Customs & Taxes When Importing from China: US, EU, Australia & Canada

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Understanding import duties, customs fees, VAT and other taxes is crucial when importing products from China. However, each country or market (i.e., the EU) have their own customs duty rates and tax calculation methods.

In this article, we explain what every Importer must know about custom & taxes when importing products to the following countries / markets.

  • United States
  • European Union
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom

European Union

The European Union is not a country, but a single market. This means that all EU member states have the same customs duty rates on products imported from non-EU countries. An importer only pays customs once, for products imported from China.

Custom duties are not added to products sold within the European Union. Thus, your Spanish and German customers won’t need to pay customs on products that have already entered EU territory.

That being said, the customs duty rates vary between different products. Products that are not manufactured in the EU (e.g. consumer electronics) tend to have lower customs duty rates – sometimes as low as 0%.

On the other hand, the opposite is often true for products that are considered part of an important industry in the EU.

Shoes, for example, have a customs duty of 12%. Below follows a list of common products and their respective duty rate in the EU:

  • Wristwatches: 4.5% (Min: €0.30, Max: €0.80)
  • Tablet PC: 0%
  • Solar Panels: 0%
  • T Shirts: 12%
  • Electric Bikes: 6%
  • LED Bulb Lights: 4.7%
  • Peanuts: 12.8%

Need help in finding the right customs duty rate for your product? When you order a Starter Package, right here on, we confirm the customs duty rate and additional taxes, in your country. Click here to find out more.

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Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax (VAT) is compulsory in all EU states. Different member states have different VAT rates. Certain products, such as food and books, often have a reduced VAT rate.

However, the standard VAT rate applies to most consumer and industrial products imported from China. Click here for a list of VAT rates in all EU member states.

The VAT is added on top of the customs value, plus the duty (that is also based on the customs value). However, VAT added on imported products are treated as VAT paid on purchases made within the EU (including purchases from other EU states).

This means that the VAT added on the imports, may also be offset against VAT added on sales.

Customs Value

Practically, the EU customs value is based on the CIF (Cost Insurance Freight) price of the imported goods.

Below follows a slightly more detailed specification of which costs the customs value includes:

  1. Product price
  2. Tooling costs (e.g., injection molds)
  3. Shipping and logistics costs (to Port of Destination)
  4. Product Development Costs (e.g. product samples)
  5. Insurance

The customs value is not including the following costs:

  1. Commission and fees paid for purchasing agents (e.g. sourcing agents)
  2. Transportation costs generated in the importer’s country (e.g. transportation from the port to the final place of delivery)
  3. Costs generated in the Port of Destination (e.g. port fees and customs clearance fees)

Customs authorities are not making rough estimates. Instead, the declared value shall be clearly stated on the Bill of Lading – a document that is either issued by your supplier or freight forwarder.

This requires your supplier to declare the correct value. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying the wrong amount.

import duties USA

United States

Customs duties are charged on all imports with a customs value of US$200 or above. As in the case of the EU, certain imports are taxed more than others – especially food and agricultural products.

Below follows a list of products and their respective duty rate in the United States:

  • Wristwatches: 9.8% + US$1.53 per unit
  • Tablet PC: 0%
  • Solar Panels: 0%
  • T Shirts: 16.5%
  • Electric Bikes: 0%
  • LED Bulb Lights: 3.9%
  • Peanuts: 131.8%

Additional taxes

So far, the United States don’t have a VAT. Instead, a so called Federal excise tax is charged on certain imports, such as tobacco and alcohol.

For the time being, the Federal excise taxes don’t apply to consumer products imported from China.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)

All imports to the USA are subject to the Merchandise Processing Fee. The MFP is based on the order value, and is divided into two categories:

  • Imports of goods valued less than US$2500: US$2, US$6, or US$9 per shipment
  • Imports of goods valued more than US$2500: 0.3464% of the goods value
  • (Minimum MPF: US$25, Maximum MPF: US$485)

The MPF is in general a rather negligible expense when importing from China. Click here to read more about the Merchandise Processing Fee.

Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF)

HMF is collected on imports transported by sea. It was created in the late 80s and intended to require importers share the maintenance costs of container terminals in the United States.

However, it the HMF won’t make much of an impact on your bottom line – the current HMF rate is only 0.125% of the cargo value.

