FAQs – Duties, Taxes and Related Charges

The calculation of duties depends, in most countries, on the assessable value of a dutiable shipment. For the purpose of this calculation, dutiable goods are given a classification code that is known as the Harmonized System code, which determines the applicable duty rate.  This system is a multipurpose international product nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization and continues to evolve.
  • Whether a shipment is a gift or not, it must still go through an import procedure as determined by customs law in the destination country.
  • Dutiable shipments are subject to a customs duty, which is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders.
You need a DHL account to pay duties and taxes for the receiver.

The customs authorities in the destination country determine whether any duties and taxes are applicable when the parcel arrives.

  • This is based on the information provided on the shipping label (or waybill), customs invoice (Commercial/Proforma), and customs paperwork – in particular the shipment contents, goods origin, declared value and weight.
Yes, import customs duties typically do not apply for parcels traveling within a customs union, such as the European Union. However, taxes may be applicable.

Goods Purchased Online

The online retailer has an agreement for DHL to deliver items ordered online.
  • To ensure that DHL Express (Canada) can deliver your goods in the shortest possible transit time, DHL Express (Canada) performs customs clearance services for an additional charge.
  • When purchasing goods online, some or all of these goods may not originate in the country you reside in.
  • When goods are not shipped domestically (within your country) or within a single customs union, such as the European Union, you are liable to pay any inbound duties and taxes which your local customs authority deems appropriate.
  • To ensure the DHL courier can deliver your goods in shortest possible transit time, when we enter your country, DHL pays the customs authority immediately on your behalf for any duties and taxes that are due on the goods.
  • As part of these services, DHL Express (Canada) pays the customs authority on your behalf any duties and taxes that are due on the goods. Once duties, taxes and customs clearance service charges are fully paid to DHL, the goods will be delivered to you.
  • If you wish to self-clear your shipment, please let us know by completing the Self-Clearance form and we will send you the paperwork you will need by email.
  • If you wish to appoint another broker to clear your shipment, please let us know by completing the Clearance by your authorized broker form and we will provide them with the paperwork required.

Although you ordered and purchased the goods online, the goods are still subject to an import procedure to clear the shipment through customs. Clearance depends on:

  • The country of origin
  • The value including transport charges
  • The quantity of goods

Each country has its own customs laws and the duties for different types of goods and values are set locally. DHL, like any other international transportation company, must adhere to local customs legislation and so DHL pays duties on the receiver’s behalf to clear shipments on arrival.

You will not be paying to DHL any further shipping costs. Rather, you will be asked instead to pay customs duties, taxes and other import charges related to customs clearance in your home country, as per local regulations.
All types of shipments (including gifts, samples and goods for repair) go through an import clearance process as determined by custom’s regulations in the destination country. The shipment is cleared through customs based on the type of goods, origin country, the value and quantity. You will need to pay customs duty and taxes only if the value of the gift is above a stated local threshold.
Every country has limitations for imported goods that are used for personal use. This is to avoid misuse, and to distinguish imports for personal and commercial use.

Depending on value and the type of goods imported you may expect the following:

  • DHL Advance Payment and other clearance surcharges
  • Any regulatory charges, if applicable
  • You can choose how to pay duties and taxes:

    • Online with major credit cards, debit cards, Interac and PayPal. DHL will send you a notification via SMS or email with a link to pay your duties and taxes. DHL recommends this method as it’s the quickest and easiest way to pay duties and taxes.
    • Over the phone with major credit cards by calling 833-322-0844.
    • Collect the package at your local service center and pay the brokerage invoice at the service center by credit card, Interac or cash.

    Goods entering Canada are subject to customs duty and the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).

    Often times when receiving a shipment you will have paid for the goods and freight, but not the duties and taxes. The brokerage invoice details the duties and taxes owing to the Canadian Government for your goods and clearance service charges. Our customs clearance service charges are applicable where DHL Express (Canada) performed customs clearance services.

    Copies of your invoice and customs entry can be downloaded online upon payment and up to 21 days after delivery.

    Payment must be made on the brokerage invoice in order for the package to be delivered. A driver cannot deliver a package without first collecting the payment.

    If you import on a regular basis you can setup an account with DHL Customs Brokerage and you will no longer receive brokerage invoices with each shipment. Open a Brokerage Account
    If you believe you were charged the wrong duty and/or tax rates you can obtain the forms needed to apply for a refund online.
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