Almost all shipments crossing international borders are subject to duty and tax assessment by the importing country’s government. The destination country’s customs officials assess duties and taxes based on information provided on the shipping label, the Commercial Invoice, and other relevant documents.
Factors that affect a shipment’s duty and tax amount
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A general consumption tax is assessed on the value added to goods and services. This tax is called GST – Goods and Services Tax in some countries like Canada and Singapore. In European Union (EU) countries, this tax is known as a Value-Added Tax (VAT). It is a tax on consumer expenditure and therefore businesses that are VAT- registered and fully taxable do not bear the final costs of VAT. For EU-Specific VAT rates, visit European Commission (EC) Taxation and Customs Union website.
60% of the shipment’s CIF* value over $50.00
ICMS tax: (a state value-added tax on services and circulation of goods) average of 18%
* CIP/CIF = cost of goods + international freight + international insurance
Brazil has implemented the Mercosul Common Nomenclature, known as the Nomenclatura Comum do Mercosul (NCM), consistent with the Harmonized System (HS) for tariff classification. The complete list and updated details can be accessed here - Mercosul Common External Tariff
CMS is a state government value-added tax applicable to both imports and domestic products.
The ICMS tax on imports is assessed ad valorem on the CIF value, plus import duty, plus IPI.
Although importers have to pay the ICMS to clear the imported product through customs, it is not necessarily a cost item for the importer because the paid value represents a credit to the importer. When the product is sold to the end user, the importer debits the ICMS, which is included in the final price of the product and is paid by the end user.
Any item shipped to Canada may be subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and/or duty. Unless specifically exempted, you must pay the 5% GST on items you import into Canada by mail. The CBSA calculates any duties owing based on the value of the goods in Canadian funds. The duty rates vary according to the type of goods you are importing and the country from which they came or were made in. Depending on the goods or their value, some other taxes may apply, such as excise duty or excise tax on luxury items.
You do not have to pay the GST on the following goods that are imported into Canada by mail:
The Government of Canada has entered into agreements with certain provinces to collect the HST at a rate of 13 percent. If you live in a participating province, you will have to pay the HST instead of the GST.
A shipment's duty and tax amount is based on the following:
Many countries have a general consumption tax which is assessed on the value added to goods and services. In some countries such as Canada, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, this tax is known as the goods and services tax or GST.
The Canadian sales taxes are the Provincial Sales Tax (PST), the Quebec Sales Tax (QST), the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which is a combination of the PST and the GST in some provinces.
For more information on Taxes – Click here
For European Union (EU) countries, this tax is known as a Value-Added tax (VAT). Businesses that are VAT-registered and fully taxable do not bear the final costs of VAT because it is a tax on consumer expenditure.
To see EU-specific VAT rates, please visit the European Commission (EC) Taxation and Customs Union website.
All shipments that are imported into Canada are subject to duties and taxes assessment by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The duty rate varies depending on the type of product and the country where it was manufactured. The amount of duties and taxes for an item primarily depends on the item's value in Canadian dollars and the purpose for the shipment such as a gift. In addition to the duty, tax may also apply (e.g., GST, PST, QST, and HST).
Goods purchased online and shipped to you from outside your country of residence are subject to duties and taxes. If you are making an online purchase, please clarify with the sender who is responsible for the payment of any duties and taxes as they may not be included in the purchase price.
For eligible gifts imported into Canada it is CAD$60 or less, per gift, even if a single gift has more than one recipient (e.g., gift to a family). Each gift in the shipment must be clearly identified as one gift. If the gift is worth more than CAD$60, the amount over CAD$60 is subject to duties and taxes (e.g., if a relative sends you a gift worth CAD$200, you must pay any applicable duty plus the GST, PST, QST, and HST on CAD$140).
There are several reasons why the rate of duty and amount could vary, such as:
Below are some examples when the CUSMA/USMCA/T-MEC rate of duty would not be applicable on a shipment from the U.S. or Mexico.
