Duties & Taxes involved in importing into the US


We are a UK private limited company who export from India direct to our customers in the UK, we are now looking to export from India into the US.

My question is regarding the import duties and taxes that are payable on items imported into the US from India.

I understand that I will be required to find the HTC codes for my products but what it not clear is whether in addition to these duties there will be any VAT or other taxes and at which point they are required to be paid (i.e. above $200USD - which I have read in one or two of the US Govt websites, but seeking confirmation of this).

To give a more concrete example I will describe the overall example we have in the UK, we pay on the behalf of our customers here in the UK the duty rate of lets say 5% on CIF (Cost (of the goods), Insurance & Freight) then on top of this the 20% VAT rate. However this is only relevant when the cost is above £15.

Cost of product £ 950

Cost of Freight and Insurance £ 50

Cost, Insurance & Freight Price (CIF) = £1000

If Import duty rate is 5%

Delivered Duty Paid Price (DDP) = £1050 (i.e. 5% of £1000)

Add VAT at 20% of DDP Price = £1260

Are there similar requirements in the case of importing to the US or is it more simply the duty rate applied to products above $200USD? Note: We are not looking to incorporate within the US.



asked Feb 2 '12 at 08:10
8 points
  • The US does not have a VAT tax. Many jurisdictions have a sales tax, but that would not be applicable to you unless you have offices in US. – Jonny Boats 12 years ago
  • Thanks JonnyBoats, that matches up with the advice I was given in the UK regarding the local state taxes not being applicable to a non-US company. – Dav 12 years ago

1 Answer


The tariffs for import of goods and products you can find for the most part on the US Customs website:

http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/bychapter/index.htm Generally speaking there are no additional federal taxation of goods or services sold in the US. There are certain items like gasoline that do have a federal excise tax but normally these get a sales tax based on the state and/or municipality of where it is shipped to which vary and most of the time is not the responsibility of the seller located outside that locality to collect.

answered Feb 2 '12 at 08:50
1,779 points
  • I understand the duties aspect of importing into the US but I am looking to understand whether there are additional charges beyond this at the US border such as import VAT / tax similar to the UK or whether the only fee will be that of the associated import duties. – Dav 12 years ago
  • @Dav-id I've amended the answer. – Karlson 12 years ago
  • Thanks Karlson for your answer. – Dav 12 years ago

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