DutyCalculator Country guides
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
- United States
- Asia Pacific
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Canary Islands
- Czech Republic
- Isle of Man
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Middle East
- Customs Unions
- Free Trade Agreements
Import, export & carrier restrictions
- Carrier restrictions
- Endangered Species (CITES)
- Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)
- Greenhouse Gases (Kyoto Protocol)
- Ozone-Depleting Substances (Montreal Protocol)
- Restrictions on Counterfeit and Pirated Goods
- Restrictions on Cultural Property
- Restrictions on Fireworks
- Restrictions on Food, Plant, and Animal Products
- Restrictions on Instruments of Torture
- Restrictions on Medicines
- Restrictions on Rough Diamonds
- Restricted Party Screening
Import duty & taxes when importing into the United States
Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into the United States whether by a private individual or a commercial entity. The valuation method is FOB (Free on Board), which means that the import duty and taxes payable are calculated exclusively on the value of the imported goods. However, some duties are based part in value and part in quantity. In addition to duty, imports may be subject to a Merchandise Processing Fee, and in some cases to sales tax, and Federal Excise Tax.
NB: The Customs Territory of the U.S. includes the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Therefore, Puerto Rico applies the same tariff codes and rates as the U.S., but it has its own fiscal jurisdiction.
Duty rates in the U.S. can be ad valorem (as a percentage of value) or specific (dollars/cents per unit). Duty rates vary from 0% to 37.5%, with the average duty rate being 5.63%. Some goods are not subject to duty (e.g. some electronic products, or original paintings and antiques over 100 years old).
Preferential duty rates
USA has signed Free Trade Agreements with a number of countries. To be entitled to preferential tariff treatment, a good must meet the "originating" criteria as set out on the Rules of Origin of individual FTAs. A Certificate of Origin (COO) is required upon importation for preferential duty rates to apply. See a sample COO for NAFTA here.
NB: FTAs signed by the U.S. apply in the Customs Territory of the U.S., therefore include Puerto Rico.
Sales tax is not automatically charged on imported goods. However, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) declarations are made available to state tax representatives that may occasionally claim state taxes from the importer.
Duty and taxes are not charged if the value of the imported goods is up to US$800.
Other taxes and custom fees
CBP collects federal taxes and fees on behalf of other federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service, depending on the commodity being imported. User fees depend on the type of entry and mode of transportation.
- Federal Excise tax is imposed on imports of alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
- Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) is charged on formal and informal entries:
- MPF on informal entries is either US$1, US$2, US$6, or US$9 per shipment, depending on the mode of transportation, and whether the entry release is manual or automated, and prepared by CBP personnel.
- MPF on formal entries (for imports of goods valued over US$2500) is set at 0.3464% of the value of the goods with a minimum charge of US$25 and a maximum of US$485.
Local Customs office and contacts
More information on import declaration procedures and import restrictions can be found at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Related topics: Import duty & taxes when importing into Puerto Rico , NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) , CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America-USA FTA) , USA Bilateral Free Trade Agreements