VAT, GST, and Customs Duties: A Brief Guide

Disclaimer: We are not tax professionals and this is not a substitute for your local customs or tax authority. Please consult with your local government agencies for up-to-date and precise information.

Before you purchase from any International seller or retailer, you should always research your local customs and tax authorities rules and regulations, as many will impose taxes, fees or duties when importing goods. Some countries will have a threshold and only impose these when it is over a certain amount, others charge for any imports and some don't charge at all! This is why you should know what your country expects before purchasing.

We have researched this information from various government agencies in your countries and ours. There are official government links provided for every country we currently ship to. We hope this information helps!


Customs Terms and Definitions

De Minimus:
  • Imported goods with a total value under a set threshold may not incur VAT/GST, Duty or other importation fees. This threshold is known as 'de minimus' and varies by country, taxes may still be applicable regardless. The total value may include shipping and insurance.
  • Countries may impose a fixed tax on goods imported by consumers. These may be called Value Added Tax (VAT), Goods and Service Tax (GST) or Consumption Tax (CT), depending on your location. It is similar to sales tax in the US. 
  • Duties, in the broad sense, are an import tariff imposed by a country for specific types of products being brought into the country. They are designed to give a fair advantage to locally made goods and raise revenue for governments. These may be a fixed or variable (%) rate and can change depending on international markets. Duties are usually applied when going over de minimus, but it all varies by country.
Clearance Fees:
  • In addition to taxes and duties, fees may also be applied by some countries for processing your package at the border. 

Brokerage Fees:

  • (Not applicable on our website) Private carriers, such as DHL, UPS and FedEx may charge a 'brokerage' fee that is due before they deliver your parcel. This fee includes the carrier clearing your item at the border and if applicable, any amount of duty or taxes they paid on your behalf. Retailers should specify if this is included in your shipping cost.
Total Landed Cost:
  • TLC or 'Total Landed Cost' is an estimate based on your country's customs duties, taxes and fees. There are cost estimators online that can help you and there may be some official ones on your local customs website.


Specific Information by Country



Thanks to the AU/US Free Trade Agreement, AUSFTA, most imports into Australia from here are duty-free, GST and duty will still apply over AUD1000.

From Australian Border Force:

For goods with a value of AUD1000 or less, there are generally no duties, taxes or charges to pay at the border.
For goods with a value over AUD1000, you will need to fill out an Import Declaration, and pay duties, taxes and charges at the border.

    We don't meet the yearly sales requirements to collect GST at time of purchase. 

    Direct link to the Australian Border Force on 'buying online':



    Thanks to the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, CUSMA, you have a slightly higher 'de minimus' before being charged taxes and duties.

    From Canada Border Services Agency:

    • Goods with a value for duty of CAD$40.00 or less will have any applicable customs duties and taxes waived when imported from the United States or Mexico only;
    • Goods with a value for duty of CAD$40.01 or greater, up to and including CAD$150.00, will be free of customs duties (however, taxes will remain applicable) when imported from the United States or Mexico only;
    • Goods with a value for duty CAD$150.01 or greater will be subject to any applicable duties and taxes when imported from any country, including the United States or Mexico.
    Direct link to Canada Border Services Agency on Customs Notice 20-18:
      Direct link to Canada Border Services Agency on Importing by Mail, with tax rates by Province:


      Hong Kong

      Your country is a free port! No taxes or duties, except for four commodities that we don't sell. 

      Direct link to Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, Cargo Clearance:

      Israel מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל

      Your country has a 'de minimus' of $75 USD, which is completely tax exempt. Over $75 amd up to $500, will require VAT, but not duties.

