FAQs – Duties and Taxes

The calculation of duties depends 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.
  • 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.
  • This system has been assigned by the World Customs Organization and continues to evolve.
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) and customs paperwork – in particular the shipment contents, declared value and weight.
  • Duties and taxes only apply to parcels traveling outside the European Union and not all goods are subject to these charges.
Yes, duties and taxes do not apply for parcels traveling within the European Union.

Goods Purchased Online

The online retailer has an agreement for DHL to deliver items ordered online.
  • Duties and taxes are most typically not included in the price of the goods you purchase online.
  • 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.
  • DHL only releases the goods to you upon the full repayment of any duties and taxes that were paid on your behalf.

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.
Whether a shipment is a gift or not, it must still go through an import procedure as determined by custom’s law in the destination country. The shipment is cleared through customs based on the origin country, the value and quantity, but not its purpose. 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:

Customs import duties (percentage of shipment value and transport charges)

  • Local tax
  • DHL Advance Payment surcharge
  • 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 processing fees.

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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