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We all have to pay the Tax Man... and Import Duties, Customs Duties, and VAT are all your local taxes

Taxes. Customs. Import duties. Customs duty. VAT. All fancy ways of saying “this is what my government is charging me for this purchase”.

Taxes aren’t universal evils. They pay for some amazing services. But they can be frustrating when you see the unexpected bill. We can’t control taxes in your home country any more than you can.

Here’s what you need to know about taxes when buying from Fledging


Don’t have time to read the blog? Here’s the takeaway: National governments decide import duty. An import duty is a tax. Fledging can’t do anything about them and receives no benefit from them. Study your local laws to know how much you’re expected to pay for imported goods. Fledging is legally committed to providing the actual price paid for any good. 


Where is Fledging shipping from and why does this matter?

Fledging ships from the United States (Birmingham, Alabama to be specific). This matters because if you’re receiving an order outside a US territory, you’ll probably have to pay some kind of tax to the government of the territory you’re in.

For example, customers in France will pay French VAT. Customers in New Zealand will pay New Zealand VAT. Customers in Brazil will pay a 100% tax on all consumer electronics (Desculpe, amigos.)


Why doesn’t Fledging include these taxes in the shipping and handling fees?

Because taxes are super-custom to your country, province/state/region, and sometimes even city. There’s a good chance we try to calculate those taxes, get it wrong, and both us and you still end up paying the taxes. Also, Fledging can’t be responsible for sales tax.

We do include the best estimate of your international shipping costs, using FedEx.


My import tax was huge. Why is it so large?

Yes, these taxes can be quite large. We work hard to price our products well so that our international friends can still afford premium electronics from us. Unfortunately, we can’t change what a country charges. VAT as large as 20% is common.

Administrative fees, which can be mysterious and inexplicable, can also end up only our bill. We promise that we’re not receiving any of those taxes.

If you believe your bill is too large, you can contact your local shipping office (ex: If we shipped FedEx, contact the FedEx office in your country where you’re receiving the package) to challenge the charges. Import officers are humans who make mistakes. 


Can’t you under-declare the value of the product? 

That’s against the law in both the exporting country (the United States) and the importing country (where you live). We could both pay huge penalties for this. It’s illegal for us to mislabel product values.

And trust us, you don’t want to risk it. Customs agents do routinely investigate invoices, open packages to double-check contents, and even randomly contact us to verify sell prices. 


So what can I do?

Read up on your local taxes to make the most informed decision for your purchase. If you’re in a country that allows it, reach out to your local representative to ask about the taxes, too. You have a right to know how your tax dollars are spent.



Fledging Team



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