Please note that these tools are meant to assist you in your international shipping process, but it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that you understand all of the legal requirements applicable in the importing and exporting jurisdictions applicable to your shipments.
Generally, customers know that they will pay duty and tax when buying internationally, but you should be clear about this in your company’s shipping policy. The ideal customer experience is for the shipper to roll the cost into the price of goods or show those costs directly via a landed cost tool.
Harmonized System Codes (HS Codes or HTS Codes) are a standardized international system to classify globally traded products. The HS Convention, signed in 1983, has over 205 member countries. As signatories, each country agrees to classify its HS tariff code and duty structure according to the HS Code categories. There are many resources that can help you in determining the HTS codes for your product, including the UPS TradeAbility tool and the U.S. Census Schedule B Tool.
Shippers may not have to pay duties when shipping to a particular country if the value of the total shipment does not exceed the de minimis value. Please note that these requirements are very technical and strictly enforced, so ensure that you understand all of the requirements. The de minimis value varies from country to country.
The country of origin is the country of manufacture, production, or growth of the imported good, NOT necessarily the country the goods are being shipped from (e.g., if goods made in Italy are being shipped from Germany, the country of origin is Italy, not Germany). Generally, work/material added to a good in another country prior to importation must substantially transform the good – i.e., change the good’s character/name/use – for that country to become the country of origin. It is important to get the country of origin correct, particularly in today’s environment when certain tariffs depend on the country of origin. Some destinations require a Certificate of Origin (CO) for certain commodities. Typically, the purpose of the CO is to authenticate the country of origin of the merchandise being shipped. Please ensure that you review and follow the particular CO requirements for the jurisdictions relevant to your shipment(s).