All about customs duties

When you send your parcel outside the European Union and DOM-TOM, fees (customs duties, administration fees, VAT) may be requested at the reception of the parcel (in addition to the amount paid on Happy-Post). These customs fees are applied according to the content of your package.

How do I calculate the taxes and customs fees for sending my package?

For each parcel sent to an international destination, charges are applied in addition to the amount of the shipment paid on They can be distinguished in 3 categories:

Customs duties

This is a tax on imported goods. This tax is applied when goods cross from one border to another. The rate of customs duty depends on the nature of the goods and their origin. Depending on the country, it usually ranges from 0 to 20% of the actual value of the goods. To determine the applicable rate, each type of product is identified by a HS code.

Please note: depending on the country of destination, agreements or exemptions may apply.

Calculation formula : (actual value of the item + shipping costs + insurance) x duty rate


This is the Value Added Tax of an object, which is then paid to the State. In France, this rate is 20% or 5.5% but it can be different depending on the country.

Calculation formula : (actual value of the item + shipping costs + insurance + customs duties) x VAT percentage

Application fees

This is the part charged by the carriers of the parcel for the management of the customs fees applicable to your shipment. The handling fee can range from €10 to €25 depending on the carrier. For example, DHL charges a handling fee of €25.


To know in detail the customs fees applicable to your packages, you can visit the official website of the customs of the country of destination of your package. We also invite you to visit SimplyDuty, where you can easily estimate the costs of sending your package abroad.

Customs duties and type of delivery

All your international shipments are subject to fees or taxes. However, depending on the type of parcel delivery you select on the Happy-Post website, fees will always apply.

By choosing the Premium Delivery for example, the customs clearance is managed in France by our transport partners; All the parcels are thus treated individually (control of the customs documents and passage under a scanner). This means that if your goods are subject to taxes or customs duties, these costs as well as the management costs will be systematically asked to your recipient (email and phone number given on Happy-Post).

On our other international delivery services, the controls can be random. That's why sometimes you don't have to pay any taxes or fees; but our shipping partner (the local Post Office) can also charge you taxes and fees if your package is subject to taxes.

For any question, you can contact our Customer Service by clicking here.

Send a package in France or abroad

Customs law: our advice before shopping online

If you are planning to buy products on the Internet from the French overseas departments and territories or from a country outside the European Union, it is important to take certain precautions regarding customs duties. French customs rules apply when your order enters France.

Here are some tips before shopping on the internet:

  • Always check the country of shipment of your order,
  • Check the list of goods that are prohibited or subject to certain restrictions on import into France,
  • Check the reliability of the online seller in order to avoid buying counterfeit goods that are prohibited for import,
  • Choose reliable delivery services that offer real-time tracking of your order,
  • Check whether customs duties and VAT are included in the sale price by reading the general conditions of sale,
  • Estimate the amount of customs duties, VAT and handling fees to be paid if these are to be paid on receipt of the package,
  • Shop online at reliable sites that offer secure payment methods to protect your bank details and avoid scams,
  • Check how to return and refund your order if something goes wrong.

If you follow these tips carefully, you should receive your order without any unpleasant surprises.

Good to know: the easiest way to rate a product or an online seller is to look at the reviews and comments of other consumers. You can also consult platforms dedicated to evaluating products and services, such as Trustpilot.

FAQs on customs duties

What is customs duty?

Customs duty is a tax that is levied on the import and export of goods from one country to another. The customs duty is a measure to protect national trade as it regulates imports. In France, the customs tariff is calculated on the basis of the nature and value of the imported goods, but also on the basis of the country of origin of the goods.

Note that the duty does not apply to imports from another EU country.

Who should pay customs duties on an international shipment?

In theory, the various taxes and customs duties associated with an international shipment are the responsibility of the recipient. If customs duties are payable, the parcel remains stuck in customs until the customs clearance fees are paid by the recipient.

What happens if customs duties are refused?

If a parcel is held up in customs awaiting payment of customs duties and the recipient refuses to pay, the customs authorities usually return the parcel to the sender. In some countries, the shipment may be abandoned or even destroyed.

How do I find out how much customs duty is involved?

Customs duties are regulated and collected by the customs authorities of the destination country. The rate of duty varies from country to country, but is generally between 0 and 20% of the actual value of the goods.

The formula for calculating the amount of duty is: (actual value of goods + shipping costs + insurance) x duty rate.