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Duty Free Denim – U.S. Import Cap Raised from $200 to $800

If you’ve been keeping up with U.S. politics, you know there’s been a lot happening lately. What you definitely missed is H.R.644 going into effect, a.k.a. the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, a.k.a. the America Gives More Act, what you need to know is in Title IX, Sec. 901 which says the following:

TITLE IX–MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

(Sec. 901) It is the sense of Congress that the USTR should encourage other countries to establish commercially meaningful de minimis values for express and postal shipments that are exempt from customs duties and taxes and from certain other entry documentation requirements.

This bill amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to increase from $200 to $800 the general de minimis aggregate fair retail value in the country of shipment of duty-free articles imported by one person on one day.

Among other things, the amendments to this bill, signed by President Obama on February 24, 2016, are intended to expand trade. One benefit is that, with a simplified process that lowers the excise tax, more funds can be made available to non-profits.

But, entirely more importantly, you can now buy most of your high end denims from overseas duty free! As most of you know, there aren’t too many Japanese jeans that you can buy for less than $200. It’s a process prohibitive to that artisanal denim life. Now, though, you can take your denim game to the international level (for up to $800) without duties cop-blocking you.

Except for Endrime‘s $1100 handsewn jeans. And Momotaro‘s $2000 handwoven jeans. But if you’re seriously considering either of those jeans, I doubt you’re worried about duties. Aside from those, get your credit cards out, open up a new tab, preferably one that leads to an overseas retailer, and cop yourself a new pair of jeans.