Learn the fundamentals about duties and taxes when shipping worldwide.
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. Dutiable shipments are subject to a customs duty, which is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders.
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.
This system has been assigned by the World Customs Organization and continues to evolve.
The payment of duties and taxes are typically the responsibility of the receiver, although DHL Express does offer the opportunity for DHL account holders to pay for them.
In that case, after shipment delivery, DHL invoices customers for the duties and taxes we paid on their behalf at destination, plus a small administration fee.
Taxes are imposed on goods when they are moved across a political boundary (although some free trade zones exist around the world). Taxes are usually associated with protectionism, the economic policy of restraining trade between nations.
Taxes are usually imposed on imported goods, although at times may also be imposed on exported goods.