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Import Duty

What is an 'Import Duty '

Import duty is a tax collected on imports and some exports by the customs authorities of a country. It is usually based on the value of the goods that are imported. Depending on the context, import duty may also be referred to as customs duty, tariff, import tax and import tariff.

Explaining 'Import Duty '

There are two distinct goals to import duties: to raise income for local government, and to give a market advantage to locally grown or produced goods that are not subject to import duties. A third related goal is sometimes to penalize a particular nation by charging high import duties on its products.

Practical Workings

In practice, import duty is levied when imported goods first enter the country. For example, in the United States, when a shipment of goods reaches the border, the owner, purchaser or a customs broker (the importer of record) must file entry documents at the port of entry and pay the estimated duties to the Customs Agency.

International Organizations

Around the world, several organizations and treaties have direct impacts on import duties. Several countries have tried to reduce duties to promote free trade. The World Trade Organization (WTO) promotes and enforces commitments that its individual member nations have made to cut tariffs. These commitments are made during complex rounds of negotiations.


Further Reading


Trade-based money laundering and terrorist financing
www.degruyter.com [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …

A search for economic and financial principles in the administration of United States countervailing duty lawA search for economic and financial principles in the administration of United States countervailing duty law
heinonline.org [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …

China's import duty drawback and VAT rebate policies: A general equilibrium analysisChina's import duty drawback and VAT rebate policies: A general equilibrium analysis
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …

Nigeria's federal financial experienceNigeria's federal financial experience
www.cambridge.org [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …

Financial subsidies to the Australian fossil fuel industryFinancial subsidies to the Australian fossil fuel industry
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …

Financial liberalization in AfricaFinancial liberalization in Africa
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …

Economic reforms in India since 1991: Has gradualism worked?Economic reforms in India since 1991: Has gradualism worked?
www.aeaweb.org [PDF]
… In the light of the fact that any such import duty relief … of a sum equivalent to the whole or the part (as the case may be) of the duties paid on imported materials which … bearing the whole cost of providing relief even though it will only have retained 49½ percent of the duty paid by …



Q&A About Import Duty


What is a duty?

A duty is a kind of tax levied by a state.

Who pays import duties in most countries?

The importer or owner of record pays import duties in most countries.

How can you reduce your costs associated with importing goods into your country?

You can reduce your costs associated with importing goods into your country by using a customs broker who will help you file for an exemption from paying certain taxes or fees when importing items into your country. This will save you money if you have to make multiple shipments over time as opposed to one shipment at once because each shipment requires its own payment for taxes and fees."

Where do you pay import duties?

At border entry points, importers must file entry documents at port of entry and pay estimated duties to Customs Agency.

What are the most common types of duties?

Import duties, excise duties, stamp duties and death or succession duties.

What does import duty depend upon?

Import duty depends upon the value of goods that are imported.

How do you formally describe an estate duty?

Estate Duty.

What is import duty?

Import duty is a tax collected on imports and some exports by the customs authorities of a country. It is usually based on the value of the goods that are imported.

What does an estate duty usually apply to?

An estate duty applies to the estates of deceased persons in many jurisdictions or on inheritance of a person.

Is there any difference between a tax and a duty?

Yes, they differ in that taxes are levied on individuals while duties are levied on specific commodities, financial transactions, estates etc. rather than individuals.

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