It depends on the contents, value and origin of the shipment. You may be charged the following:
The rules set out in the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement have been transposed into the directly applicable EU customs legislation as follows:
Guidance on customs valuation has been available for some time by means of the EC Customs Valuation Compendium, containing, inter alia:
The Compendium is primarily for guidance and use by Member States’ administrations but is available to all interested parties.
|Country Details||B2C LOW VALUE||B2C MID VALUE||B2C HIGH VALUE|
|UK||Below GBP 15 No VAT & No Duty||GBP 15 - GBP 135 VAT =20%, No Duty||From GBP 135 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|France||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Germany||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Austria||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Belgium||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Bulgaria||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Croatia||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Cyprus||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Czech||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Denmark||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Estonia||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Finland||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Greece||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Hungary||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Ireland||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Italy||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Latvia||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Lithuania||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Luxembourg||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Malta||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Netherlands||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Poland||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Portugal||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Romania||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Slovakia||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Slovenia||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Spain||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
|Sweden||Below EUR 22 No VAT & No Duty||EUR 22 - EUR 150 VAT =21%, No Duty||From EUR 150 & above VAT & Duty applicable|
For post Brexit regulations, select “United Kingdom” from the dropdown
Shipments to India need to be accompanied by printed copies of documents. Along with the commercial invoice and air waybill, you also need to provide the recipient’s KYC documentation in advance. Extra paperwork may be needed for sending high-value or regulated goods.
Government of India’s, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) functioning under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, deals with the formulation of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs. The classification of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs. The classification of the imports and exports of goods are governed by the Customs Act of 1962 and Customs Tariff Act of 1975. The act contains two schedules, and specifies the nomenclature that is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System as “HS” also known as the “Tariff Schedule “or the “Indian Customs Tariff”. It also contains description of goods chargeable to export duty.
For more details on applied tariffs, customs duty rates applicable to imports, Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System , check India Trade Portal and official Government of India Portal for calculating duty rates, electronic filing of certain import declarations and shipping bills (export goods declarations), electronic payment and online verification of import and export licenses, refer to http://icegate.gov.in
For calculating customs duty, these are the factors that are considered:
Value on which IGST is Calculated = Value of Imported Goods + Basic Customs Duty + Social Welfare Surcharge
IGST Payable = Value X IGST Rate
Total Duty Payable = BCD + Customs Handling Fee
A parcel that enters India, it goes through either express of formal customs clearance.
Shipment types and values
The Government of KSA has decided to increase the customs duty rates for an extensive range of goods. A total of 57 Chapters and more than 2,000 Tariff Lines of the KSA Integrated Customs Tariff are expected to be affected. The full list of products affected was recently published on the Saudi Customs website and can be accessed through this link (only the Arabic version is currently available): HS codes subject to increased duty rates.
For more information, please visit the website of Saudi Customs.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs Threshold (From which tariffs are required)
No Customs threshold
Products Having a Higher Customs Tariff
On May 27, 2020, the Saudi Customs Authority released its amended Harmonized Tariff Schedule to increase various customs duty rates effective June 10, 2020.
|Preferential Rates||In April 2017, the country began levying a 50 percent excise tax on soft drinks and a 100 percent tax on cigarettes, tobacco products, and energy drinks. Certain goods are exempt from the common external tariff. Imports of rice, baby milk and animal feed are subsidized; while coffee, tea and fresh red meat enter the country duty-free. Saudi Arabia has no tariff rate quota (TRQ) requirement. Saudi Arabia has signed various trade agreements (especially with the Gulf Co-operation Council – GCC) which allow the member countries total exemption of the customs duties. In addition, for certain Muslim countries of the League of Arab States (Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) the customs duty has been reduced to 10%.|
Saudi Arabia applies the Harmonised Customs Systems
|Method of Calculation of Duties||The customs duties are calculated Ad valorem on the C.I.F value. A limited number of items are subject to customs duties calculated on the basis of metric weight or capacity, rather than ad Valorem. The rates for these items are fairly low.|
Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)
All goods imported into Singapore are regulated under the Customs Act, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act. Imported goods are subject to GST and/or duty payment. A customs permit is required to account for the import and tax payment of the goods. Customs and/or excise duty (with ad valorem rates) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) are levied on the customs value of imports.
