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eBay Says Sellers Shouldn’t Pay Duties on Returns

When an overseas buyer returns an item for a refund, should the seller have to pay duties? eBay thinks not, as its government relations team indicated in a blog post this week.

“eBay strongly encourages the Senate to take up and pass the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (H.R. 644), which would support the ability of small Internet-enabled retailers to successfully export across the globe,” it wrote on the eBay Main Street blog.

eBay explained that the bill would enable U.S. sellers to accept retail returns, which it said was important to attracting overseas customers. “Currently, U.S. small businesses must pay duty when accepting a returned item from an international customer.”

In addition, the bill would help overseas sellers importing into the U.S. by boosting the threshold under which buyers and sellers submit paperwork and pay duties on low-value shipments to the US from $200 to $800, while also encouraging trading partner nations to do the same, eBay said.

“eBay supports the Customs Reauthorization bill because it breaks down traditional barriers to trade for Internet-enabled small businesses and streamlines the customs process. The House of Representatives passed Customs Reauthorization legislation last year, and it is now time for the Senate to pass the reconciled bill.”

More information on H.R. 644 can be found on Congress.gov.

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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/.