Customs value

Custom duties, MPF and HMF fees are calculated based on the FOB (Free on Board) value of the imported goods. This includes the following:

  1. Product cost
  2. Transportation cost (to Port of Loading in China)
  3. Export clearance (China)

Most Chinese suppliers quote products based on FOB terms. Click here to read more about Incoterms when importing from China.


The tax situation in Canada is perhaps the most complex of the major English speaking markets. For Canadian importers, there are three different sales taxes to keep track of, in addition to import duties:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
  • Provincial sales tax (PST)

One, or a combination of two, sales taxes apply in all states. However, no state has all three taxes:


  • GST: Yes
  • HST: No
  • PST: No
  • Total rate: 5% (Lowest)


  • GST: No
  • HST: Yes
  • PST: No
  • Total rate: 8%

Prince Edward Island

  • GST: Yes
  • HST: No
  • PST: Yes
  • Total rate: 15% (Highest)

The taxes are charged based on the location of the company, rather than the entry point of the goods.

rotterdam port


Australian importers enjoy slightly lower duty rates, compared to their counterparts in the United States and the European Union.

Probably because Australia is a smaller market – with fewer critical industries to protect from outside competition. Below follows a list of products and their respective duty rate in Australia:

  • Wristwatches: 0%
  • Tablet PC: 0%
  • Solar Panels: 0%
  • T Shirts: 10%
  • Electric Bikes: 5%
  • LED Bulb Lights: 5%
  • Peanuts: 5%

Minimum thresholds

Australians also enjoy a very generous minimum threshold, when importing from China. Imports of products valued up to AU$1000 are exempt from custom duties, GST and Import Processing Charge.

That’s not enough to reach the MOQ requirement of most suppliers, but it can certainly save a few dollars when buying product samples from Chinese suppliers.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST is added on of the Customs Value of the imported items, transportation and insurance – plus the customs duty. Currently at 10%, the GST applies to most products imported from China to Australia.

Import Processing Charge

Imported goods valued more than AU$1000 are subject to an Import Processing Charge. The amount depends on three factors:

  1. Mode of transportation (Sea or Air Freight)
  2. Type of import declaration (Electronic or Documentary Import Declaration)
  3. Customs Value (Goods valued between AU$1,000 to 10,000, and goods valued more than AU$10,000)

The fee is charged for each import declaration. This means that you pay the Import Processing Charge each time you receive a shipment from China.

Luckily, the charge is usually in the range of AU$40 – 50. Click here to read more about the Import Processing Charge.

Customs value

Custom duties, GST and Import Processing Charges are based on the goods FOB (Free on Board) value. This includes the following:

  1. Product cost
  2. Transportation cost (to Port of Loading in China)
  3. Export clearance (China)

Anti-Dumping Duties

The Chinese government has provided (and still is) certain industries and/or domestic manufacturers with subsidies.

Essentially, this means that the relevant Chinese manufacturers are allowed to sell products below the market price. Good old price dumping.

These practices are not much liked by the EU and US – which often react with Anti-Dumping Duty measures. Sometimes the Anti-Dumping Duties target entire industries, sometimes they target individual manufacturers.

An Anti-Dumping Duty shall be taken seriously, since these are often in the range of 40 – 60% (as a comparison, the average duty rate is around 5% in most western countries).

If you would end up importing products that are under Anti-Dumping, you probably won’t be notified until the cargo arrives in the Port of Destination.

After all, the Chinese manufacturer is not liable for taxation outside of China.

Thus, it’s critical that you research whether an Anti-Dumping Duty measures are imposed on your product and/or supplier, before you place an order.

Anti-Dumping Duties are currently imposed on a wide range of product and industries, read more about open cases in the European Union, United States and Australia in the links below:

Declared Value

Customs duties and taxes are percentages calculated based on the Customs Value.

The customs value is based on the declared value, which in turn shall be stated on Commercial Invoice – a document issued by the supplier.

It’s critical that the correct value is declared on the Commercial Invoice, or you might end up paying the wrong amount.

It’s always the importer’s responsibility to ensure that the correct declared value is stated on the Commercial Invoice. This responsibility cannot be shifted to the Chinese supplier.

customs declaration online

HS Codes

The customs duty is not entirely based on the declared value – it also varies between different products. However, customs officers are busy people.

They don’t have time to open every single carton and classify the items on their own. Instead, an HS code specifies the type of product/s.

