Will Chain Reaction and Wiggle seize US import duty opportunity?

Online cycle shops target North American consumers
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Online cycle shops target North American consumers

The United States has increased the threshold for duty-free imports this month, making shopping with retailers in countries like the UK much more attractive for US consumers.

Two of the globe's best known online cycle retailers - Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles - have spied the opportunity. Both carry messages on their US portal homepages noting the change and benefits to US consumers. 

Chain Reaction in particular has gone to town: 

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Wiggle's US portal is slightly more low key, but does include a full FAQ page noting how US consumers will not have to pay duty or import taxes when ordering from Wiggle.

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Wiggle's site explained: "When ordering from Wiggle you are considered the importer of record. US Customs Duty Threshold is $800 (and $100 for gifts). Therefore, orders under $800 (and under $100 for gifts) are free from duties and import taxes. The customs territory of the US includes the 50 US States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico."

It would be understandable if US bike shops weren't too happy with the change, but at least one has noted that it will be able to get product cheaper from online retailers than it would through local distributors, highlighting a long established issue in the UK cycle trade. 

Parcel broker ParcelHero expects a boom in shipping business to the US (as reported in Post & Parcel).

Up until March 10th 2016, the duty-free import limit in the US was $200.

Wiggle acquired Chain Reaction Cycles last month. There's more on the possible effects of the buy out here

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