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The Basics of International eCommerce Shipping


International eCommerce shipping has become quite a hot topic. Understandably so, as there are many consumers around the globe that are surfing the web for the latest hot products. Here are some basics to help unravel the mystery.

Two types of Shipments

  • DDU – With this type of shipment, Delivered Duty Unpaid, the customer acts as the Importer of Record and is responsible for any applicable duties and taxes at the time the shipment is delivered. While once the more prevalent method of mailing international parcels, its popularity has waned. The USPS International Services are DDU-type shipments.
  • DDP – These are Delivered Duty Paid Shipments. With these shipments, the duties and taxes are paid by the seller. The seller can assess a sensible shipping and handling fee to offset or cover these costs or can use one of any number of calculators in the checkout to add this cost to the transaction.

What to Know

  • De Minimis Values – most countries have a de minimis threshold to determine if a shipment may be dutiable and/or taxable. Parcels below the value are not, but above that value are. Canada, for example, has a relatively low de minimis threshold, while Australia has a relatively high de minimis. Even with Canada’s low threshold, it may be possible, with the right carrier, to qualify for duty-free shipping if your goods meet certain rules of origin criteria under the new trade agreement.
  • Taxes – various countries have different tax calculations, in addition to the duties. Most countries have a flat tax rate, and the EU has taken steps to simplify its tax program. Canada is a bit trickier, as some provinces have taxes above and beyond the general tax rate.

Whatever the needs, OceanX can help you navigate this aspect, and simplify your options.