International Shipping without using a Fulfillment Center

If you have a small number of international orders, what are the challenges of shipping without using a fulfillment center. It appears there are three hurdles: the cost of shipping, possible import tariffs, and VAT tax.

It looks like many countries have an exclusion on VAT tax - if your revenues are below a certain amount in that country, you don't have to register or pay VAT to that country.

So my question is - can we just ship directly to the consumer in these countries and let them handle the VAT and import tariffs, as long as we are below the VAT exclusion amount for that country?

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Keith Johnston Asked on
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Robert Dunham
Answered on

Countries have different thresholds for import taxes, and it really depends on the products and materials. For example, around 20 pounds triggers an import tax in the UK, and around the EU, even Canada. If you sent a package from Hong Kong, you wouldn't pay taxes to Australia for amounts less than $1000. The US has pretty decent import thresholds as well (around $800).

Just use a shipping service, like easyship or shippo, and you can select the option that says duty paid by sender vs addressee. CC is charged on you, the government gets their money, customers gets their package.  

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