HS Codes (Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System) are part of an international classification system that makes this process quite simple.

Yet, it’s up to you to ensure that the correct HS Code is specified on the Commercial Invoice. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying a custom duty rate based on the wrong product.

Are custom duties refunded?

No, unlike VAT, customs duties cannot be offset. Therefore the customs duty shall be considered as part of the product cost – and not a temporary outlay.

Sometimes the duty rate is so low it barely makes a difference. However, in other cases the duty rate makes up a substantial part of the procurement cost.

Do I need to pay import duties and taxes on replaced or repaired units?

In a scenario where you ship products to China, for repair, or if the supplier sends replacements for defective units to your country – you shall generally not need to pay import duties twice.

Instead, you should notify your freight forwarder or customs broker before the shipment – or hand in documentation after delivery.

Even if they end up charging you twice, you can in most cases get a refund or tax credits. Just make sure you have sufficient documentation to prove that the goods are actually replacements or repaired units.

Payment of customs and taxes

There are various ways to pay the customs duties and related taxes, when importing from China. In fact, you can even pay them directly to your Chinese supplier. Below we list the most common cases:

Option 1: Pay customs duties & taxes to the freight forwarder

This option is probably the most simple. Your cargo arrives at the Port of Destination and the customs authorities adds customs and taxes (e.g. VAT) based on the declared value and the HS code. This amount is then invoiced to you by your shipping company (e.g. FedEx or DHL.)

In some cases, you are required to pay the customs and tax invoice before the goods are delivered. However, you might get better payment terms if you’re an account holder of the freight company in question.

This service doesn’t come free of charge.

The shipping company usually charges somewhere between US$40 – 80 for managing the customs declaration.

Option 2: Apply for customs credit from your local customs authorities

Customs authorities offer customs credit to importers. Basically, a customs credit allows you to first get your cargo to your warehouse and pay customs and taxes at a later date.

The transaction is then made directly to a bank account operated by the Customs Authority, instead of paying the freight company (as detailed in Option #1).

Option 3: Purchase DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) directly from your supplier

DDP is an incoterm that, on top of shipping and port fees, includes custom duties. The customs duty is included in the price you pay your supplier.

However, additional taxes such as VAT and GST, is in general not included due to cross-border taxation issues. Instead, these taxes are paid upon arrival in the Port of Destination.

Do we need to pay custom duties or other taxes in China?

No, foreign companies and individuals are not tax subjects in China. Besides, any costs generated in China shall be included in the FOB (Free on Board) price.

However, if you purchase products on Ex Work terms (EXW) from your Chinese supplier, no shipping and exporting related costs are included.

This means that you’ll need to pay for transportation from the supplier’s facility to the Port of Loading in China – AND pay for exporting clearance documents.

While this is not a tax, it’s still a cost you cannot avoid when buying from China.

In general, we recommend small to medium sized importers to purchase products at FOB terms, rather than EXW terms.

How can I pay less import duties and other taxes when buying from China?

Understating the customs value is by far the most common method to reduce the import duty, as the amount is calculated based on the declared customs value.

This practice is of course illegal, and can, in more severe cases, result in lengthy jail terms.

Import duties can in some cases be reduced by exploiting free trade agreements between countries. However, the added transportation costs makes such complex strategies loss making for small to medium sized businesses.

Will the Trump administration impose anti dumping measures on all imported goods form China?

It is unlikely that the Trump administration will implement the 35% import duty measures that has been previously reported. However, some duty rates may be increased slightly.

It is also possible that the Trump administration will create more incentives, such as tax breaks, for big businesses that bring back production to the United States.

This is, however, more likely to affect multinational companies, rather than small businesses that rely on contract manufacturers. Many products have historically only been manufactured in China.

Who is responsible for paying import duties and other taxes when a product is dropshipped from China?

The importer is by definition the company or individual specified as the receiver of the goods. When dropshipping products from China, the parcel is sent directly from the wholesaler to the customer – without ever being imported by the seller.

Hence, the customer is therefore defined as the Importer, and may therefore need to pay import duties and other taxes, such as VAT or GST.

Do you need help with shipping and customs?

