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Who Pays Duties and Taxes - International Shipping | Overview

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International shipments are subject to customs duties - taxes imposed on goods when transported across international borders. Customs duties protect each country's economy, residents, jobs, environment, etc., by controlling the flow of goods, especially restrictive and prohibited goods, into and out of the country.

Customs duties are assessed on the declared value of the goods shipped. To avoid excessive taxes, be sure that your customs forms indicate accurate values.

For ShippingEasy Subscribers:

You can set the payment option as a Default Duties Payor under the "Manage Account" Settings on the POSTAGE & CARRIERS page. Learn more about managing this setting.

You can also select or change who pays per shipment on the READY TO SHIP page.

The following information describes each carrier options for customs duties payment:

USPS:

USPS makes the recipient responsible for customs duties and taxes.

According to the USPS website:

"Post Office facilities must collect a Postal Service fee from the addressee for each item on which customs duty or Internal Revenue tax is collected. The Postal Service fee is authorized by international postal agreements to reimburse the Postal Service for costs it incurs clearing items through customs and collecting customs duties at the time of delivery."

FedEx:

When creating an international FedEx shipment, you can select which party pays the customs duties/taxes: Recipient, Sender, or Third Party, if they have a valid 5-digit US zip code connected to their account. International accounts cannot be billed. While it's not necessary for the recipient to have an account number, it should be provided if known.

  • Recipient: When using Recipient as the payor of customs duties/taxes, there are optional fields for a FedEx account number and the account number’s postal code. If provided, that account will be billed instead of the recipient paying in cash
  • Sender: You are responsible for paying customs duties/taxes. This is the default selection.
  • Third Party: When chosen, the FedEx account number and postal code must be specified, they are not optional for third party payment.
NOTE: Fedex policies state that should the Recipient or Third Party fail to pay duties and taxes, the sender is responsible for payment.

UPS:

When creating an international UPS shipment, you can select which party pays the customs duties/taxes: Recipient, Sender, or Third Party.
  • Recipient: This is the default. When used as the payor of customs duties/taxes, there are optional fields for a UPS account number and the account number’s postal code. If provided, that account will be billed instead of the recipient paying in cash.
  • Sender: You are responsible for paying customs duties/taxes.
  • Third Party: When chosen, then the UPS account number and postal code must be specified, they are not optional for third party payment.
NOTE: When modifying a batch of UPS international shipments, only two options are available for payment of customs duties/taxes: Sender and Recipient.

DHL:

When creating an international DHL shipment, you can select which party pays the customs duties/taxes: Recipient, Sender, or Third Party.

  • Recipient: This is the default and when chosen as the payor of customs duties/taxes, there are optional fields for a DHL account number and the account number’s postal code. If provided, that account will be billed instead of the recipient paying in cash.
  • Sender: You are responsible for paying customs duties/taxes.
  • Third Party: When chosen, the DHL Default Duties Payor Account Number must be included.

 

 


Comments

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  • Avatar
    GT USA

    If we are electing to pay for Duties/Taxes as the Sender, don't you need an "Importer of Record" on file along with the VAT number for the registered company?

  • Avatar
    Rewa W. [ShippingEasy]

    Hello GT USA!

    Thanks for your reply to our Knowledge Base article.  Upon reviewing your question about needing an "Importer of Record" if the sender elects to pay the duties, this does not appear to apply for orders such as on ShippingEasy.  It looks like this applies to persons Importing Goods Into the United States.  

    I was able to find this phrase on the cbp.gov website that may help:  "When a shipment reaches the United States, the importer of record (i.e., the owner, purchaser, or licensed customs broker designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee) will file entry documents for the goods with the port director at the goods' port of entry. Imported goods are not legally entered until after the shipment has arrived
    within the port of entry, delivery of the merchandise has been authorized by CBP, and
    estimated duties have been paid. It is the importer of record's responsibility to arrange for
    examination and release of the goods."

    Here is a link to that document: 

    https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Importing%20into%20the%20U.S.pdf

    I hope that helps, but certainly let me know if you have other questions or info.

     




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