International Shipping

10 eCommerce destinations that can be difficult to ship to

Jules Plume

by Jules Plume

On 2018 M09 19

by Jules Plume

Spoiler alert: Not all countries are easy to ship to. 😱

Whether their national government charges high duties and taxes on imports, or have barriers for delivery, there are a variety of reasons why a country may be difficult to ship to.

Here are 10 countries that our sellers have had difficulties shipping to. Based on what you're shipping and the barriers you may face, you should either consider whether your business has the resources to deal with the shipments should they have issues, or whether it's best to avoid shipping there at all.

1. Argentina

Shipping to Argentina can get expensive because the duty and tax threshold is $0 - meaning, all shipments regardless of value will be required to pay duties and taxes.

A 21% tax applies to all shipments, and import duties can range from an additional 2% to as high as 35% depending on your item category.

The only item categories that have no import tax are documents and books and collectibles.

2. Australia

While Australians are receptive to cross-border eCommerce, it's possible to run into a few shipping challenges.

Due to it's remote location, your customers should expect longer delivery times. Australian customs is also known to be strict, so it's best that all your paperwork is accurate and the description and value of the package match your invoice.

As of July 1, 2018, imported goods with a customs value of $1000AUD or less may be applicable for GST, which will be an additional 10%.

Learn more about shipping to Australia.

3. Brazil

Just like Argentina, Brazil's duty and tax threshold is $0 - meaning, all shipments regardless of value will be required to pay duties and taxes.

A 19% tax applies to all shipments, and import duties can range from an additional 2% to as high as 35% depending on your item category.

The only item categories that have no import tax are documents and books and collectibles.

Also worth noting is that economic instability can also make delivery times longer or more complicated.

4. China

Everyone wants to tap into China's lucrative eCommerce market, but for those who are not fulfilling within the mainland, more often than not issues will arise.

As China is a huge country, door-to-door delivery remains a difficult and slow process. For quick service, expect to pay a premium to couriers. Additionally, getting your parcel to remote areas or small towns can be a time-consuming task and tracking them will be a challenge as well.

The duty and tax threshold is also $0, with a 17% tax added to all imports. The highest import duty is applied to watches, at 23%.

Learn more about shipping to China.

5. Egypt

Difficulties around shipping to Egypt mostly have to do with duty and tax, with both thresholds being $0.

An automatic 10% tax will be applied to all shipments regardless of value, and duty percentages can go as high as 40%.

However, additional duties do not apply to electronics, documents, and gaming items.

6. India

You can expect high import duty charges to many items being sent to India. Most start at 22%, and can go as high as 50% for health, beauty, and home appliances.

In addition to high import duties, India requires more personal documentation from the receiver in order to complete deliveries. If the receiver doesn’t provide this information, your package risks getting returned.

7. Libya

Difficulties around shipping to Libya mostly have to do with duty and tax, with both thresholds being $0.

An automatic 20% tax will be applied to all shipments regardless of value, and duty percentages range from 1%-20%.

However, additional duties do not apply to documents.

8. Russia

While Russia has a decent duty and tax threshold at 200 euros, there are barriers when it comes to delivery.

Just like China, Russia is a very large country, so delivery times are longer. To make things worse, Russian customs are very strict with packages that arrive for individuals. It can take anywhere from days to weeks to inspect them, and even after this, it isn’t guaranteed they will release the package to the recipient.

9. Tanzania

Difficulties around shipping to Tanzania mostly have to do with duty and tax, with both thresholds being $0.

An automatic 18% tax will be applied to all shipments regardless of value, and duty percentages range from 1% - 25%.

However, additional duties do not apply to electronics, cameras, and documents.

10. Yemen

Difficulties around shipping to Yemen mostly have to do with duty and tax, with both thresholds being $0.

An automatic 5% tax will be applied to all shipments regardless of value, and duty percentages range from 1% - 20%.

However, additional duties do not apply to documents.


We hope this list gives you insights on what to expect should you decide to sell and ship to these countries! For more information on how duty and tax can affect your international shipping, check out our free guide.