Here at Barrington Freight, we are often asked for advice about import duty for freight shipments coming to the UK from across the globe, including how to accurately calculate duty tax. Whether you understand how to calculate import duty or you’re in need of advice, we are here to help. We specialise in air freight, road freight, sea freight, next day delivery to Europe and import from China, so you can rest assured that we provide factual, honest and useful information to help make the process more streamlined.

Calculate Your Duty Tax With Barrington Freight


Here at Barrington Freight, we recommend that you use the duty calculator for calculating any taxes required on entry into the UK for importing products. The duty calculator will enable you to simply work out which duty taxes you need to pay to HMRC. This is particularly important if you have never calculated these taxes before as it can be difficult to understand exactly how it is calculated and how this then applies to your goods.


You can use the Duty Calculator tool here at Barrington Freight to find duty rates for shipments coming from around the globe when you are looking to orchestrate freight shipment from a non EU country to the UK with ease. Simply fill in the relevant details including:


  • The cost of the goods (your cost not the sales price)
  • Shipping cost


Once you have received the cost of the import duty and taxes for your shipment, you can go on to ship your freight with confidence. By doing so, you can rest assured that you won’t face any hidden costs, as we ensure that each of our customers are aware of the service they will receive prior to payment.


What’s more, you can even use this helpful tool to calculate the import ports costs when purchasing from Alibaba and other online marketplaces. Not only does this help you save a significant amount of time, but you can be confident that you won’t be caught out by underlying import duty and taxes.

Duty and VAT Estimator

Find Duty rates on the GOV.UK Trade Tariff here -

What Is Import Duty?


Import duty is a type of tax that is collected on consignments when importing from abroad and is primarily based on a percentage of the value of the goods being shipped. Import Duty is sometimes also referred to as import tax or custom duty.

In most cases, this is collected by a country’s customs authority and is usually handled when the goods first enter the country and often requires correct and accurate paperwork to be filed.

How Much Is Import Duty?


The rates of import duty and local taxes vary from country to country across the globe, so it can be difficult to understand and calculate if you are planning to send your first shipment or are sending a shipment to a new location. However, correctly and accurately calculating is crucial for businesses, as taxes are a highly important consideration for your overall costs when trading abroad.

If you buy goods online from outside of the European Union for delivery in the United Kingdom, for example, you will be required to pay customs duty for items worth more than £120. Import VAT is applied to all shipments that cost more than £18. For an accurate cost, calculate your duty tax with our tool above at Barrington Freight.

Consumer Products & Categories

The duty calculator covers a wide range of consumer products and categories within freight shipping, from antiques and arts to cars and bikes. Categories covered include:

  • Antiques and art
  • Accessories, bags and glasses
  • Apparel and shoes for men
  • Apparel and shoes for women
  • Baby, health and beauty
  • Books, DVDs and films
  • Cars, bikes and parts
  • Consumer electronics
  • Home, garden, DIY and office
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Music and musical instruments
  • Sports and leisure
  • Toys and games


While the duty calculator does cover a wide range of consumer products and categories, it does not cover:

  • Food or drink items, including perishable products
  • Medicines, unlicensed drugs and health supplements
  • Tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine and spirits
  • Plants and fresh flowers
  • Chemicals and potentially hazardous or flammable products
  • Live animals
  • Offensive weapons, firearms, explosives and ammunition
  • Pornographic material


Should you happen to send any of these consumer products, you risk your goods getting seized. Should your items be seized, you can ask for them back, even if you agree customs was right to seize them. However, this only applies to cars and other vehicles and packages an goods sent via the post. If you believe that customs was wrong to seize your items, you will have to go to court to appeal the ruling.

Paying A Customs Charge

When it comes to paying VAT and customs, you’ll be pleased to know that doing so is easy. Once your shipment has shipped and is on the way to the UK we will contact you with all VAT and Duty amounts prior to the shipment arriving.

Sample Products

Most of the time, importing sample products from countries such as the USA, Taiwan and China are eligible for duty costs. In some instances, duty and VAT relief can be granted providing that once the sample product has been imported, it can only be used as a sample product and has a value less than £15. If these regulations are not met, you may risk your items being seized.


When importing a product from another country for sample purposes, it is important to ensure that your chosen supplier has torn the product or that it is permanently marked. It is worth noting that products that can be used as more than just a sample or can be consumed are not eligible for duty relief.

Are you looking for a quick, competitive, freight shipment quotation from a leading company in the industry? For a free quote on your freight shipment, fill in your details on our simple quote form.