For governments seeking to harness the promise of ecommerce to catalyze entrepreneurship, small business exports, and job-creation in their economies, unburdening small online sellers from arcane customs procedures and duties should be a top priority. The quick-fix is to raise de minimis levels – the maximum value of an import that is exempt from customs duties, taxes, and formal customs procedures. High de minimis is pure free trade for small business.
Despite countless econometric studies on the benefits of higher de minimis rates on implementing economies, de minimis levels have remained remarkably low around the world – because it is about taxes and import competition. Governments continue seeing higher de minimis as leading to loss of tax revenue and political backlash from domestic retailers fearful of foreign competition.
This new report by Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group and Business 4 eTrade Development Co-Founder, turns the lousy equation around: a plurilateral agreement on de minimis among a coalition of countries that want to free their small business exporters from frictions in their key export markets.
Read the FULL REPORT here: de-minimis-plurilateral-suominen-april-2017