Import charges (tax, duty, admin fees, etc)

The advise on this page is not necessarily correct. It is based on what previous customers have told me and from years of experience with shipping but rules can change. It is the responsibility of international buyers to check with their country’s government regarding any import charges they may have to pay and to instruct me of any specific information that needs to be declared on the customs invoice.

Possibly the reason I ship so much to the USA is because it seems to have the most reasonable import policy. For the first $800 the importer does not pay anything – regardless of what the goods are.

If you exceed the $800 threshold but are buying salvaged stock from me then I would apply a harmonzation code which exempts duty being paid on antiques which are over 100 years old. However my understanding is that there is now a minimal charge to pay when exceeding the threshold, which is a “Merchandise Processing fee”. The rate is 0.3% of the net entered value with a minimum of $27.23 and a maximum of $528.33 per shipment. Plus the carrier will charge an advance payment fee if you do not make other arrangements. DHL charges $17 – DHL is often the carrier I use.

It seems that every Canadian has to pay an import charge regardless of what they buy and what tariff code I apply. One of my regular Candadian customers advises:

“I received a notice that I had to pay something like $17. Canadian.  I believe that would be our GST Good and Service Tax, a federal government tax added to just about everything.  So I would continue to use the same reference that you did on mine.  There is always the chance some customs person could still assign a different tariff and there would possibly be some customs tax assigned then, but I don’t think it would be that much.  Thanks again. ” – Barry, June 2021.

European Union
Due to the absurdity which is Brexit all my EU customers now have to pay import VAT and any other charges associated with import. My understanding is that the exact rates differ by country but on average importers are paying 20% import VAT. Unless the buyer instructs otherwise, I will state the following on the customs declaration:

  • Commodity Code: 7001001000
  • Item description: antique stained glass windows over 100 years old
  • Country of manufacture: United Kingdom

General advice

If you know of any particular tariff code or wording which is best to use on your customs declaration then please let me know.