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Receiver’s Guide to Duties and Taxes

Learn the fundamentals about duties and taxes to understand who pays and why.
Goods Purchased Online for Personal Use

You may be charged customs duties and taxes for something purchased online because:
  • Duties and taxes are most typically not included in the price of the goods you purchase online, and might not be included in the overall shipping costs you pay to the online retailer.
  • When purchasing goods online, some or all of these goods may not originate in the country you reside in, therefore are subject to a customs duty, which is a tariff or tax imposed on goods when transported across international borders.
  • 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 time after entering your country or customs union, DHL pays the customs authority on your behalf for any duties and taxes that are due on the goods.
  • Once the duties and taxes are fully repaid to DHL the goods will be delivered to you
  • What is payable, if anything, depends on where the goods are sent from, the type of goods, their transactional value and the weight of the package
When buying goods online, you should always check whether they are either being sent to your address from:
  • Your country
  • Another country
  • Outside your customs union country
Note: Different rules apply when buying goods for commercial use.