We know how hard it is to understand the shipping and customs process, especially if you have never imported from Asia before. To help startups get a grip on the process, and avoid scams and overcharging shipping agents – we created the Starter Package:

a. Tutorials, Video Walkthroughs and Task Lists that guide you step-by-step through the entire shipping and customs process

b. Import duties, taxes and calculation examples for the US, Europe, Australia & more

c. Licenses, permits and how to obtain the required documents for the US, Europe, Australia & more

In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform. Click here to learn more.

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    73 Responses to “Customs & Taxes When Importing from China: US, EU, Australia & Canada”

    1. Olle Fastrup May 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      Great blog post as always!
      Thank you so much Fredrik!

      • Fredrik Grönkvist May 12, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

        Thanks! We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback on this article.

      • jason October 10, 2016 at 6:29 am #

        hi i have just bought 3 x samsung s7 edge phones and now the sender in china says we have to pay customs tax is this correct???
        i enclose a copy …..

        I’m really sorry to tell you,just now we have check with agent.
        They said the package was detain at the customs due to the Beijing customs restrictly checking ,all package been opened and checked one by one,

        finally they found that the brand products in the package, they require you pay $ 398.00 as tax,it’s just an accident.
        please arrange $ 398.00 within 72 hours, then we can talk with custom guy and go ahead the shipping, thank you
        So your goods need be paid a custom Brand charges and then would be sent to you successfully!
        All the customer should pay for the tax,not only you!
        You need pay face to face by cash in the customs office and i know that it is unconvenient for you come to China!

        You pay the custom Brand charges to our bank account,

        and after you pay, we withdraw your money and then we send your money to the customs as the custom Brand charges for your order !
        without tax they won’t release the package ,hope your understanding.

        please help me

        • ChinaImportal October 10, 2016 at 10:21 am #

          Hi Jason,

          This is a fraud. You will not receive any phones, and you should not send more money to this scammer.

    2. Marie Jordune June 11, 2014 at 7:24 am #

      Yes, if you import goods in Europe, then European VAT will apply to the products. It’s is critical to point here that a new VAT Directive also applies to B2C sales of digital services in the EU. That means that all digital services sold to consumers in the EU will be vatable. VAT on digital services will now be applicable based on where the end consumer is based. Post-2015, it is all about the location of the consumer and not the supplier.

      • Fredrik Grönkvist June 11, 2014 at 11:47 am #

        Hello Marie,

        Interesting information. But I assume it’s up to the EU based buyer to declare the foreign purchase and pay VAT? I don’t see how this could be enforced on foreign businesses, by the EU.

    3. Boris July 31, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

      Fredrik, I heard that Chinese suppliers avoid their VAT by hiding it from importer who finds out later that he cannot export goods due to lack of tax documentation.

      • Fredrik Grönkvist August 1, 2014 at 3:32 am #

        Hmm, that sounds like something that can happen when buying according to Exworks terms. EXW includes nothing but the products, thus export clearance (probably the documents you are referring to) and delivery to port of loading in China is not included.

        At a minimum, order according to Free on Board (FOB) terms. You save nothing by ordering according to EXW terms.

        • Boris August 1, 2014 at 10:04 am #

          Fredrik, I read about this Value Added Tax (VAT) issue on “PassageMaker China” website.

          Also, did you happen or know someone who did find himself in a situation where supplier charged inflated FOB price? Do you know the average FOB pricing in China? What if supplier is in China but has to transport goods to another city for whatever reasons which only adds to FOB price? Should I ask supplier where is port of destination?

          • Fredrik Grönkvist August 4, 2014 at 4:06 am #

            Hello Boris,

            First of all, most suppliers must transport goods to a port city on the coast. Of course this transportation costs money, but leaving the goods in the suppliers city is not saving any money.

            FOB usually adds US$150 to US$500 on top of the EXW price, depending on volume and weight.

          • Joanie March 9, 2017 at 11:56 am #

            I want to buy some dog balls from China. Can anyone help me. The total cost is USD498, bu do i have to pay any other costs like import and vat?

        • Boris August 22, 2014 at 9:05 am #

          You are right. Better play it safe in order to not end up in situation where supplier offers EXW only and when I try to get his export documents for clearance he refuses to supply them in case he tries to hide something from government etc.

          Can you tell me what incoterm there is in a scenario where I get FOB from supplier and then hire freight forwarder to take consignment from FOB to port of destination or terminal or ultimate destination? Are CIF/CF, DAT and DAP incoterms still apply here?

