Accounts and Payments

Why do I have to pay duty and taxes?

Duty and Taxes can be charged on all products shipped from outside of the EU with a value over £15. The person or business receiving the shipment is legally obliged to pay Duty and Taxes unless the sender has agreed to accept these charges in the original contract of sale.

Controlled by HM Revenue and Customs, the purpose of this charge is to bring the cost of imported goods up to the same cost as those produced within the EU to keep competition fair and can be a combination of VAT, Customs Duty and Excise Duty.


You pay VAT on goods sent from non-European Union (EU) countries and EU special territories if they’re:

  • Gifts worth more than £39
  • Other goods worth more than £15
  • Alcohol, tobacco products and fragrances (e.g. perfume, eau de toilette and cologne) of any value
  • You have to pay VAT on all goods sent by mail order from the Channel Islands no matter what their value

You’ll be charged Customs Duty on gifts and other goods sent from outside the EU if they’re:

  • Gifts worth more than £135 and up to £630 can incur a Customs Duty of 2.5%
  • Gifts above the £630 limit and other goods above £135, have a Duty rate depending on the type of goods and where they travelled from
  • Anything under £135 has no Duty charge at all

You’ll be charged Excise Duty if you’re sent alcohol or tobacco from outside the EU and it doesn’t matter whether you buy the goods or they’re sent as a gift.

Where possible, we will contact you in advance with an estimated cost of Duties and Taxes prior to your shipment being delivered however, due to the speed of our service this is not always possible.  FedEx will pay the Duty and Tax charges on your behalf to ensure we can deliver your shipment as quickly as possible and send an Invoice 

Please visit our dedicated Duty and Tax page for further information on what to do:

  • If you think you have already paid your Duty and Tax
  • You don’t think your shipment should have a Duty and Tax bill as it is a Gift, Sample etc.
  • You no longer want your shipment
  • If you would like to make a payment

For more information about Duties and Tax charges you can also contact HM Revenue and Customs National Advice Service helpline on 0300 200 3700 or visit the HMRC Duty & Tax website.

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This Q&A is provided for information only and the answers do not have a contractual value. For additional information, you can refer to FedEx Conditions of Carriage for EMEA available at

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