This article provides an explanation of the criteria to be aware of when goods are delivered with the "duty paid" and with the "duty unpaid".
Last Published: 5/22/2017

Delivery Methods: Advantages and Disadvantages of receiving goods with the duty paid or unpaid

Delivered Duty Paid

  • Export Regulations: All commodities, technology, and software are exported  from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion contrary to U.S. law is  prohibited.
  • Tariffs and Taxes Paid: Tariffs and taxes will be prepaid, and a (add amount) broker’s fee will be assessed per  order.
  • Tariffs and Taxes Unpaid: The recipient is responsible for all tariffs, taxes, and customs fees at time of delivery. We will estimate these charges upon  request.
  • Non-delivery: If you refuse delivery of an item after it reaches its final destination, if you refuse to pay tariffs and taxes, or if you are unavailable for delivery after a certain number of attempts, you will be responsible for any import tariffs, taxes, and shipping and handling fees incurred to send the shipment back to the merchant in the United States, as well as any restocking fees that may be applicable.

Delivered Duty Unpaid

  • Although the buyer in this scenario bears a more obvious burden (the buyer has to pay additional fees when the package arrives), the seller might bear one, too. If buyers don’t know beforehand that they are responsible for paying taxes/tariffs, they might take their business elsewhere and perhaps even refuse delivery of the package. Both scenarios cost the seller money; in the latter, the seller has to pay for return shipping.
  • To avoid any hiccups, never assume that your buyers know about the fees associated with international shipping. Always be as clear as you can; even if you can’t provide an estimate, tell the buyer which circumstances will generate additional fees.
  • Overnight or two-day delivery is possible from North America to most of the world, but the cost can be steep, especially for heavy items. The postal service is a lower-cost option, though your goods may take longer to get to the customer. Online services exist that purport to find the best shipping deals for you.

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