What is Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) in export trade?


Learn about Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) in this blog

When shipping internationally, companies use terms like "Delivered Duty Unpaid" (DDU) to clarify responsibilities. Under DDU, the seller handles shipping costs and risks, but the buyer shoulders import fees and paperwork.

What is Delivery Duty Unpaid?

In international trade, Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) basically means the seller gets your goods to a specific location in your country, but you're responsible for any import fees and taxes before you can actually receive them.

Think of it like this: The seller drops off your package at your doorstep, but you need to pay the postman before you can bring it inside. It's basically a shared responsibility for the final leg of the delivery journey. The seller gets it there, and you take care of everything else to get it "home.”

DDU Responsibilities in a Nutshell

Seller (Exporter):

  • Delivers goods with proper paperwork to the agreed location.
  • Handles export procedures and pays transportation costs (excluding import duties).
  • Takes risk for goods until delivery.
  • Provides documents for ownership transfer.

Buyer (Importer):

  • Pays for goods and handles import paperwork.
  • Takes on responsibility and risk for goods at delivery.
  • Handles all further costs (import duties, taxes, local transport).

DDU: Pros and Cons for Importers and Exporters

For Importers

  1. Pros:
  2. More control: You can decide how to handle customs clearance and potentially negotiate better rates.
  3. Transparency: You're responsible for import costs, so you have clear visibility into the final price.
  4. Cons:
  5. Surprise fees: Unexpected customs charges can lead to budget issues.
  6. Paperwork hassle: Dealing with import formalities can be time-consuming and complex.
  7. Limited recourse: If the exporter makes mistakes, it's your responsibility to fix them.

For Exporters:

  1. Pros:
  2. Reduced complexity: You don't need to deal with foreign customs regulations.
  3. Lower costs: You avoid paying import duties, potentially making your offer more competitive.
  4. Cons:
  5. Less control: You can't guarantee smooth customs clearance or timely delivery.
  6. Potential delays: Importer issues can hold up your goods and impact your reputation.
  7. Unfamiliarity: Lack of knowledge about the destination country's regulations can lead to errors.

Remember: Choosing DDU depends on your priorities and risk tolerance. Evaluate the specific trade and consider these points before making a decision.

DDU vs. DDP: What's the Difference?

When shipping internationally, Indian businesses need to choose between Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP). Here's a breakdown:


  • Importer pays: You handle all customs fees, taxes, and local shipping costs.
  • Pros: More control over costs and procedures.
  • Cons: Unexpected fees, complex paperwork, and potential delays.


  • Exporter pays: The seller covers all costs, including import duties and taxes, until delivery.
  • Pros: Simpler for you, predictable final price.
  • Cons: Less control, potentially higher costs for the seller.

Which to choose?

It depends on your priorities:

  • Control and transparency: Choose DDU if you prefer managing costs and have the resources to handle customs.
  • Simplicity and predictability: Choose DDP for a hassle-free experience, even if it might cost slightly more.

Ultimately, understanding both options helps Indian businesses make informed decisions and navigate e-commerce exports smoothly.

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Jodaro helps business and MSMEs to take their products from India to international markets easily. We help you with product analysis, marketing, logistics, compliance, etc. Without having a need for physical store or warehouse abroad. Reach out to us today at

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