          • Fredrik Grönkvist August 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

            Yes, you can apply any incoterm “on top” of FOB. However, if you already have a freight forwarder taking care of your cargo, I’d advise you to request a DAP or DAT shipment.

            • Boris August 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

              Thanks! DAT means delivery at customs terminal?

    4. customs clearance August 7, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      Customs duty across various countries is a major issue for me because i have an import export business and i need to updated on every countries policies to be able to adjust with my clients. Thanks for sharing all the customs details regarding business from china.

    5. Pablo August 22, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Fredrik,
      so if I am about to import a tablet pc form the US to Sweden there shall be no Duty tax, nor VAT?

      • Pablo August 22, 2014 at 8:07 am #

        just the Merchandise Processing Fee?

        • Fredrik Grönkvist August 22, 2014 at 8:34 am #

          No, the MPF is only paid on imports into the US. Not on exports from the US.

      • Fredrik Grönkvist August 22, 2014 at 8:33 am #

        Hello Pablo,

        Duties and VAT apply to imports from all non-EU states, including the United States.

    6. Resa Inman October 7, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

      Your article states the tariff duty is calculated on “product cost”. Exactly what is included in product cost? Does this include the manufacturing costs of the product, shipping, labels, etc? Does it also include the cost of making a mold, that stays in China? If so, why is the mold cost included and how is this handled on car manufacturing where the mold cost is spread over thousands of cars? What if any other costs are included?

      Thank you.

    7. Christine November 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

      You might want to add Canada. Packages under $20 are not charged duty!

    8. Anbu December 26, 2014 at 7:01 am #

      Thanks for the wonderful content. i just have one question.

      I live in USA. I like to import from China. How is the “Export Clearance Cost” calculated in China? How much is it?

    9. Marcel January 2, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

      Hi Fredrik,
      You mention 0% on solar panels for import into the USA. Does this also apply for the equipment you need to convert the solar power into the grid?
      You will need a grid tie inverter to supply the solar power into the 110V grid……
      So is the 0% for solar panels or for “solar panel equipment”…..?

    10. Syed March 26, 2015 at 2:16 am #

      Great article.
      I am relatively new to import and export business, and plan to manufacture electrical goods (control panel) in China and sell our products globally.

      Initially, I like to import from China to USA (my headquarter) and then export to other countries, primarily in middle east.

      What are all the taxes/duties I have to pay? Remember, the good will only be sold outside USA initially.

    11. Connie April 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      I would like to purchase shoes and clothing for my store from Ali-Express, most purchases will be approximately $500.00 or less; possibly three times a year. How do I calculate the fees and taxes I will be required to pay.

    12. Joe June 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      I’m bringing two used barcode scanners to China. They will remain in China. Each used barcode scanner was $295.00 in 2013 in US Dollars. 1. Do I need to fill out any forms and are there any taxes? 2. I’m bringing 6 new grounded universal adaptor plugs. Do I need to fill out any forms and are there taxes? Total value $42.48 US dollars.

    13. Avishruti October 18, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

      I’m looking forward to importing some jewelries from China to Nepal. Would you please be kind enough to let me know about the charges other than item cost and shipping charge?

    14. Stan March 30, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      I am importing 100 thumb drives values at $4.00 each and shipping about $50. How can I find out what the import taxes will be.

    15. Ganka May 31, 2016 at 8:19 am #

      I am from Bulgaria and I’m planning to visit Dusseldorf Messe next week. I have a company, registered in Bulgaria. My question is: If I buy a Chinese machine at the exhibition where am I supposed to pay customs duties and VAT – in Germany (before the transportation of the machine to Bulgaria) or in Bulgaria when I deliver the machine to Bulgaria?

      • ChinaImportal June 6, 2016 at 5:03 am #


        If the machine is already in Germany, it means that it’s already imported into the EU. Hence, it would be like buying any machine in Germany.

        You will pay German VAT in that case. However, if the machine is still in China (and yet to be shipped to the EU), you can have it delivered directly to Bulgaria instead.

    16. Steve June 2, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

      So if i buy LED Lights from China, send them money but they are in stock in California? Is there legal ramification that could fall on my lap?

      • ChinaImportal June 6, 2016 at 4:54 am #

        Hi Steve,

        Yes, that could complicate things. If I get this right, the supplier want you to pay them to an account in China, while the products are already imported to the US and ready for delivery in California?

