Receiving goods from abroad? Keep import duties in mind

Shopping online means you will be charged import duties from time to time. Are you not sure why import duties are not included in the overall shipping costs? And do you wonder to whom you will be paying them? Continue reading to learn all about it and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Buying goods online from outside the EU

When shopping online, keep in mind that the goods you order are not always located in your country, nor within the European Union. In case your order is shipped to you from a non-European country, you may have to pay customs duties and VAT for importing goods into the European Union.

For example, goods coming from France (an EU country) are duty-free, while parcels shipped from Turkey (a non-EU country) may require you to pay additional costs. The amount you pay depends on various criteria and is calculated by customs authorities.

Import duties and VAT

In order to deliver your package to you as quickly as possible, DHL pays the import duties and VAT to the customs authorities on your behalf. Upon delivery of your parcel, we will ask you to reimburse us. Please note that your parcel will not be handed to you unless you pay the full amount of customs duties and VAT.

Who’s paying?

Normally, import duties and taxes are charged to the receiver. However, DHL Express offers senders with a DHL account the option to pay for duties and taxes themselves. In that case the sender receives an invoice after delivery for the fees and taxes DHL paid on their behalf, plus a small administrative fee.