However, some imports can:
Ad valorem or specific duty rates may be applied for dutiable goods.
All other goods are non-dutiable and incur GST only. GST is levied at 7% of the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value) for goods worth over SG$350.
The GST includes duties (if it is a dutiable good) and other charges, costs and expenses incidental to the sale and delivery of the goods into Singapore, whether or not shown on the invoice. Dutiable goods include intoxicating liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles, and petroleum products.
Find out more about duties and GST levied in Singapore here.
You can check further information here. about the types of customs permits and situations where no customs permit is required.
in order to start the procedures for the goods that would be imported (i.e. to learn the due taxes or the documents that would be submitted to the customs administrations), customs tariff statistics position of the issued goods, which are classified in the annually enacted Turkish Customs Tariff Schedule, has to be known.
The taxes on the imported goods that are stated below do not exist in any legislation all together.
|Turkey Customs Information at a Glance|
|Turkey is a member of the WTO, of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and of the Southern Europe Cooperative Initiative (SECI), which encourages trade with all its member countries thanks to preferential tariffs.|
|Customs Classification||Turkey uses the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, generally referred to as the 'Harmonised System,' developed by the World Customs Organisation. The system comprises nearly 5,000 commodity groups, each identified by a six digit code, and is utilised by more than 200 countries.|
|Method of Calculation of Duties||Customs duties are calculated Ad Valorem on the CIF value of the goods. Customs surcharges include a value-added tax (VAT) levied on most imported goods and services. The importer is responsible for paying the VAT. The VAT is calculated on a C.I.F. basis plus duty rate and any other applicable charges levied before the goods clear customs.|
|Method of Payment of Customs Duties||Duties are payable in cash (by cash money order and by bank transfer).|
|Import Taxes (Excluding Consumer Taxes)||Agricultural products, whatever their origin, remain subject to a surcharge destined for the Housing Fund, but this has been abolished for imported industrial goods.|
Customs duty: Customs duty is determined by the Import Regime, which is published by the Ministry of Economy in the Turkish Official Gazette on the 31st of December and enters into force on the 1st of January of the subsequent year.
The following lists of the Import Regime cover the related goods that are stated below:
Value Added Tax: The goods that are covered;
Goods that are not included in these lists are generally subject to 20% of VAT.
Excise Tax: The excise tax that would paid during the import process is determined by the additional lists of the Excise Tax Law, which are mentioned below.
Resource Utilization Support Fund: 6% of the funds is derived from the import with acceptance credit, deferred letter of credit, and cash on delivery.
Since none of the taxes levied on imports is determined by the Ministry of Customs and Trade, the questions about customs duty, housing development fund, anti-dumping tax, subsidies and additional financial liability have to be directed towards the Ministry of Economy; the questions about VAT and Excise Tax have to directed towards the Turkish Revenue Administration; the questions about the cuts of literary and artistic works have to be directed towards the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the questions related to the TRT Bandrole have to be directed towards TRT.
Planning an import product to the United Arab Emirates? ShipGlobal can simplify it for you!
Thanks to the Law of Unified Custom Tariffs, the seven emirates of UAE share the same importing regulations for most of the products. There are three kinds of taxes levied upon the imported products in the UAE: customs duty, value-added tax, and excise tax. Goods being imported into Free Trade Zones are exempt from duties. Also, re-exports from U.A.E. Free Trade Zones to third market destinations beyond the GCC Customs Zones are also exempted from any duty.