    17. Marina September 5, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

      Marina ,
      I would like to import Brown beans from china to Germany . how much one is paying VAT and tax in Germany ?

    18. skumar November 8, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

      When we are buying goods on FOB basis from our supplier in China, Then to whom the carrier will charges the Import Processing Charges & Service charges on POD?

      • ChinaImportal November 14, 2016 at 1:21 am #

        Hi Skumar,

        From you. FOB will only get the goods to the port of loading, in China. You must still arrange shipping from there to POD.

    19. Peter February 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      Great info, thanks!
      When a dropshipper buys from Aliexpress, will the dropshipper pay for custom duties/tax, or will the customer who eventually receives the product, get the invoice to pay for custom duties. (that would be a terrible surprise…)
      If I am dropshipping a $ 500 product to The Netherlands, my customer will get an additional $ 100 invoice for custom duties/tax? How do dropshippers deal with this situation?

      • ChinaImportal February 18, 2017 at 7:04 am #

        Hi Peter,

        We just wrote an article on this topic. The truth is that there is, as far as I know, no way to “solve” this situation… if you dropship from China.

        • Ardi November 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

          I hope you are doing well, i am interested to buy 300 watches, which costs 10.000 dollar, in china aliexpress and to bring it,in germany, how much should i pay custom duty? taxes? thanks.

    20. meg March 8, 2017 at 4:24 am #

      HI- I am receiving 1000 USD in furniture in Chicago? how much tax will I pay?

    21. Milan March 10, 2017 at 9:04 am #

      I am wanting to import watches from alibaba costing 2$ / pieces. Total 10 pieces and shipping charges supplier told me is 25$ . So total I have to pay 42$ to them. How much other cost will be lavi on me like custom duty and all?

    22. AR March 28, 2017 at 5:21 am #

      So I bought some toys action figures from Chinese sellers on eBay. I live in Canada. What can I expect?? I’m really worried. Thank you

    23. Jet April 7, 2017 at 2:43 pm #

      Hi, I was also a victim of scam. I asked a quotation from alibaba and received an email saying they are alibaba gold supplier. I paid for the price of the fitness tracker but then told me that the goods were detained at custom and required me to pay 50% electronic tax. Do you have any idea how can I go after those culprits? I sent them a tital of $980.

    24. Timur April 12, 2017 at 6:15 am #

      Hi fellows, please help me out.
      I ordered some products from China and shipping by air was so expensive that I went ahead and chose shipping by sea.

      I purchased goods through Ali Baba and thought the manufacturer was supposed to take care of all the shipping things, however, just like 20 min ago my supplier contacted me and asked me to provide them “some data” in order for the container to pass the customs in the USA.. I started asking questions like “what kind of data?” “who do I contact?” and etc. Supplier kinda got upset and asked me if that was my first time doing shipping by sea, which it is the first time.

      Supplier just recommended me to pay a company like DHL to do the customs for me, however, I would like to find out myself, what info they require? what do I do when my goods arrive to the port of Miami, what are the steps to pay taxes, get my goods, what documents do I need?

      Please someone who knows anything about it, give me some wise advises.

      Thank you,

      • ChinaImportal April 17, 2017 at 3:42 am #

        Hi Timur,

        Which Incoterm did you order the shipping according to?

    25. ayad alanizi April 30, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

      recently I purchased some goods from china total value of 1800 dollars of concrete cutting machine,
      I found an online service to help me in getting the goods to me in california

      so far I was charged 198 dollars for initial filing etc
      and now another 175 for getting the merchandise to me including the taxes

      are these charges regular and customary ?

      • ChinaImportal May 1, 2017 at 5:49 am #

        That depends on the incoterm. Did you order according to CIF terms?

    26. Erick Oliveira Importador May 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

      Informative article for people who want to know more information about import.

    27. Rank wood July 26, 2017 at 10:31 am #

      I paid for items in alibaba online store for shoes and jewelries. But what got was different from what I saw online. Most of the items where all fake. So how should go about it to get money back because the items don’t worth the value of money I paid for it

    28. Dave August 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

      Hi – this is a GREAT informational blog, thank you. Am going to speak to my business partner tomorrow about buying the startup pack. I have just started importing from china direct to Amazon FBA. MY first inventory arrived a week ago and is selling well…my question is this : Our goods were shipped DDP from Supplier/Manufacturer direct to Amazon warehouse in UK. Should I ‘assume’ that the Customs Duties will have been paid? Is there any record of this? Also, when/where is the VAT paid? (Supplier obviously had my Ltd Company details so is this recorded somewhere and i should expect an invoice from Customs & Revenue at some point?

