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Customs Duties and Taxes with DHL

Understanding Customs Duties and Taxes

What Are Customs Duties and Taxes?

When shipping goods internationally, parcels may incur duties and taxes as determined by the customs authorities in the destination country. It’s crucial to understand these charges when sending parcels across borders.

How Are Duties and Taxes Calculated?

Regardless of whether a shipment is a gift, it must undergo an import procedure as per the customs laws of the destination country. Customs clearance depends on the shipment’s origin country, value, and quantity. Duties are calculated based on the assessable value of the dutiable shipment. This involves assigning a classification code known as the Harmonised System (HS) code, which is managed by the World Customs Organisation.


Why DHL Excludes Duties and Taxes from Delivery Prices

Why Doesn’t DHL Include Duties and Taxes in Delivery Prices?

Customs authorities in the destination country determine applicable duties and taxes upon parcel arrival. This decision is based on the parcel label (or waybill) and accompanying customs paperwork, especially the contents, declared value, and weight.

Why is the Receiver Asked to Pay Customs Duties and Taxes?

Customs in the destination country imposes duties and taxes, which the receiver must pay. To streamline the process, DHL often pays these charges on behalf of the receiver and collects payment either before or upon delivery. Generally, DHL cannot deliver parcels until these fees are settled.

DHL Duties and Taxes Paid (DTP) Service

For DHL account holders, DHL offers the option to pay duties and taxes on the receiver’s behalf. After delivery, DHL invoices the customer for the duties and taxes paid, plus a small administration fee. This service is called Duties and Taxes Paid (DTP).

Paying Duties and Taxes

How Do I Pay Duties and Taxes?

If you are expecting or have received a delivery in the UK, you can quickly and securely pay your Duty and VAT charges online.

  • If you received an SMS or email about Duty and VAT charges for an import pending delivery, follow the link in your message to make an online payment or visit On Demand Delivery.
  • If you received an invoice, use DHL’s ePayments service to pay your Duty and VAT charges online.

Customs Paperwork Requirements

Do I Need to Create Customs Paperwork for My Parcel?

A customs invoice is necessary for all parcels containing non-document items, except for shipments within the UK and to the Channel Islands.

  • When dropping off a parcel at a DHL Service Point, the customs invoice and parcel labels will be printed in-store.
  • When booking online with DHLitNow, you will be prompted to complete customs information, and the invoice will print automatically with your parcel labels.
  • If booking via phone, the company’s customer services team will guide you through the required paperwork.

Payment Responsibilities for Duties and Taxes

Can I Pay Duties and Taxes Instead of the Receiver?

  • Without a DHL Account: You cannot pay the duties and taxes on behalf of the receiver.
  • With a DHL Account: You can choose to pay the duties and taxes instead of the receiver. To learn how to get a DHL account, visit DHL’s website.

Document vs. Non-Document Items

What Is the Difference Between Document and Non-Document Items?

Correctly classifying your international shipment as a document or non-document is essential to avoid penalties, additional costs, or delays. Describing the contents precisely is crucial to prevent vague or generic descriptions.

  • Documents (Non-Dutiable Shipments): These include letters, statements, or other correspondence with no commercial value and not intended for resale. No commercial invoice is required. Examples include visa applications, business correspondence, legal documentation, or certificates.
  • Non-Documents (Dutiable Shipments): These are products or goods for personal or commercial use, requiring multiple copies of a commercial or proforma invoice. Examples include clothing, car parts, sports equipment, or books.

Important Note

Customs regulations in some countries may classify certain items differently based on their destination, weight, and value. For instance, educational materials, magazines, books, or documents intended for resale may incur Customs duties and taxes. If uncertain about classifying your parcel, contact DHL’s customer services team.

Need More Information?

If you have any other questions about paying duties and taxes with DHL, feel free to get in touch with the company’s customer services team.

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