However, if goods are imported with the intention of re-exporting them as a whole or partially to another country, a deposit or Guarantee equivalent to the applicable tariff amount on the goods shall be secured in lieu of Customs Duty. Currently this declaration is limited to those with a value higher than AED 20,000, except in case of vehicles.
For goods destined directly for Mainland Customs Zones or to a Free Trade Zone for sale in the U.A.E. and/or re-exports to GCC Countries are subject to customs import tariff. Check the latest updated norms for GCC Customs Law that set the framework for UAE’s Import Regulations here.
Tax Rates depend on the category of products- here’s a glimpse of how the various products are taxed.
|Type||Customs Duty||Value-added Tax||Excise Tax|
|Tax Rate||0%-5% (50-100% for some products, i.e. tobacco, liquor)||0%-5%, some products are exempt from tax||100% on tobacco and energy drinks. 50% on carbonated drinks|
|Tax Payer||Importers||Every member of the supply chain||Sellers|
|Tax Collector||UAE Customs Authority||Tax Bureau||Tax Bureau|
|Commencement Time||N/A||1st, January 2018||1st, Oct 2017|
Here’s a quick reckoner on various duties and taxes and UAE:
The import tariff rate of the United Arab Emirates ranges from 0% to 5%for most products, with an average tax rate of 4.61%. There are higher taxes on some special products such as 50% for liquor products and 100% for tobacco.
The assessment method of the import tariff, or custom value, is CIF, cost, insurance premium, and freight. This means that the payable tax of import tariffs of goods is calculated according to the cost of the goods and tools, insurance premium, and freight rate. Customs duty is calculated on the CIF value (Cost/Insurance/Freight) for shipments valued at 1000 Dirham (AED) and above.
As UAE is a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Customs Union, which harmonized the tariffs of goods entering any member country- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE, - regardless of the destination country within the GCC.
For example, if you are importing from USA into the UAE destined to the Saudi market, you must pay the customs duty when the goods enter the UAE market. No additional tariff has to be paid once the goods are transferred from the UAE to Saudi Arabia.
You can find the HS code and duty rate for most products in this document. You can also call us or email us and we can help you decide which HS code and duty rates apply to your products.
The Value-added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax levied on most of the imported goods to the UAE, ultimately charged upon the final buyers. Businesses must collect the VAT on behalf of the government. Currently, the rate of VAT is 5% and applies to all shipments. Registration requirements
|Business Type||VAT Registration Status|
|Any business with taxable supplies and imports of more than AED 375,000 per year (approximately equals to USD 102,000)||Mandatory to Register|
|Businesses with supplies and imports between AED 187,500 and AED 375,000 per year||Optional to Register|
|Value of imports are lower than AED 187,500 per year.||Not Required|
Excise tax targets on a few specific products that pose harm to human health or the environment.
For latest updated information we recommend you visit https://www.fca.gov.ae/En/UAE-Customs/Pages/CustomsInUAE.aspx
The United Kingdom (UK) has long been a key player in the global import and export business, since the era of colonization. To service the needs of its citizens, SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises), and to facilitate trade, the UK imports a great deal of goods, FMCGs (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), and machinery, whilst simultaneously exporting a great deal of precision goods such as, but not limited to, industrial machinery, motor vehicle parts, and pharmaceuticals.
One of Brexit’s many impacts is the changes to the tax rules that will happen at the end of the transition period. This includes the movement of goods between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) becoming imports and exports for customs and VAT purposes. In this respect, the government of the UK recently published its standard customs import tariff that will replace the standard customs import tariff of the EU after the end of the transition period.
To replace the EU’s customs import tariff, the UK will apply its own customs tariff, the UK Global Tariff (UKGT), to goods imported into the UK, either from an EU member state or any other jurisdiction. The UKGT will apply from January 1 2021, i.e. after the end of the transition period. In the absence of any preferential trading arrangement, such as a free trade agreement (FTA), the duty rates set out in the UKGT will apply to UK imports (subject to any reliefs or tariff suspensions in place).
