DDP vs. DDU: When Should You Use Which When Shipping Overseas

Cover Image for DDP vs. DDU: When Should You Use Which When Shipping Overseas

Ever wondered what’s Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) and Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) and when to use which when shipping overseas?

Look no further! We're breaking it down for e-commerce sellers and personal shippers alike.

Let's jump right in and get you sorted!

1. What is DDU and DDP?

When you ship a package internationally, it can incur extra charges known as duties or taxes. The amount varies based on your package's value and the destination country's regulations. If you're curious about the specifics, you can dive deeper into our "How do customs taxes and duties work?" blog post.

Two common terms you'll encounter in this context are DDU and DDP.

What is DDU?

DDU stands for "Delivery Duty Unpaid". If you choose DDU, you pay for the shipping, but not for any extra charges like customs duties or taxes. So, the person receiving the package might have to pay these extra costs.

justship ddu option

(JustShip’s DDU option)

What is DDP?

DDP means "Delivered Duty Paid". If you go with DDP, you cover everything – shipping, taxes, and customs duties. The person getting the package doesn't have to pay anything extra.

justship ddp option

(JustShip’s DDP option)

2. Comparing DDU and DDP

Knowing the difference is half the battle. But how does each option stack up for different shippers?

For e-commerce sellers:

If you're selling products internationally, here's what you need to know:

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)


1. Transparent pricing boosts customer satisfaction.

1. Lower costs since you only cover shipping.

2. Reduced risk of customs delays ensures streamlined transactions.

2. An option for informed buyers to handle duties & taxes.


1. Initial costs can seem higher due to all-inclusive pricing, which might deter some customers.

1. Buyers might be caught off-guard by extra fees.

2. Estimating costs can be complex due to varying import duties across countries.

2. Potential customs hold-ups if the fees aren't paid.

For everyday shippers:

Sending a birthday gift, personal items, or a care package? Here's what you need to know:

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)


1. You know the total cost upfront—no surprises.

1. Lower initial costs—just pay for shipping.

2. Reduces chances of customs delays or returns.


1. Higher upfront costs because you cover all duties and taxes.

1. Recipient may have unexpected fees.

2. Potential customs delays or returns if the fees aren't paid.

3. When to Use DDP vs. DDU

Making the right choice between DDP and DDU can significantly influence your shipping experience, whether you're an e-commerce seller or just sending a personal package.

Here's a breakdown to guide your decision:

For e-commerce sellers:

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)

Customer Experience

Offers a seamless experience. The customer doesn't get surprised with extra costs upon delivery, which can enhance your brand reputation.

While it might appear cheaper for customers at checkout, unexpected customs charges upon delivery can lead to negative reviews or returns.

Product Type

Ideal for high-value items where duties can be significant and you want to ensure your customer doesn't face any hurdles upon delivery.

May work for lower-value items where customs duties are minimal or non-existent.

Scaling Operations

If you are looking to scale and tap into international markets, offering DDP can give you a competitive edge as customers prefer all-inclusive pricing.

DDU can be considered if you're testing international waters without overwhelming overheads.

For everyday shippers:

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)


If you want a hassle-free experience for your recipient, especially if sending gifts, DDP ensures they won’t have to pay unexpected fees.

Suitable if both the sender and recipient are aware of potential duties and are prepared for them. Useful if the recipient is familiar with their country's customs process.

Cost Considerations

While it might be more expensive upfront, it ensures that your recipient doesn't face any surprise costs.

If you're looking to save on initial shipping and are okay with the recipient handling (or sharing) the customs fees, or if you're confident that the shipment will not be subject to any duties or taxes based on the nature of the items or destination country's regulations.

Urgency and Delivery Time

This might be a faster option as it minimizes potential hold-ups at customs. If you need the package to reach by a specific date, like a birthday or anniversary, DDP might be the better choice.

There's a risk of potential delays or returns if the fees aren't paid promptly. If both sender and recipient are aware of the risks and are flexible on delivery times, DDU can be considered.

Keep these pointers in mind, and choose what aligns best with your shipping goals and customer expectations!


Understanding DDP and DDU can simplify your international shipping experience. Whether you're a global e-commerce player or sending a personal gift, understanding these terms matters.

Remember, JustShip offers both DDU and DDP options to cater to all your shipping needs. If you're ever in doubt or have more questions, we're always here to assist.

December 20, 2023

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