How to Calculate Customs Fees

By Stephen Lilley

If you're shipping an item internationally (or conversely, are having something shipped to you from a foreign country), your package will probably be subjected to fees by the customs officials in both countries. If you want to calculate and get an estimate of what you'll have to pay to ship or receive your package, you'll need the constantly updating fee information from the websites of both countries' customs agencies.

Step 1

Weigh and measure your package. Oftentimes, customs fees are assessed on an item based on how big it is (inside its shipping container) and how much it weights. To get an accurate calculation of how much you're going to have to pay, you'll need to know these two bits of information.

Step 2

Go to the official customs website of the country you are shipping your package from. For example, if you live in the United States you would have to go to the U.S. Customs website. Locate the "Fee" information on this site, which will break down the fees based on the weights and sizes of packages. Use the information you obtained in "Step 1" to figure out how much you'll have to pay, on top of original shipping costs, to get your package to leave the country.

Step 3

Go to the official website of the customs agency of the country that you're shipping your package to. For example, if you're shipping a package from the United States to Canada, you would now have to go to Canada's Custom's website. Locate the "Fee" information on this site, which will break down the fees based on the weights and sizes of packages. Use the information you obtained in "Step 1" to figure out how much you'll have to pay, on top of original shipping costs, to get your package to into its new country. Keep in mind that these fees will be calculated in that particular country's own currency, so you'll have to convert it into the currency of your own country to get an accurate reading.

Step 4

Add the total dollar amounts from "Step 2" and "Step 3" together to get the total customs fees you'll have to pay to successfully ship your item.