DDP Shipping: What is Delivery Duty Paid Shipping?

Learn about DDP shipping, or "Delivery Duty Paid" shipping, and how it affects you and your international recipients
DDP Shipping

On top of high postage costs, shipping a package internationally comes with other fees known as customs duties and import taxes. Almost every country charges these fees when you send a package to recipients within their borders, and sometimes, . This process is known as “Delivery Duty Paid,” or DDP shipping, for short.

DDP Stands for “Delivery Duty Paid” Shipping

If you were paying attention in the above paragraph, you’ll see that DDP is an acronym! DDP stands for “Delivery Duty Paid” shipping. When you purchase DDP labels, you (the shipper) are the responsible party for paying any customs duties or import taxes. The total cost of your postage includes these fees, and you must pay them in order to ship your package.

The Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Delivery Duty Paid

The main benefit of DDP shipping is how much easier it makes shipping an international package. Here’s how it works: you (the shipper) pay for the customs duties before your package reaches the destination country’s borders. As a result, the recipient isn’t responsible for paying them. This eliminates the possibility of your recipients incurring any fees they have to pay to retrieve their packages, which creates a smooth customer experience.

On the flip side, the main drawback of DDP shipping is that you have to assume even more costs on top of postage. Sending a package overseas is already expensive enough, and these fees can easily double or triple your shipping cost! The higher costs associated with it are what make DDP shipping such a tough financial pill to swallow.

How Can I Avoid Paying Delivery Duties on My International Packages?

If you don’t want to pay delivery duties, there is a way you can avoid them…but it’s going to require some upfront research on your end. The easiest strategy to avoid paying these fees is to choose a shipping software that offers the cheapest rates you can find.

More often than not, shipping software solutions that don’t charge any markups or fees on top of their postage will offer labels without customs duties built into the prices. These companies sell labels at wholesale prices, and pass the responsibility of paying duties and import taxes onto your recipients. This is a process known as DDU shipping, or “Delivery Duty Unpaid,” and this is the exact opposite of DDP shipping.

Keep in mind that while DDU shipping saves you money, it may create more headaches in the long run. When these duties are left unpaid, packages have a higher chance of sitting in customs for a long time. Also, you may come across some disgruntled recipients who weren’t expecting to pay such high retrieval fees for low-value items. So, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons before deciding which route is best for your small business.


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