Here’s How To Calculate Duties
It’s easy to estimate duties on this import duty calculator.
Importing from field
Select the country of import from the drop-down list.
Import to field
This import duty calculator only applies to imports into the US, but it will soon be extended to include the UK and other EU (European Union) countries.
I am importing field
Type in one or two words that you feel most accurately hones in on your product. If more than one HS code is related to that word, a drop-down list will appear. Simply browse and select the HS code description that best fits your product.
Alternatively, select the Browse HS codes link (far right above the input box) and navigate down through HS classification system.
The import duty calculator will automatically calculate whether duty is payable for that HS code. It will either return “Estimated to be exempt from duties” or a customs duty rate (cents/kg). If it returns a customs duty rate, the Estimate Duties button will become active. Input shipment weight and click on the button. The import duty calculator will calculate and return an estimate for the total customs duty payable for the shipment.
Please note, that these are estimates only. The customs authority determines the rate of duty applied to a shipment. For professional advice, consult a qualified customs broker.
What Are Customs Duties?
Customs authorities check whether shipments coming into the country adhere to local law on, for instance, health, safety, and IP laws.
They also enforce customs duties regulations. A customs duty, sometimes called an import duty, is a tax applied to products imported for resale.
Import duties may be applied to protect local production, to penalize the country of import, to penalize a product that would be sold below fair market value (anti-dumping), or simply as a source of government revenue.
Two variables determine whether customs duties apply:
- country of import and product,
- product (as defined by the HS code).
Please note that, despite hearsay, international freight shipments valued under $2,500 are not exempt from Customs duty.
A confusion between international freight customs duties rules and two other rules has probably caused this mistaken impression. Those other rules are that shipments valued below $2,500 are eligible for “informal customs entry”, and that Customs are less stringent when checking express freight (international courier) shipments.
Some Other Customs Charges
It is easy to get confused by customs charges, because there are several different types of charges. Some are charged directly by the customs authority and some are indirect charges made by other parties involved in the customs process.
The following table brings together these charges, why they are charged, and who charges them.
|CHARGE||CHARGING PARTY||IMPORT COUNTRY||WHAT THE CHARGE COVERS|
|Customs Clearance Fee||Forwarder or Customs Broker||All countries||Service charge to cover filing and clearance.|
|Penalties||Customs||All countries||Fines applying when customs regulations are breached, ranging from minor charges, e.g. for mislabeled cargo, to heavy fines (and prison sentences) for fraud.|
|Customs Examination (X-ray, Tailgate or Intensive)||Customs||All countries||Pass-through fee covering Customs use of third party premises and services. Only applies to shipments undergoing inspection.|
|Demurrage and Detention / Warehouse Fees||Air or Ocean Carrier||All countries||Pass-through fee from air or ocean carriers that covers shipment storage (demurrage and detention fees for FCL, warehouse fees for LCL). Shipments typically return from a customs inspection after the free period for these charges expires.
|ISF Filing Fee||Forwarder or Customs Broker||US only||Service charge applying to ocean imports only, that covers filing in compliance with advance cargo reporting requirements. Often included as part of the Customs Clearance fee.|
|Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF)||Customs||US only||Small mandatory service charge to cover shipment processing.|
|Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF)||Customs||US only||Small mandatory service charge to cover use of US ports and harbors.|
|Custom Bonds (Continuous Bond, Single Entry Bond, ISF Bond).||Customs||US only||Mandatory insurance policy for CBP against failure to pay duties and penalties in full.|