“And will I have to pay any tax?”

  • October 6, 2020
  • 53355x

How to deal with taxes and duties in international transport

More and more often we are hearing questions from you about the amount of taxes paid on delivery to different countries. To become familiar with the tangle of different taxes, you now have to do one thing.

Read the following lines.

Taxes and customs when you send a parcel abroad

The basic matter is whether your delivery travels within the EU - or not.

  1. Transportation within the EU
    In this case it´s easy – no need to pay fees, taxes or customs. All the countries within the EU actually share one market. Convenient, isn´t it?
  2. Transportation outside the EU
    Here it becomes a little complicated. You must count on the fact that the recepient may have to pay customs duty, import VAT or other import fees.

What exactly are we talking about?

  • Customs – fee for the import of the parcel into a given county. The amount of customs depends on the price of goods (“ad valorem tax”), on its amount independently of the value (“specific tax”) or on both the criteria together (“mixed tax”).
  • Import VAT – consumption tax whose amount depends on the customs value of all the items contained in the delivery.
  • Other import fees – these are mainly local taxes in each country.

So many countries, so many customs. And different taxes.

Each country has its own regulations regarding taxes and customs. Somewhere one has to pay very high taxes, in another country there are mild taxes. Each country has its own “black list” - it is the list of goods that cannot be imported. It is impossible to write here all the details about the taxes and customs duties of all the countries.

A well-arranged list of links where you can find the regulations of the most frequent countries outside the EU is provided here:

China, USA, Japan, Australia, Russia, Mexico, Cuba

There are a few calculators available on the Internet that calculate an approximate price of import expenses. Here is our recommendation for one of them: Duty Calculator

Documents necessary for clearance?

If you send a parcel outside the EU, you have to – as a sender – enclose a commercial invoice. The invoice serves as a basis for the customs office. It contains data about the sender and the adressee and a description of goods and its codes. If the delivery doesn´t have any market value (=its content is not intended for further distribution), the enclosed invoice is then called a “pro forma invoice”.

Useful information:

  • detailed description of the content – for example instead of “car spare part” one needs to state the exact product, e. g. “front fog light”

  • “personal effects” (personal effects) – do not indicate the content of the delivery with this description, you put yourself at risk that the parcel will not pass through the customs office of the particular country; it is necessary to write each item and its quantity.

  • prohibited items (prohibited items) – when sending prohibited items it is most likely that the delivery will be returned or stopped anywhere along its route.

Does it make your head spin? That‘s not necessary. If you send it via Teahouse, we will take care of all these documents for you – for free.

I want to send a parcel.