If this is your first time using DHgate then you’re probably going to have loads of questions.
One such question that bothered me my first time using the site was does DHgate charge customs and tax on orders, if not, then are we liable to pay them upon arrival?
This is super important to understand as an owner of a business because customs and taxes on large orders can actually break the bank and this will not help you reel in profits.
So to summarize, DHgate does not charge customs or taxes on orders and neither do the sellers on DHgate. Customs and taxes are to be borne by the buyer and must be cleared with a customs official while the shipment is in transit and before it reaches the local port.
In this guide, I’ll cover everything there is to know about why DHgate doesn’t charge customs or tax and even talk about what are the requirements for clearing customs on large and expensive orders via DHgate.
Here’s what we’ll go through:
- Why Doesn’t DHgate Charge Customs and Tax?
- How to Get an Invoice from DHgate to File for Customs?
- What to Do If My DHgate Order Has Been Seized by Customs?
- How to Clear Customs on my DHgate Order?
Does DHgate Charge Customs and Tax?
In short, the answer is no. DHgate does not charge customs and tax on orders. The only additional charges buyers are entitled to pay for while placing an order, are shipping fees.
But if you want the seller to collect duties upon placing the order, you’d have to send them a message directly and then hope for the best since most of the sellers tend to reject the proposal to charge you directly for duties and taxes on orders.
Why Doesn’t DHgate Charge Customs and Tax?
DHgate doesn’t charge customs and tax simply because it’s a complicated algorithm to include in their shipping calculator and DHgate is nothing but a platform for buyers and sellers to meet and do business.
The thing is that every country has their own unique customs tariff and tax slab, so calculating international orders can tend to get messy. So Dhgate leaves that up to the sellers and buyers to handle themselves.
Buyers are advised to pay the tax and customs upon arrival and to keep their documents up to date with regards to what they are importing.
Since DHgate hosts a wide range of sellers from around the world, many of them are local and not overseas, so there won’t be any customs applied on those orders.
It’s only the international ones that need the extra step to be completed for the delivery to be deemed successful.
To avoid any unwarranted incidents, there are a couple of tips buyers should follow when buying from DHgate.
- It’s always important to ask the seller if you need to pay any additional import duties, taxes or other customs-related charges.
- Make sure to contact your local post office or customs office to find out more about your country’s customs duties and taxes.
- Import duties, taxed or other customs-related charges are normally collected by the shipping company upon delivery.
- It’s important to know that sellers are not to be held accountable for delays caused by the customs department in your country.
- Some sellers offer domestic delivery. This means that they will send your order from a warehouse in your country. In this case, you won’t be asked to pay for any additional customs duties and taxes. It’s also important to check where the seller is based and if they have a local warehouse.
How to Get an Invoice from DHgate to File for Customs?
Since DHgate is only a platform for buyers and sellers, they will not be able to provide you with an invoice. Instead you would have to obtain one from the seller directly by placing a request using the messaging tool on DHgate.
In order to obtain an invoice from the seller, login to your DHgate account and navigate to the orders page by clicking on Profile Name > My Orders.
Once in, locate and open the order you want help with.
Now tap on the message seller button in the blue highlighted summary banner to be taken to compose a new message.
Simply enter your request and ask the seller to provide you with an official invoice on their company letterhead that you’d require to import the goods into your country.
The seller will then provide you with a response and it will include an invoice attached to the message in PDF format. Print the invoice and use that document to file for customs clearance.
Also, make sure that the invoice includes all the necessary information about the order such as price, date, quantity, and the contents of the package.
What to Do If My DHgate Order Has Been Seized by Customs?
There are four basic scenarios where a DHgate order might be held back by customs. Depending on the situation, you can refer to the following and hope to get a resolution soon.
- The item is seized at the customs of the buyer’s country – Since the order has cleared customs at the seller’s side, it’s now up to you, the buyer, to clear customs by furnishing import documents and paying local taxes on the shipment.
- The item has not cleared customs in the seller’s country – In this case, DHgate will intervene and refund the amount of the order in full. They will then chain the amount from the seller directly. This is done to make the experience a positive one.
- The item is deemed prohibited or a fake – In this case as well DHgate will initiate the refund back to the buyers account.
- There is no written certification provided by customs regarding holding back the order – DHgate will get in touch with the customs department to confirm whether the order is missing any shipping information and try to resolve the issue on their own.
How to Clear Customs on my DHgate Order?
While the process of customs clearance is different in some countries, the documentation and paperwork required remains the same across borders.
In order to clear customs on your DHgate order, there are a couple of things that are required.
- Commercial Invoice – As explained earlier, an invoice is mandatory for customs clearance and you will need to obtain a commercial invoice from the seller to have the order clear customs at your local port.
- Shipping List – A shipping list is mandatory if you’re shipping large quantities of goods through freight or air. The shipping list should include key details such as supplier, shipper, buyer, date, description, mode of transport, quantity, dimensions, net and gross weight, invoice number and packaging details.
- International Trade License – Another important document required to clear customs in most countries is an international trade license. The buyer has to be registered to have a large quantity of a certain good imported into their country.
- Certificate of Origin – If the goods purchased from DHgate are bought to be resold, then the buyer will have to request the seller or supplier to include a certificate of origin for the products in the shipment. This is required by every country and the certificate will identify whether or not the products in the package are eligible for import or will be charged duties.
Once all these documents are in place, approach a customs officer and inform them about the shipment.
The customs officer will then check the details and calculate the dimensions and weight of the shipment and charge a fee if the metrics fall within a designated slab.
The customs officer will also charge local taxes on the order depending on the number of units in the shipment, the price of each item and its overall cost.
This will then ensure a smooth flow of your shipment as it reaches the port authorities.
Will the shipping company I choose on DHgate cover customs?
Not always, shippers, generally ones like FedEx and DHL, do pay the customs and taxes when the shipment is in transit, but they will collect the amount from you right before delivery.
They do this to improve customer satisfaction and so that orders can reach customers in time.
How will I know when I have to pay customs on a DHgate order?
If the goods you ordered have an intrinsic value of over a certain amount then you will have to clear customs to receive the products.
In Europe, goods over €150 or in India, goods over the equivalent value of $100 will be subject to customs charges.
What will happen if I don’t pay customs on my DHgate order?
If the customs charges are too high there’s only one option available, have the goods returned to the seller and bear the return shipping costs if you want a refund on the order.
If you do not pay the customs charges by the “pay by date” then the package will be sent back to the shipper automatically and the shipper will bear the return shipping charges and refund the difference.
How long does customs take to clear a shipment?
The customs authorities normally take a couple of days to a few weeks to clear a shipment if all the paperwork is in place and the customs fees and taxes have been paid.
They do take longer than normal to clear DHgate orders during the holidays or in peak seasons.
Does DHgate charge customs and taxes?
No, DHgate does not charge customs or taxes on orders and these amounts are to be paid by the buyer, directly to the customs office.
How will I know if my order is stuck in customs?
If your order has not been delivered by the delivery date but has entered your country then there are chances that it has been stopped by customs.
To learn if the shipment has been held back at customs, check your registered email address.
The customs department will usually notify you about the issue and if duties or taxes have to be paid. This can take anywhere from 30-45 days from the date of entry into the country.