Who pays the import tax?
When you buy something on Cotton Bureau it does not include any customs, duties, or other import or collection fees. If you have any questions about what that means, you should contact your local postal authority. Here’s what we we’ve been told by people who have ordered from the following countries:
Australia: As of July 1, 2018, it is now required by the Australian government that GST (Sales Tax) be paid on all purchases online including under $1000. Full details including the legislation document in full are available here. (Thanks, Azarel.)
Belgium: Orders above € 22 (excluding shipping costs): + 21% value added tax + €24.2 customs clearance fee (€20 + 21% VAT). More information (in Dutch) here. (Thanks, Lennart!)
Canada: 5-15% sales tax based on package value in CAD and province tax schedule. $9.95 Canada Post handling fee applied if sales tax is assessed.
Czech Republic: 21% tax is added + interior shipping costs or payment for tax service if you want to pick your package in person. (Thanks, Danylo!).
Denmark: Any package from outside the European Union that costs less than 80 DKK for the items themselves will have no duties or taxes. Any package equal to or above 80 DKK, customs will add a fee of 160 DKK plus a sales tax of 25% on the entire amount. (Thanks, Jesper.)
Finland: Anything under €22 (price + shipping) is free of customs duties and import taxes, packages between €22-150 you’ll pay sales tax (24%) on price + shipping, and over €150 you’ll pay sales tax and customs. (Thanks, Oiva.)
Germany: Anything under €22 (price + shipping) is free of customs duties and import taxes, packages between €22-150 you’ll pay sales tax on price + shipping (19% as of August 2014), and over €150 you’ll pay sales tax and customs. As of March 1st 2018, the delivery service provider in Germany (Deutsche Post), will collect a customs clearance fee of €6 for items exceeding the €22 threshold, in addition to any duties/taxes owed.
Greece: For value ( cost + transportation fees + insurance fees) not greater than 22€ commercial or 45€ non-commercial, no taxation and other fees. For 22€/45€ up to 150€ VAT is 24%. For 150€ and up VAT 24% and fees based on the value and taxation of the order. (Thanks, Tanis.) Learn more.
Israel: Under $75, the purchase will be completely tax free (woohoo!); $76-500, a sales tax of 17% will be added; and for a $501-1,000 purchase, sales tax + customs is added - a whopping 32.2%. (Thanks, Ornat!)
Italy: Anything under €22 (price + shipping) is free of customs duties and import taxes, packages between €22-150 you’ll pay sales tax on price + shipping (22% as of November 2015), and over €150 you’ll pay sales tax and customs. There is also a €7,50 handling fee from Posteitaliane for orders that incur a duty fee. (Thanks, @WebDesignerShop.)
The Netherlands: A friend told us that anything over €22 (price & shipping) gets hit with sales tax (typically around 20% of the price including shipping). Anything over €150 will need to pay both sales taxes and customs. PostNL charges an additionl €13 handling fee.
New Zealand: Men’s and women’s t-shirts are subject to 10% duty (baby stuff is exempt). GST of 15% applies to the total of purchase price, duty, and shipping charges. Good news, though - if the total duty plus GST due is less than NZD 60, you don't owe anything! However, if the amount due is over NZD 60, you’re on the hook for duty and GST *plus* the combined Import Entry Transaction Fee and MPI levy of NZD 49.24. (The IETF and MPI levy include GST, thank goodness.) New Zealand Customs were nice enough to provide a handy online calculator. (Thanks, Nick!)
Norway: Anything under NOK 350 (price + shipping) is free of customs duties and import taxes, if above that you pay 25% sales tax on the total sum. Customs tax depends on the kind of goods ordered, i.e. clothes are 10,7% which are added before the sales tax. (Thanks, Jacob.)
Poland: 23% VAT if declared value is above 23 EUR. Above 150 EUR customs will charge the recipient with the sum of duties based on the content of package. (Thanks, Valdemaro!)
Portugal: If total cost (price + shipping) is over €22 it gets VAT taxed at 23%. If cost is over €45 then there are import duties, which are taxed at 12% for clothing (This rule is currently not applied to orders from the United States, but is subject to change). If you have to pay any of the previous taxes, a post office (CTT) fee will be added. It is composed of a customs handling fee (€8), and a storage fee, based on time and weight, usually between €2 to €6. (Thanks, Ricardo!)
Romania: If declared value of package is over €10, but under €150, you pay the VAT of 20%. If declared value of package is over €150, you pay the VAT of 20% and an import tax imposed by them, it depends on weight, etc. VAT drops to 19% on January 1st, 2017. (Thanks, Radu and Razvan!)
Sweden: 12% customs tax (of the total value of the order). 25% sales tax of the customs tax value. If your order total (shipping included) is below 1500kr (SEK), then you only pay the 25% tax, and the 'customs tax' (12%) does not apply.
Switzerland: Please see Swiss customs and VAT explanation here. (Thanks, Frédéric.)
Turkey: a friend told us that every shipment regardless of its value is subject to a 20% tax. (Thanks, Ibrahim!)
UK: If your goods (excluding shipping cost) exceed £15, you'll pay an additional 20% VAT on the entire cost of your order (including shipping), plus an £8 "handling fee" to Royal Mail. If your goods (excluding shipping cost) exceed £135, you'll also have to pay an additional 12% "customs duty" on the entire cost of your order (including shipping). You can read about Import VAT and Customs Duty here, and Royal Mail's handling fee here.
If you know how these things work, email us and we'll add more information here.