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eBay Advocates Bill Designed to Ease Cross Border Trade

eBay noted in a recent blog post that it supports a bill that promotes cross border trade that was introduced in Congress in March. The Low Value Shipment Regulatory Modernization Act would amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to increase the maximum value of articles that may be imported duty-free by one person on one day (from $200 to $800 for 2014, and to $800 adjusted annually for inflation after 2014).

The bill would also include a “sense of” resolution (which does not create a law but sends a message of how Congress feels about a particular issue), “to express the sense of Congress that the United States Trade Representative (USTR) should encourage other countries, through bilateral, regional, and multilateral fora, to establish commercially meaningful de minimis values for express and postal shipments of articles that are exempt from customs duties and certain entry documentation requirements, as appropriate.”

eBay’s blog post was reporting on Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) visit to its headquarters “to see how eBay is helping small businesses break down international trade barriers and enabling a new era of global commerce.” Owens is a co-sponsor of the bill.

The post said the Low Value Shipment Regulatory Modernization Act would reduce customs hurdles and enable small businesses to engage in the global economy.

“More specifically, an increase in the U.S. de minimis threshold would improve the ability of U.S.-based eBay sellers to offer their international customers returns. Additionally, an increase to international de minimis thresholds would reduce customs barriers facing U.S. exports.”

eBay is focused on cross border trade to help maintain growth rates and has focused particularly on BRIC countries of late – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

In another post on its blog, eBay thanked members of its eBay Main Street lobbying group. “With the Marketplace Fairness Act passing quickly in the Senate back in May, our members swiftly leapt into action to educate their legislators on the burdens and ramifications the bill would have on our small businesses across the nation. Thanks to your continued voices of support, the Marketplace Fairness Act was halted in the House of Representatives.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.