      My goods cleared customs, and are on the shelve sin amazon..but we have not paid a penny in Customs Duty or VAT. Our shipping quote from our supplier was

      • Dave August 9, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

        (Ignore the last 2 lines – forgot to delete them :))

      • ChinaImportal August 13, 2017 at 11:59 am #

        Hi Dave!

        1. Yes, DDP includes import duties. They should be able to provide some sort of receipt to prove that it’s paid though.

        2. No, you should let your freight forwarder manage the VAT payment, and then let them bill you for it. the HMRC will not bill you. IF they did not bill you, you can still file a VAT declaration by yourself, assuming you are VAT registered.

        But, ask for an import duty receipt first, as you paid DDP.

        This is also covered in the Shipping & Customs Module in the Starter Package

    29. Jade November 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      Hi! Great post, I was wondering more about the anti-dumping tariffs. I want to import thermal receipt paper from China and I was reading the reviews about the 2 Chinese companies that got hit with the 115% ad valorem tax.

      What kind of duty would I be looking at?

    30. Lee Tbw January 1, 2018 at 10:27 pm #

      I am looking order 100k USD worth of computer servers from Malaysia or China. is there any duty besides import VAT due? Thx for any clarity.

    31. Daniel April 6, 2018 at 11:12 am #

      I want to import a computer from China to the Netherlands. The cost is 1249.99 USD, would I pay taxes?

      • Fredrik Gronkvist April 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm #

        Hi Daniel,

        Yes, you will need to pay import duties and VAT. Not sure if it makes sense to import a single computer.. probably cheaper to buy it at home

    32. Muhammad Haris June 12, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

      Hi Fredrik ,
      I found your blog very helpful . As I am importing binder clips to USA and its worth is below 2500 usd. Kindly tell me the duty charges is applicable or not.If applicable then what will be the USA custom duty.

      • Ivan Malloci June 13, 2018 at 3:26 am #

        Hello Muhammad,

        there is probably some customs duty for your product. However, we are unable to provide detailed info for each product free of charge as it takes time, and we have many similar requests.

        You shall be able to find this info on

    33. Ed June 23, 2018 at 6:26 am #

      Hi, I just want to import a $114 phone from China to florida for personal use, do I have to pay duties or tax?

    34. Charles Gutilla August 31, 2018 at 4:14 pm #

      I’m buying custom coffee cups, saucers, and mugs for a coffee shop from a Chinese manufacturer. The FOB price including tooling and samples is about $10,500.00. The vendor does not want to do DDP shipping and wants me to pay tariffs, duties, fees, etc. How can I figure out how much that will be as well as who I pay and when. The vendor is no help. Thanks.

      • Fredrik Gronkvist September 2, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

        Hi Charles,

        1. Which country are you importing the goods into?

        2. Do you know the duty rate?

    35. romeo gordon September 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi…I would like to purchase a projector from China, the cost is $1900.00 with free shipping by air..About how much duty would it cost when it arrives in the USA?

      • Fredrik Gronkvist September 9, 2018 at 11:31 am #

        Hi Romeo,

        That depends on the HS code. Without that, I cannot tell how much you will pay.

        • Ben September 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm #


          How much it may cost the taxes and customs fees for a Phone 200 Euro from China to Germany?


    36. BEN MUKIISE September 9, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

      How much is import tax is Solar Panels from China.

      • Ivan Malloci September 11, 2018 at 4:07 am #

        Hi there, this depends on the country you want to import to!

    37. Kaan December 9, 2018 at 6:53 am #

      Hi’ thanks for the blog firstly. It is really useful and contains a lot of good information. My question is about Amazon UK FBA. I am not a British’ I am here only for studying but who doesn’t want to earn money while studying right ? So my question is can I import goods from China to UK even if I don’t have tax number company or anything ? If yes which fees I should pay ? Or is Amazon taking care of custom fees for me ?

      Thank you

      • Fredrik Gronkvist December 9, 2018 at 4:51 pm #

        Hi Kaan,

        I think you need to register a limited company in the UK, to act as an importer, pay duties and VAT. Further, Amazon UK may also require that you have a company.

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