DDP Shipping Explained: Complete Guide

What is DDP shipping? Delivered duty paid (DDP) shipping is a delivery arrangement in which the seller bears all obligation, risk, and expense related to the transportation of the goods until the buyer accepts or transfers them at the destination port.

When shipping goods by air or sea freight, many businesses will only use DDP. DDP offers significant benefits to buyers because it reduces their risk, liability, and expenditures. DDP, while advantageous to the buyer, could be a significant burden for the seller because, if handled improperly, it can quickly cut profits.

The obligations of sellers and buyers under DDP, issues with customs, and the justification for using this incoterm are discussed in this post. Continue reading!

What Is DDP?

Delivered duty paid (DDP) shipping is a delivery arrangement that places the risk and duty of transportation on the seller until the buyer receives them.

Buyers are more likely to buy products with DDP because they are not responsible for the actual shipping costs and don’t have to worry about falling for a scam or having to pay exorbitant taxes. DDP shipping is employed to safeguard the buyer and hold the sender accountable until the recipient receives their order.

DDP Incoterm Obligations

Seller’s Obligations

  • Goods, commercial invoices and documentation
  • Export packaging and marking
  • Export licenses and customs formalities
  • Pre-carriage and delivery
  • Loading charges
  • Main carriage
  • Proof of delivery
  • Import formalities and duties
  • Cost of all inspections
  • Delivery to the named place of destination

Buyer’s Obligations

  • Payment for goods as specified in sales contract
  • Assist seller in obtaining any documents or information necessary for export or import clearance formalities

Special Considerations

When the cost of supply is comparatively stable and straightforward to predict, DDP is used. Advanced suppliers typically use DDP because the seller bears the greatest risk; however, some experts think that there may be reasons why U.S. exporters and importers should not use DDP.4

U.S exporters, for example, may be subject to value-added tax (VAT) at a rate of up to 20%.5 A VAT refund is additionally available to the buyer. Additionally, exporters may incur unforeseen storage and demurrage costs as a result of delays by customs, agencies, or carriers. Bribery is a risk that could have serious ramifications for both the US government and a foreign nation.

The seller and its forwarder are in control of the transportation for U.S. importers, so the importer has little knowledge of the supply chain. A seller may also markup freight bills or raise prices to cover the cost of liability for the DDP shipment.

Poor DDP management increases the likelihood that inbound shipments will be held up by customs inspection. In an effort to cut costs, a seller might choose to use less dependable, less expensive transportation services, which could result in late shipments.


Customs Under DDP 

The buyer also needs to ensure that the seller is able to do the customs clearance and all other formalities without any delays because at the end of the day it is in the buyer’s best interest to get their cargo delivered on time. The buyer needs to remember that under DDP, although the seller is doing all the work, the buyer might end up paying for all of this as the seller’s product price will include all these charges.

If you are a seller on DDP Incoterms, it is advised that you double-check and make sure that you or the agent you may designate at destinations can handle the import clearance there without incurring unnecessary costs. As a seller under DDP shipping terms, it might also be in your best interest to make sure you have a trustworthy freight forwarder or agent at the destination who won’t rip you off and makes sure all costs are confirmed.

In some countries, the buyer may be eligible for certain tax benefits which could be returned to you as a seller under As determined by your buyer, DDP

When the goods are delivered and cleared at the designated location if you are selling on DDP shipping terms, your obligation is complete. But in some cases, you may need the assistance of the buyer in securing some documents required for local customs clearance. Remember though, you as the seller are still liable for all costs and risks till the agreed place of delivery.

If you are a seller trading under You might need to be aware of the CISG (Contracts for the International Sale of Goods) or other corresponding provisions in the pertinent national Sale of Goods Acts when using DDP Incoterms. These clauses might offer you some relief from any unanticipated or reasonably unanticipated events that might prevent you from delivering under DDP shipping terms. As with all Incoterms, it is important that the point of delivery is expressly discussed and agreed upon between the buyer and the seller.

Why Use DDP?

These are the main justifications given by sellers for selecting DDP over DDU shipping.

1. To Protect The Buyer

The buyers benefit from DDP shipments by avoiding fraud. It’s in the seller’s best interest to ensure that customers actually receive what they ordered because they bear all of the risk and expense of shipping products. DDP shipping is too time- and money-consuming for con artists to even consider using it.

2. To Ensure Safe Delivery To The Place Of Destination For International Trade

Exporters who send packages halfway across the world run the risk of a lot of problems. Regarding transportation, import taxes, and shipping costs, every nation has its own set of regulations. DDP forces the seller to take extra care to send packages only on the best and safest routes.

3. To Ensure Safe Delivery By Sea Or Air Freight

Safe delivery by air or sea can be challenging, depending on the product and where it is sold. DDP basically acts as a shipping contract to prevent sellers from simply taking the money and running.

4. To Hold Sellers Responsible For International Fees

If a buyer has to pay customs fees, there’s a chance the sale won’t go through because they are unsure of the price. DDP makes purchasing easier because the buyer doesn’t have to worry about paying international fees because sellers and shippers take care of it.


Incoterms are logistics-specific terms, many of which are acronyms and are therefore difficult to understand. You should be familiar with the following terms. What are DDP, DDU, and DAP, and what sets them apart?

Delivered duty unpaid (DDU), in contrast to delivered duty paid (DDP), mandates that the final consumer, recipient, or importer of the package pay the duties incurred once it enters the destination country.

When a package arrives via DDU, customs will get in touch with the customer; in some cases, the customer may even need to pick up the package at the neighborhood post office. Too frequently, a customer places a DDU order without realizing it, at which point they contact the retailer’s customer service department, cancel the order, or decide not to accept it and send it back.

As a cross-border option that accounts for all fees up front, DDP is regarded as offering a better customer experience. This is because it gives the merchant the option of either passing on the fees to the customer by raising the price of the product or simply bearing them.

The seller assumes all costs and risks associated with delivery when an item is “delivered-at-place,” or DAP.

Various Incoterms

The rules and language that buyers and sellers use in domestic and international trade contracts are clarified by international commercial terms or Incoterms. Included among the Incoterms are Ex Works (EXW), Free Carrier (FCA), Carriage Paid To (CPT), Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP), Delivered at Place (DAP), Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU), Delivery at Frontier (DAF), Delivery ex-Ship (DEX), Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), Deliver Duty Unpaid (DDU), Free Alongside Ship (FAS), Free on Board (FOB).

Read More: Shipping From China Term

Related Posts