3 min article

International purchases and postage for buyers

When shopping on eBay, you'll find items from all over the world. If you buy from an overseas seller, they can post to you through regular international postage services, or if they're in the US or UK, they may choose to use eBay's Global Shipping Programme (GSP).

International postage

When purchasing from an overseas seller, keep in mind that international delivery can cost more and possibly take longer to get to you than when you buy from a domestic seller. In some cases, you may also have to pay import charges.

If your seller is using eBay's Global Shipping Programme, all the logistical challenges of international postage, such as customs clearance, will be taken care of for you. You'll pay any import charges up front, so you won't pay anything extra when your item's delivered. You'll also benefit from international tracking.

If your seller doesn't participate in the Global Shipping Programme, you can still buy from them. However, how you pay fees and import charges will differ.

If the category you're listing in doesn't support the Global Shipping Programme, the message 'This option is not available for the category you selected' appears in the International postage section of the quick listing tool.

Customs and import charges

When you buy from an international seller, you'll often have to pay import charges. These charges are generally based on the item's price, weight, dimensions, and country of origin, as well as any taxes, duties, and fees of the destination country. It’s your responsibility to check which import charges may apply, and to pay them.

Buying internationally with the Global Shipping Programme

When you see the Global Shipping Programme logo, the listing will give an estimate of both postage and import charges. This includes everything from processing and handling fees, to international postage. You'll see the final charges when you confirm your delivery details at checkout, before you pay. Please note that the charges that you see in the item listing aren't final until you pay for the item. That means, for example, that the charges could change if you change your delivery address during checkout, or if the applicable import rules change before you complete your payment.

When you use the Global Shipping Programme, the seller sends the item to the global shipping centre. From there, it's posted to you.

Final charges at checkout

You need to use PayPal for GSP items, and your payment will be split into two transactions:

  • The first payment goes to the seller. It covers the item price and any domestic postage costs for the seller to send the item to the global shipping provider
  • The second payment goes to the global shipping provider. It covers the international postage cost and if applicable any import charges

After you've completed payment, you'll be able to see both the total cost and the amounts paid to the seller and the global shipping provider on the Order details page.

Import charges

Import charges for items purchased through the Global Shipping Programme include fees charged by the global shipping provider.

Import charges include:

  • Sales, goods and services
  • Value added taxes
  • Duties
  • Tariffs
  • Excise taxes
  • Other amounts assessed or levied by any government authority in connection with the importation of goods into the applicable country of importation
  • Third party brokerage fees (including advancement and disbursement charges and customs brokers handling and filing fees
  • Penalties
  • Classification charges associated with the assignment of a Harmonized System ("HS") classification code
  • Charges for export compliance screening and verification and the assignment of an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)
  • Charges relating to the management of variances between the quoted import charges and actual costs

Import charges are in addition to the customs duties and taxes imposed by country tax and customs officials. For additional information about applicable fees, see our article on the Global Shipping Programme.

The charges that you see in the item listing aren't final until you pay for the item. That means, for example, that the charges could change if you change your delivery address during checkout, or if the applicable import rules change before you complete your payment.

Global Shipping Programme eligibility

Eligible countries

Items that qualify for the Global Shipping Programme are available to be delivered from the UK to buyers in the following countries:

EU countries

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Non-EU countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • French Guiana
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Martinique
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Island
  • UAE
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • USA
  • Vietnam

Prohibited and restricted items

When importing items, please note import limitations and restrictions in the importing country.

Read more about Prohibited and restricted items.

With the exception of shipments to certain countries, delivery to P.O. Boxes isn't supported by the Global Shipping Programme. We also can't deliver to APO or FPO addresses.

International sellers using the Global Shipping Programme provide tracking when they send an item, while non-GSP sellers may not provide that option.

Buying internationally from non-Global Shipping Programme sellers

If you're buying from a seller who isn't participating in GSP, your seller, or the international postage service they're working with, will manage the customs forms and charge you for the delivery at checkout. However, you may still have to pay any necessary customs, import fees, and taxes, when your item arrives.

Your seller might be able to give you some information about import charges, but before you bid on, or buy an item, it's a good idea to check with your country's customs office for more specific details.

When you're buying an item from a seller participating in the eBay Global Shipping Programme, listings show an estimate of both postage and import charges.

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