FAQ: Customs Fees and Duties

If this is your first time shipping an item from overseas, you might be very confused by the fees that you have to pay. Don’t worry, because we are here to help you out! In this article, we will help you answer some of the most frequently asked questions about customs fees, duties and taxes.


Firstly, and most importantly: Shipping costs ≠ Customs fees


What are customs fees?

Customs fees and duties are an additional charge levied on items that are being imported into your country. These fees are determined by your government and are usually a percentage of your parcel value. Typically, when you ship a package from overseas, any package that has a value greater than a certain amount may be subject to customs fees and duties.

In addition to customs fees, some countries may also charge additional taxes, depending on the item and parcel value, such as goods and services taxes (GST), value-added tax (VAT) etc.


Who pays customs fees?

You are solely responsible for all customs fees, duties and taxes. We do not include customs fees in our shipping costs or any other fees that we collect from you.


*For parcels shipped to Australia: As of 1st July 2019, in accordance with Australian tax laws, we are required to collect 10% GST for all parcels sent to Australia with a total value of 1,000 AUD or less. This applies to all parcels with a declared value equal to or lower than 1,000 AUD. If your parcel is subject to GST, we will collect the GST at the same time as international shipping fees. For parcels with a value of over 1,000 AUD, customs fees and GST payments remain the same and will be processed by Australian customs. 


Why does ZenMarket not pay customs fees for me?

Customs fees and duties are determined and imposed by the government of the country to the importer (i.e. the recipient of the parcel). You are required to pay customs fees and duties in accordance with the law of your country.

Please note that all customs fees are paid entirely to your government and ZenMarket does not receive any of this amount.


Why do I have to pay customs fees to my shipping company?

For your parcel to clear customs, the shipping company processes the paperwork and pays your customs fees in advance. When delivering your parcel, the shipping company will then bill you for the customs fees that they have paid for you, as well as a possible procedural fee for processing your paperwork. Please note that some shipping companies will only bill you a few days after you have received your parcel.


Why did ZenMarket not inform me of these fees beforehand?

As mentioned on our shipping page, your item might be subject to customs fees. Before shipping an item, please ensure that you have checked on the customs laws of your country. You can do this easily by searching for "(your country name) + customs duty" on Google. 


How much will my customs fees be?

Customs fees and duties differ from country to country. These fees are not disclosed to us beforehand, so we have no way of estimating in advance how much your customs fees might be. 


If you need any more help with shipping, please feel free to read our help page here


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Article| 01/05/2019 | Tutorial