Compliant shipments entering the U.S. with a retail value of less than $800 USD, are exempt from taxes and duties. However, when shipping internationally, duties and/or taxes may apply to your shipments depending on any of the following:
- The destination country
- The value of the shipment
- The contents of the shipment
Content can refer to both the items contained in the shipment as well as the package content type e.g. Merchandise, Gifts, Returned Goods, etc.* It is important to clearly and accurately declare all shipment contents and values to ensure smooth customs processing.
De Minimis (Import Limits)
As each country has its own specific import limits (i.e. de minimis), you are responsible for knowing which limits apply to your shipments before you drop off with us. For example, shipments to Australia that exceed the $1000 AUD de minimis may require formal customs clearance which is subject to additional fees. You may want to reference this list of international duty limits before you ship.
Paying Taxes and Duties
If duties and taxes are applied to your shipment, the recipient may be required to pay them either before or upon delivery. Additionally, if taxes and duties do apply, delivery times may be impacted as the shipment may require extra time to clear customs in the destination country.
For most postage options, these fees cannot be paid in advance and you may need to inform your recipient to make the appropriate arrangements. These postage options are commonly referred to as delivered duty unpaid (DDU) services. In the event that the recipient refuse to pay the outstanding duties, you as the shipper are responsible for any customs fees that your shipments incur.
However, for some countries like those in the European Union (EU) and Great Britain, you may be required to include specific customs information such as a tax reference number to show that the appropriate taxes and duties have be paid in advance. To avoid your customers having to pay these fees twice, there is another option for international postage, delivered duty paid (DDP). Our Chit Chats International Tracked service offers DDP postage to select destinations to speed up delivery times and help make the journey through customs smoother for your shipments.
Customs Tax Reference Numbers
As of January 1, 2021, and July 1, 2021 businesses selling to customers in the UK and EU respectively must collect and remit value-added tax (VAT) at the point of purchase. You will be required to include an Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) number for your EU shipments and you may need to make changes to your sales channels or online stores. Learn more.
You can easily enter a customs tax reference number when creating shipments in your Chit Chats account destined for these countries.
A failure to provide an IOSS number may result in additional customs fees such as your customer paying the VAT for their shipment twice. It can also result in delays and the potential for non-delivery meaning your shipment may either be returned to sender or destroyed.
*Asendia International Priority Tracked and Chit Chats International Tracked shipments are marked as "Merchandise on customs declarations and are not suitable postage options for gifts. If you wish to send a gift to an international recipient, we recommend using our USPS international postage options.