We advise shippers to set up separate parcel import flows for goods requiring approval of other government agencies (most commonly items requiring approval of Food and Drug Administration).

Customs has been working on one window clearance processes that incorporates the requirements of other government agencies. In customs parlance, they are "Partner Government Agencies" or PGA's. Type 86 extends the "one window clearance" processes to include low value section 321.

Items requiring inspection as a condition of release, regardless of value, merchandise subject to Anti-Dumping / Countervailing duty (ADD/CVD), and certain products requiring Partner Government Agencies (PGAs), may not qualify under Section 321:

  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
  • National Highway Transport and Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSA)
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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Importing Wine, Food and other items requiring US Food And Drug Approval

Jet Worldwide helps businesses set up high volume import processes for goods that require other/ partner government agencies - including innovative wine importing from France, Australia, Chile, South Africa and other countries with such speciality products.

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Import Process for shipments above US$800

Best in class parcel import systems include informal entry (CFR Part 128) processes for clearing higher value orders. Shipments with a value above US$800 and requiring other government agencies are often best via an express / ECCF facility.

Shipments with a value up to US$2,500 can import via informal entry processes. While the goods are subject to duty, the overall duty rates to the United States can average less than 5% for many e-commerce imports.

As cross border E-commerce is expanding from direct to consumer to business to business, the average values can often be above US$800. Businesses selling direct to American businesses can also benefit from high volume parcel import processes even for higher value shipments using consolidation informal entry processes. Contact Jet's team for details.

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Shipping Terms for e-commerce online purchases to the USA

The default shipping for e-commerce to the USA (and globally) is EXW. Thanks to Section 321, the vast majority of e-commerce imports to the USA clear duty and tax free. Best in class processes include considering Incoterms and how to manage potential consignee fees for higher values and special commodities.


*DDU, DDP and EXW are terms known as Incoterms®, a trademark of the International Chamber of Commerce/ICC. It is useful to at least understand the existence of Incoterms and visit ICC’s website for further explanation.

Shipping E-commerce for Final Mile Delivery to the USA

The leading last mile delivery solution to the USA remains the US Postal Service, USPS. Online shippers can access USPS delivery direct (via Global Direct Entry, for example) or via a reseller / USPS partner (such as Pitney Bowes).

Multiple ports of entry: The key to lower last mile delivery

While the USPS is the default (i.e best overall) option over all for last mile delivery to the USA, best in class e-commerce imports to the USA utilize multiple ports of entry to benefit from low cost ground delivery via FedEx, UPS or - increasingly - local carriers.

jet-vector-globe-CanadaShipping to USA via Canada and to Canada direct

Canada and the USA remain among the world's largest trading partners. Canada has a much lower duty free threshold and e-commerce parcel import is done via the Low Value System /LVS for goods up to CA$3,300. Goods can tranship via Canada to the USA (see above). Goods shipping directly from the USA have a higher low value duty free threshold (see graphic below) thanks to the USMCA/ CUSMA free trade agreement.

Shipping to USA from Canada

Canadian shippers are subject to the same import rules but benefit from the USMCA/ CUSMA free trade agreement (see above) being able to take advantage of low cost truck and rail. Parcels shipping via ground carrier are subject to entry preparation fees.

Canadian companies benefit from proximity to the USA, USMCA CUSMA free trade and air freight availability.


Ship Online Orders direct to your International Consumers

Jet Worldwide has been providing innovative single parcel and freight shipping solutions for over 40 years. Our e-commerce logistics consultant team helps companies develop best in class solutions to- and from - North America:

Contact Jet's team to build best in class processes for shipping online orders direct from the USA and Canada: To the UK, European Union, Japan, China, Australia/ New Zealand, Caribbean, South America and and all the world's major economies and regions.