What are the charges on my goods?

When you buy online from a country outside the EU, you have to pay certain charges in addition to the price of the goods. Different goods are subject to different charges. On this page, we explain the applicable rules.

One of Swedish Customs’ main tasks is to ensure fair competition in trade. When you buy online from a country outside the EU, you have to pay certain charges in addition to the price of the goods. Different goods are subject to different charges. Thus, it is important that you find out which rules apply to your goods. You can always contact Swedish Customs in advance if you want to find out which charges your goods are subject to. However, it is your transport company (e.g. Postnord) that sends you an invoice for the charges when your parcel has arrived in Sweden.

These are the four charges that you may have to pay:

  • customs duty;
  • VAT,
  • excise duty;
  • the transport company’s charge (for their handling of the parcel and making your customs declaration).

When you buy from another EU country, you never have to pay customs duty or VAT. However, excise duty may be charged.

Customs duty

Customs duties exist so that prices of goods do not differ too much between different countries and so that, in certain cases, the EU can encourage the purchasing of goods from European countries. Thus, how much you have to pay in customs duty depends on the type of goods, what they cost and which country they are sent from. So that you are not surprised by something costing more than you had expected, it is important to find out the applicable customs duty before you buy.

Worth remembering

  • Certain goods may be entirely duty-free while others may be subject to up to 20 per cent customs duty.
  • You may have to pay customs duty on goods with a combined value over SEK 1,800.


VAT is a tax that it is easy to forget. Within the EU, it is most usually included in the price you pay when you make your purchase. However, when you buy outside the EU, VAT is added afterwards when the goods come into Sweden.

When ordering from some online sellers you will pay VAT when making the purchase. In such cases, you are not required to pay VAT when the goods enter Sweden.

The VAT for most goods is 25 percent of the sum obtained by adding together the price of the goods, the freight charge and the customs duty. For foodstuffs, VAT is 12 per cent and for printed matter (e.g. books) it is 6 per cent. You can find out more about VAT rates for the most common goods on The Swedish Tax Agency's website.

VAT rates on goods and services – The Swedish Tax Agency's website

Excise duty

Certain, special goods are subject to “excise duty”. This is a sort of extra tax that is most usually imposed to reduce the purchase or consumption of the goods in question. Alcohol and tobacco are examples of goods on which you have to pay excise duty. Via the links below, you can read more about goods subject to excise duty.

Excise duty on import (information in swedish)

The transport company’s charge

Your transport company often makes a charge for handling your parcel and making your customs declaration. Contact your transport company if you would like to know more about how it calculated its charge.

Work out your charges

We are very happy to help you work out the VAT and customs duty you have to pay. Contact us via email, telephone or social media.

Contact us

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