Customs & Duty
If you are buying a dress from another country please check with your local customs office. Tell them the price you are
paying and ask what, if any, duty you may be liable for when the dress arrives. As the receiver of the goods, you are the
one who will be asked to pay the duty, not the sender.
Different countries have different limits on the value of packages received from overseas. Marking the package as a gift, or
used clothing makes no difference. Duty is calculated on the declared value of the item regardless of what it is.
I will try and give as much information as possible, but it is only a guide, only your local customs office can tell you exactly
what you may have to pay.
All clothing coming in to Australia is taxed at 25% plus 10% GST. For example a dress valued at $AUD1,000 would be
charged $AUD250 duty + GST (which is calculated on the dress cost plus duty) =$AUD125 GST = $375 charge! So your
$1,000 dress is now $1,375. If you are aware of this before the dress arrives, it won't be such a shock!
Update: As of 12 Oct 2005 all imports into Australia from USA with a value less than $AUD1,000 are free of duty and GST.
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) can examine any item that comes into Canada by mail.
You may have to pay duty, the goods and services tax (GST) or harmonized sales tax (HST), and provincial sales tax (PST)
on items mailed to you. This depends on:
1.the item's value in Canadian dollars
2.whether or not it is a gift.
If an item is worth more than $20 CAN, you must pay the applicable duty, the GST or HST, and any PST on the item's full
For an item to qualify as a "gift", another person must send it to you personally and must include a card or other notice
indicating that it's a gift.
If you receive an imported gift by mail and it's worth $60 CAN or less, you don't have to pay duty or tax.
If the gift is worth more than $60, you must pay duty and tax on the amount over $60 CAN.
For example, if a relative sends you a gift worth $200 CAN, you must pay the applicable duty, the GST or HST, and any
PST on $140 CAN.
Clothing imported into the UK from non EU countries will attract 12% VAT. Please click here for more information.
The information below can be found on the US Customs and Border Protection website.
When sending a dress with a declared value of over $US200 to the USA, marking it as a gift or used clothing does not
exempt it from customs duty when it arrives in the USA. Many will tell you that they have done this and it has worked, the
truth is that there are many thousands of packages arriving every day into the USA, so many that they can not all be
checked. If a package has gone through without being charged duty it simply means that it was one of the lucky ones that
was not checked. Please see below...
Declared value: If the textiles value does not exceed $200, CBP will not assess duty. If the value exceeds $200, you may
be required to pay duty, which could range between 3-25%. Link to full article.
Used Goods: When used clothing is brought or imported into the U.S. to be donated or given to an individual, company or
charitable organization, it is not exempt from complying with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requirements for
wearing apparel. Link to full article.
Gifts: It comes as a rude surprise to many people that recipients of gifts mailed from abroad will have to pay any duty
owed on the item before they can receive it. Link to full article.
There is a free trade agreement between USA and Australia. Goods valued at under $1,000 can be imported/exported
between the two countries without attracting any duty.