© Alexlmx |

A crackdown by the US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agency and a large seizure of goods has led to some Chinese ecommerce sellers suspending air charter operations into the country, according to industry sources. 

The CBP seizure, thought to amount to some 1,000 tons of goods, has made some Chinese shippers nervous.

One charter broker said a Chinese ecommerce customer had ‘stepped away’ from a planned charter flight, concerned over more confiscations. 

The crackdown on ecommerce imports has also led to the recent suspension of some six customs brokers, including Seko Logistics. 

Seko’s participation in Entry Type 86 was suspended on Monday for 90 days, until 24 August. 

Entry Type 86 allows the import of goods into the US without the payment of duties and taxes, if the value of the shipment is less than $800, the de minimis threshold. 

“We are incredibly disappointed by this unfortunate decision,” Seko told customers in a note seen by The Loadstar.  

During its participation in the Entry Type 86 programme, it had an “exceptionally high, 99.999%, compliance rate”, it claimed and added:  “Seko has always sought to be compliant and work in partnership with US CBP to address any concerns they have raised.  

“Despite our extraordinary compliance rate, we were given less than seven days before the suspension went into effect and no opportunity to address any potential deficiencies. 

“We strongly disagree with this decision … and intend to press for reinstatement as soon as possible.” 

It told customers it would help to try to minimise disruption to their business. 

Meanwhile, sources familiar with the issue confirmed to The Loadstar that a major seizure had been made, and while they declined to go on the record, they said it related to shipments from Shein.  

Furthermore, they noted that some of the big retail brands were also facing issues related to textile shipments coming in through Los Angeles. And an import broker said there were “two big issues” Los Angeles Airport. 

“One is Customs discovering lots of drugs – fentanyl and drug-making tools – in ecommerce shipments. The second is shippers declaring the value of goods to be less than $800, the amount an individual can bring in.” 

The source also suggested that at least two Asian airlines had seen shipments put on hold daily in Los Angeles. A broker also revealed they were now looking at bringing in ecommerce goods via Canada, and then trucking them across the border – although Canada may face some disruption in coming weeks, as The Loadstar reports today.

One Chinese ecommerce forwarder told The Loadstar it was quite common for the US to confiscate goods, but normally it would not disrupt shipping plans. 

Meanwhile, another US source suggested there was a much bigger issue brewing around the import of goods from China: these “larger things” were related to textiles, where there has been some concern over forced labour, they said, but would not be drawn to provide any further details. 

The Loadstar’s recent ecommerce series explored potential problems in the transpacific and China-Europe ecommerce market, where authorities are considering sanctions against fast fashion; re-examined de minimis thresholds; and the competitive threat to local businesses from cheaper Chinese imports

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.