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Knowledge Base  > Customs and Compliance  >  How to calculate the duty fee for a shipment

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Knowledge Base  > Customs and Compliance  >  How to calculate the duty fee for a shipment

How to calculate the duty fee for a shipment

To calculate the amount of duty that your shipment will incur, you first need to know the rate of duty that applies to the goods within it. The rate of duty for goods depends on the type of products you are importing. The duty fee for different types of goods will depend on the HTS code assigned to them.

What is an HTS code?

HTS codes (Harmonized Tariff Schedule codes) are used by the US Customs Authority and all of the other members of the WCO or World Customs Organization as part of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. HTS codes classify different types of goods and outline their duty fees.

HTS codes used for imports to the USA are ten digits long, and the codes themselves are chosen and managed by the United States International Trade Commission.

Where can you find the HTS code for your goods?

The supplier or originator of your goods may be able to supply the HTS code you need, but this is not always the case – particularly if you work with Chinese suppliers, who often provide the Chinese version of HTS codes instead.

The first six digits of HTS codes are universal – but you may need to work out for yourself the final four digits of your finished HTS code for US imports before you can calculate the duty fee payable. You can do this by searching for the type of goods you intend to import using the United States International Trade Commission’s HTS search tool.

Completing your calculation

When you have found the right HTS code for your goods, the search tool we linked to above will tell you the rate of duty payable on goods of that type. The duty fee is usually expressed as a percentage of the value of the goods themselves – but this is not the case for all types of goods.

Some products are assigned a flat duty fee per kilogram of their weight, such as for imports of goods like vegetables or seeds.

When you know the rate of duty for your goods, you can estimate the total customs duties that will be payable for your shipment.

To calculate the duty fee for your shipment, you need to know:

  • The rate of duty for the goods as determined by their HTS code.
  • The total value (or weight, if relevant) of the goods you are shipping.

To calculate the estimated duty fee for a shipment where the fee is determined by percentage value, simply multiply the total value of the goods by the percentage that applies to their HTS code, and then divide this figure by 100.

For example: You wish to import an order of chopsticks with a value of $10,000. You find that the duty fee determined by the HTS code is 3.2%.

10,000 x 3.2 = 32,000.

32,000 ÷ 100 = 320.

So in this instance, the duty fee for your shipment would be $320.

To calculate the estimated duty fee for a shipment where the fee is charged as a flat rate per kilogram, you just need to multiply the total weight of your goods in kilograms by the flat rate duty fee per kilogram to get your total.

For example: You wish to import 100kg of cotton seed. You find that the duty fee determined by the HTS code is 47 cents per kilogram.

100 x .47 = 47.

So in this case, the duty fee for your shipment would be $47.

 

If you need any help with finding the right HTS code for your shipment or with working out the duty fee you will have to pay, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We’d love to help