In other words, the UKGT will, in principle, apply to EU imports into the UK after the end of the transition period, unless the EU and the UK conclude otherwise in a trade agreement. Such an agreement should, in principle, lower or reduce to zero the duties on all or some goods; and the political declaration sets out the ambition of both parties to achieve duty-free and quota-free access to each other’s markets.
It is important to note that transactions involving the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and EU member states will continue to be considered as intra-EU movements after the end of the transition period. Goods imported into Northern Ireland from EU member states will, therefore, not be subject to UK customs duties. This special regime applies as long as it has democratic consent in Northern Ireland, with the first consent period being four years after the end of the transition period.
The UKGT eliminates or reduces many customs tariffs compared to the existing EU customs tariffs.
Even if the UK and the EU agree to an FTA that eliminates tariffs, businesses will still need to meet the FTA’s rules of origin to qualify for the preferential duty rates.
The full list of the UKGT is published and searchable on the UK government’s website.
The UK Global Tariff is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021
Goods moved across the US border from any country may or may not need customs duty or import taxes. Through goods from some countries are exempt due to different international trade agreements, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforces customs rules. Customs duties vary by country of origin as well as type of product.
Please refer to HTS Code to calculate the exact rate due. CBP uses extended version of international HS Codes- HTSUS that can be accessed here.
The minimum threshold for import tax is $800. Goods valued below that are not subject to duty. The rates of tax on shipments vary by country of origin. Please contact us by filling up a simple form and our team will get in touch with you!
Customs authorities check whether shipments coming into the country adhere to local law on, for instance, health, safety, and IP laws.
They also enforce customs duties regulations. A customs duty, sometimes called an import duty, is a tax applied to products imported for resale.
Import duties or custom duty tax may be applied to protect local production, to penalize the country of import, to penalize a product that would be sold below fair market value (anti-dumping), or simply as a source of government revenue.
Two variables determine whether customs duties apply:
Please note that, despite hearsay, international freight shipments valued under $2,500 are not exempt from Customs duty.
A confusion between international freight customs duties rules and two other rules has probably caused this mistaken impression. Those other rules are that shipments valued below $2,500 are eligible for “informal customs entry”, and that Customs are less stringent when checking express freight (international courier) shipments.
It is easy to get confused by customs charges because there are several different types of charges. Some are charged directly by the customs authority and some are indirect charges made by other parties involved in the customs process.
The following table brings together these charges, why they are charged, and who charges them so you can understand your custom duty charges in the USA, in China, or wherever else you may be shipping.
|CHARGE||CHARGING PARTY||IMPORT COUNTRY||WHAT THE CHARGE COVERS|
|Customs Clearance Fee||Forwarder or Customs Broker||All countries||Service charge to cover filing and clearance.|
|Penalties||Customs||All countries||Fines applying when customs regulations are breached, ranging from minor charges, e.g. for mislabeled cargo, to heavy fines (and prison sentences) for fraud.|
|Customs Examination (X-ray, Tailgate or Intensive)||Customs||All countries||Pass-through fee covering Customs use of third-party premises and services. Only applies to shipments undergoing inspection.|
|Demurrage and Detention / Warehouse Fees||Air or Ocean Carrier||All countries||Pass-through fee from air or ocean carriers that covers shipment storage (demurrage and detention fees for FCL, warehouse fees for LCL). Shipments typically return from a customs inspection after the free period for these charges expires.|
|ISF Filing Fee||Forwarder or Customs Broker||US only||Service charge applying to ocean imports only, that covers filing in compliance with advance cargo reporting requirements. Often included as part of the Customs Clearance fee.|
|Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)||Customs||US only||Small mandatory service charge to cover shipment processing.|
|Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF)||Customs||US only||Small mandatory service charge to cover use of US ports and harbors.|
|Custom Bonds (Continuous Bond, Single Entry Bond, ISF Bond).||Customs||US only||Mandatory insurance policy for CBP against failure to pay duties and penalties in full.|