June 23, 2024

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The US also caps imports of sheen up to US$50

The US also caps imports of sheen up to US$50

LOS ANGELES, June 6 (Reuters) – The US has launched a new crackdown on customs brokers who handle large volumes of cheap online shopping orders from China-linked companies like Sheen and Temu. Industry experts say the move will cause delays in deliveries and create disruptions.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced that it has suspended several brokers from its direct-to-consumer, duty-free importation expedited clearance program due to concerns that contraband is entering the country through this system. Although CBP did not specify how many brokers were suspended, experts say six firms were affected.

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The move is part of a larger CBP effort that includes rigorous inspections of packages at U.S. airports and reviews of electronic information submitted by customs brokers. “All ports of entry are affected, so there’s really no way to avoid delays,” said Chad Schofield, co-founder of US-based logistics platform BoxC.

More than 1 billion packages, worth about $50 on average, are expected to arrive in the U.S. this year, fueled by strong consumer demand for fast fashion produced by Chinese factories, among other products.

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E-commerce company Sheen, which is looking to expand its market share before going public, and Chinese-owned online retailer Temu rely on a quick approval process to make direct-to-consumer shipments of $800 or less available. Customs brokers participating in the program submit shipping information electronically to CBP, speeding processing.

These customs brokers handle the clearance of 62% of these shipments, which would otherwise fall to exporters or shipping companies, says Cindy Allen, CEO of consulting trade force Multiplier LLC.

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Sheen could not be reached for comment on the situation. TEMU said its operations were not affected.

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