Customs, Duties, Taxes, and Import Fees

When shipping goods internationally, it is important to consider the effects of duties, taxes, and other clearance charges (in addition to the transportation cost) when determining a shipment's total cost (landed cost). Depending on the shipment content and the destination country, clearance charges could significantly impact the total shipment cost. Being able to calculate and communicate the landed cost up-front can save both the shipper and the recipient valuable time, money, and effort.

Duties and taxes are imposed to generate revenue and protect local industry; almost all shipments crossing international borders are subject to duty and tax assessment by the importing country's government. Customs officials assess duties and taxes based on information provided on the air waybill, the Commercial Invoice, and other relevant documents. In some countries, duties and taxes must be paid before the goods are released from customs. A shipment's duty and tax amount is based on the following:

  • Product value
  • Trade agreements
  • Country of manufacture
  • Description and end use of the product
  • The product's Harmonized System (HS) code
  • Country-specific regulations

Therefore, duties, taxes and other charges might be due when importing a shipment. The Scene Store or the shipping company used to deliver your order may collect these fees as assessed by Customs to be reimbursed by the recipient (customer). Check with your local government to receive an estimate on any duties to be incurred.