Delivered Duty Unpaid

MoneyBestPal Team
A term that indicates that the customer is responsible for paying any customs charges, duties, or taxes of the destination country.

Main Findings

  • When a package is labeled as “delivered duty unpaid” (DDU), it means that the client is responsible for covering all customs fees, tariffs, or taxes imposed by the destination nation.
  • The most recent edition of international trade regulations, Incoterms 2020, does not utilize this outmoded phrase.
  • “Delivered-at-place” (DAP) is the phrase currently used to describe DDU.

DDU is an Incoterm, a standardized set of rules established by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to clarify responsibilities and costs in international trade.

Specifically, DDU falls under "Group D," denoting delivery at a 'named place of destination', but unpaid.

Therefore, under DDU:


  • Delivers goods to the agreed-upon destination (e.g., port, terminal).
  • Handles export formalities and covers all freight costs until arrival.
  • Bears risks of transport damage or loss until delivery.

  • Pays import duties, taxes, and customs clearance fees.
  • Arrange and pay for unloading and any further inland transportation.
  • Assumes risk for goods after delivery at the named destination.

Why DDU?

Several factors could sway businesses toward DDU:
  • Cost control for sellers: By not covering import duties, sellers avoid complexities and fluctuations in different countries' regulations.
  • Transparency for buyers: Buyers have clear visibility into total landed costs, fostering trust and predictability.
  • Customs expertise benefit: Buyers with expertise in their local customs procedures can manage import clearance efficiently.
  • Flexibility for specific goods: DDU works well for low-value or duty-free goods, where import costs are minimal.

Formula and Calculation

While DDU itself doesn't involve a specific formula, calculating the landed cost for the buyer is crucial. Here's the breakdown:

Landed Cost = Invoice Value + Freight Charges + Import Duties + Taxes + Clearance Fees

For each component:

  • Invoice Value: Cost of goods purchased from the seller (provided on the invoice).
  • Freight Charges: All transportation costs are covered by the seller until delivery (specified in the shipping documents).
  • Import Duties: Taxes levied on imported goods based on their value and classification (requires research on destination country's tariffs).
  • Taxes: Sales tax, VAT, or other applicable taxes charged at the destination (consult local regulations).
  • Clearance Fees: Charges incurred for processing customs formalities (determined by customs broker or freight forwarder).


Invoice Value: USD 10,000 Freight Charges: USD 2,000 Import Duties: 10% of Invoice Value = USD 1,000 Taxes: 20% of (Invoice Value + Import Duties) = USD 2,400 Clearance Fees: USD 300

Landed Cost: USD 10,000 + USD 2,000 + USD 1,000 + USD 2,400 + USD 300 = USD 15,700

How to Calculate?

Calculating landed costs requires careful research and collaboration:

  • Consult the seller: Obtain accurate details about invoice value and freight charges.
  • Research destination country: Analyze import duties, taxes, and clearance fees.
  • Engage a customs broker: Seek expert advice on navigating customs procedures and potential additional costs.
  • Utilize online tools: Many platforms offer duty and tax calculators for specific countries and commodities.

Remember, landed costs are estimates and can fluctuate due to changing regulations or currency exchange rates.

Examples of DDU in Action

Scenario 1

An American company imports furniture from Italy using DDU. The seller delivers to a designated port in the US, covering freight costs. The American company handles customs clearance, paying import duties, taxes, and transportation to its warehouse.

Scenario 2

A Chinese manufacturer exports electronics to India under DDU. The Chinese company delivers to a specified Indian port, handling export formalities and freight. The Indian importer manages customs clearance and inland transportation, paying all associated costs.

Limitations of DDU

While DDU offers advantages, it's not without drawbacks:

  • Uncertainty for buyers: Fluctuations in duties and taxes can impact landed costs, affecting profitability.
  • Customs clearance complexities: Managing import procedures can be time-consuming and require expertise.
  • Limited control for sellers: Sellers lose control over goods and costs once delivered to the destination.

Additional Considerations and Alternative Incoterms

Currency Fluctuations

While the formula provided offers a basic framework, remember that both invoice value and landed costs can be affected by currency fluctuations. Factor in exchange rates at the time of purchase and clearance to avoid surprises.

Advance Payment for Duties and Taxes

To mitigate cash flow challenges, some buyers choose to prepay estimated duties and taxes. However, this requires accurate cost forecasting and ties up capital.


DDU only covers risks until delivery at the named destination. Consider additional insurance to protect against damage or loss during customs clearance or local transportation.

Alternative Incoterms

Depending on your specific needs, other Incoterms might be better suited:

  • DAP (Delivered at Place): Similar to DDU, but the seller also unloads the goods at the destination. Suitable when import procedures are straightforward.
  • DAT (Delivered at Terminal): Delivers to a terminal (e.g., port, airport) at the named destination. Useful for bulk goods or when specific unloading facilities are required.
  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): Seller handles everything, including import formalities and costs. Offers maximum convenience but higher overall responsibility for the seller.

Choosing the Right Incoterm

Carefully consider factors like cost control, risk appetite, customs expertise, and desired level of control when selecting an Incoterm. Seek expert advice from trade specialists or freight forwarders to navigate the intricacies of international trade and choose the most suitable option for your transactions.

Data Analysis and Cost Comparisons

While this article doesn't delve into specific data analysis, incorporating historical import duty data and landed cost comparisons for different Incoterms can be valuable for informed decision-making. Trade finance databases and industry reports can provide useful insights for analyzing trends and making cost-effective choices.


Understanding DDU and its intricacies empowers finance professionals to navigate international trade transactions effectively. By carefully considering the formula, calculation methods, limitations, and alternative Incoterms, you can optimize costs, manage risks, and make informed decisions that support your organization's global business goals. 

Remember, staying updated on Incoterms revisions and consulting with trade experts are crucial for navigating the ever-evolving landscape of international trade.



Under DDU terms, the buyer is responsible for paying import duties and any applicable taxes, including clearance and local taxes, once the shipment has arrived at the specified destination.

In DDP, the seller is responsible for all costs and risks associated with delivering goods to a destination, including import duties and taxes. In contrast, under DDU, the buyer is responsible for import duties and taxes.

Yes, DDU terms can be used regardless of the mode of transport, including multimodal transport.

If the buyer fails to pay the duty, the goods may be held by customs until the duty is paid. In some cases, the goods may be returned to the seller at the buyer’s expense.

While DDU can be used in international trade, it’s less common than terms like Free On Board (FOB) or Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF). The choice of terms depends on the agreement between the buyer and seller.