What Does Delivery Duty Unpaid Mean? Your Guide to Understanding DDU Shipping

Delivery Duty Unpaid
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When importing goods into the United States, one of the terms you may come across is “DDU”, which stands for Delivery Duty Unpaid. But what exactly does DDU mean and what are the implications for your shipment? This article will provide a guide to understanding DDU and how it works.

What is Delivery Duty Unpaid?

Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) is an incoterm (International Commercial Term) that indicates which party is responsible for paying import duties and charges.

With DDU shipping, the seller or exporter handles and pays for the shipment up until the goods are delivered to the named destination port or place of import in the buyer’s country. 

The buyer or importer is responsible for paying any import duties, taxes, customs clearance fees, and other customs-related costs once the shipment arrives in their country.

In other words, under DDU:

  • The seller pays for the local charges at the origin and for the freight.
  • The buyer pays for duties, taxes, and customs clearance in the destination country.

DDU is often used when exporting to the United States, where customs regulations make the importer (buyer) liable for import duties and taxes.

Who Pays for Shipping with DDU?

To recap, with DDU shipping:

  • The exporter or seller is responsible for arranging and paying freight costs to deliver the goods to the agreed destination point. This usually includes export fees and documentation.
  • The importer or buyer pays any duties, taxes, customs fees, and clearance charges upon importation into their country. They may need to coordinate with a customs broker for customs clearance.

In essence, the seller handles the logistics and delivery costs associated with getting the items shipped to the destination country, while the buyer handles the import requirements and fees to get the items through customs.

This differs from other incoterms like DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) where the seller pays both freight and import duties. With DDU, the buyer shoulders the costs of importation.

ddu vs ddp

How Long Does DDU Shipping Take?

Delivery times with DDU shipping can vary greatly depending on:

  • The countries involved – Shipping between some countries is faster than others due to proximity, trade routes, etc.
  • Mode of transport – Air freight is faster than Ocean freight. Road transport may be quicker across adjacent countries.
  • Customs processing – Import customs clearance can take anywhere from 1 day to 1 week on average.
  • Final destination – Is the port the final destination or will there be further domestic transport?

As a general estimate, DDU delivery from Asia to the US West Coast can take:

  • Air freight: 7-10 days
  • Sea freight: 3-6 weeks

East Coast delivery adds another 3-7 days. Allow extra time for customs clearance once the goods arrive. Communicate with your logistics provider for more accurate estimates.

Delivery Duty Unpaid FAQ – Summary

To wrap up this DDU overview:

  • DDU means the seller pays freight costs but the buyer pays import duties and taxes.
  • The buyer is responsible for customs clearance, duties, and import costs when importing DDU shipments.
  • Delivery times vary based on the mode of transport and customs processing. Air is faster than sea.
  • Work closely with your freight forwarder and customs broker when importing goods  under DDU incoterm.


DDU is a common incoterm for US imports. Understanding how DDU shipping works will help your business import products smoothly and efficiently.

Navigating the complex world of international shipping and meeting DDU requirements can be simplified with the right logistics partner. eezyimport quickly navigates the costly and complex world of logistics with easy-to-use, innovative customs and global shipping solutions.

Under DDU terms, the buyer takes on duties

When importing to the US under DDU terms, the buyer takes on duties, taxes, and import costs. eezyimport can help reduce your costs as an importer while providing excellent customer service. Our experienced team handles customs brokerage and ensures smooth clearance, so you receive your DDU cargo on time while minimizing hassles. Partnering with a provider like eezyimport optimizes the DDU process so you can focus on your core business.

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eezyimport is an online platform and is not a licensed customs broker. However, we work closely with a third-party licensed customs broker who can assist with any entry-related issues.

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