      From Israel Tax Authority:

      • A shipment containing items with a total value of up to $75 – is completely exempt from paying importation taxes.
      • A shipment containing items with a total value of $75 to $500 – is exempt from paying customs duties only and is subject to VAT and purchase tax if applicable. Purchase tax applies to: entertainment electronics, motor vehicle spare parts and more.
      • משלוח המכיל חפצים שערכם הכולל עד 75$ - פטור לחלוטין מתשלום מסי יבוא.
        הפטור אינו חל על מוצרי טבק, כוהל, משקאות משכרים וכלים חד פעמיים.
        ערך כולל של עד 75$- לא כולל הובלה וביטוח אם הם מחושבים בנפרד מערך הסחורה.
      • משלוח המכיל חפצים שערכם הכולל הוא: 75$-500$ - פטור מתשלום מכס בלבד וחייב בתשלום מע"מ ומס קניה אם חל. מס קניה חל על: אלקטרוניקה בידורית, חלקי חילוף לרכב ועוד.


      Direct link to Israel Tax Authority, A Guide to Personal Importation via Parcel or Courier (in English):

      Direct link to Israel Tax Authority, A Guide to Personal Importation via Parcel or Courier (in Hebrew):

      Direct link to Israel Tax Authority, Personal Import Tax Calculator (in Hebrew):


      Japan 日本

      Imported goods with a value over 10,000 yen will be charged consumption tax and duties, shipping and insurance are included in the total value.

      From Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau:

        Those goods at a total customs value of 10,000 yen or less shall be exempted from taxation of customs duty and consumption tax.
        It should be noted that this duty exemption system shall not be applied to certain designated articles for which tax exemption is considered inappropriate from the viewpoint of their impact on our domestic industries or other circumstances, even if their total customs value does not exceed 10,000 yen.

          In Japanese:
          Direct link Japan Customs FAQ, 1006 Duty Exemptions, in Japanese:
          Direct link Japan Customs FAQ, 6101 Overview of Customs Clearance for International Mail, in Japanese:




          From Korea Customs Service:

          Tax exemption criteria for items for personal use (amount)Items with a price of less than USD 150 (or less than USD 200 shipped from the US) are subject to list customs clearance, and if the price exceeds the applicable amount, import declaration is subject.
          ※ Product price = Including the cost of goods, including taxes, inland freight, insurance, etc. incurred within the country of origin (“international shipping costs and insurance premiums, etc.” delivered from the country of origin to Korea can be excluded if they can be ‘clearly distinguished’)
          (Import Declaration) Goods valued at USD 150 or less are tax-free, and when exceeds USD 150, the total taxable value (goods price + freight charge + insurance premium, etc.) is taxed without deduction.
          자가사용물품 면세기준(금액)
          (목록통관) 물품가격 미화 150달러 이하(미국은 200달러 이하)는 목록통관 대상이며, 해당 금액 초과 시에는 수입신고 대상입니다.
          ※ 물품가격 = 물품대금 외 발송국가 내에서 발생하는 세금, 내륙운임, 보험료 등 제비용 포함(발송국에서 우리나라로 배송되는 “국제운송비와 보험료 등”은 ‘명백히 구분’할 수 있는 경우 제외 가능)
          (수입신고) 물품가격 미화 150달러이하는 면세통관되며, 미화 150달러 초과 시에는 공제없이 총과세가격(물품가격+운임+보험료 등)에 대해 과세합니다.
            Direct link Korea Customs Service, Main Page, in Korean:
            Direct link Korea Customs Service, Tax Calculator, in Korean:




            If your total value is under SGD $400, you will not be charged GST by Customs. If over $400, you'll be required to pay GST directly to Customs.
            We don't meet the yearly sales requirements to collect GST at time of purchase.
            Direct link to Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, '5 Questions You May Have When Shopping Online' :



            New Zealand

            From New Zealand Customs Service:

            Customs do not collect any duty, fees or GST unless the value of your item/shipment is over NZ$1000. 
            We don't meet the yearly sales requirements to collect GST at time of purchase.
            Direct link to New Zealand Customs Service, Duty and Allowances:
            Direct link to New Zealand Customs Service, Duty Estimator:


            More countries will be added soon...

            Revised 8/10/2023-JA