Everything You Need To Know About US Import Tariffs

Export businesses, irrespective of what industry they serve, are required to understand the import taxes and duties in the United States. 

Every country levies import taxes and duties when importing international goods to their land. This is done in a quest to maintain the receiving country’s economic stability. 

Wondering how? Simply by monitoring and controlling the flow of goods, either general or prohibited. 

Boasting a country with the strongest economy, there’s undoubtedly no escaping from paying import duties and taxes on goods when shipping goods into the US. However, the US import taxes and duties may differ by country, depending on the nation’s trade relationship with the US. 

Understanding the US Import Taxes and Duties

To each and every article of product being imported into the United States, there are taxes and customs duties assigned, which in turn are assigned an HTS code. 

HTS stands for Harmonized Tariff Schedule and is a unique 10-digit number determining the amount of customs duty owed to them. In addition to this, HTS is responsible for determining the classification of all the products being imported and gives out a calculation of the amount of tariff incurred. 

Let’s have a look at some of the most common terms we’ll be exposed to!

  • De Minimis Value – The minimum cost of importing goods required to be eligible for charging import taxes, which in the case of the US is $800.
  • Free Trade Agreement – There is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 20 countries in relation to the import of goods.
  • CBP – The US Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) is responsible for collecting other fees and taxes on the products imported into the United States.
  • Federal Excise Tax – This tax is charged on the imports of liquor and tobacco products.
  • Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF) – The fees collected by the CBP if the goods imported into the US are transported via a ship.
  • Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) – The fees collected by the CBP in accordance with the mode of transportation and type of entry in the US. 

Calculating US Import Duty from India

There is a set commodity code for every product that is allowed to be imported into the US. In order to find out how much you would require to pay for the product you want to import, apply the import duty rate for that code. 

Taxes will be due on the cost of the goods without shipping, do the basic maths, and you’ll have the amount you need to pay in total. 

Paying US Import Taxes and Duties

You can pay duty tax only in dollars using US personal cheques or government cheques made payable to the US CBP. However, an identification document such as a US driver’s license or a passport is required to be presented at the time of payment. 

If the duty owed stands below the mark of $50, the exporters can pay via government check, money order, or traveler’s check. Some locations in the US allow payments via credit card. 


Cum sociis Theme natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus tempus.