This is a Latin term and is a shortened version of the expression “de minimis non curat lex” meaning “the law does not care about very small matters.”
It is often considered more efficient to waive very small amounts of duties and taxes rather than collect them.
De Minimis value is a value below which goods can be shipped into a country before duties & taxes are assessed.
The legal term for this threshold is called the De Minimis Threshold (DMT) — derived from the full expression “de minimis non curat lex”. This roughly translates as “the law does not concern itself about very small matters”.
In the US, for instance, the DMT is US$800 (€702.70). This means that goods valued at US$800 or less can enter the US without incurring taxes.
De Minimis shipments are also known as Direct Release shipments.
De Minimis shipments are when imported shipments do not attract any duties and taxes due to its Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value that is below RM500. Having said that, shipments must still be declared from customs using a simplified format with fewer data elements than formal clearance.
In Malaysia it is known as a K4 manifest which provides consolidated information of the shipments arriving into Malaysia.
However, any items under the Customs (Prohibition of Imports) Order 2017 must not be declared as a De Minimis shipment regardless of its value.