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Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU)


Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) is a term used in international trade, representing an agreement where the seller is responsible for ensuring goods are delivered to a specific location, but not for paying the duty fees. The buyer is responsible for import clearance and any applicable local taxes or import duties. This arrangement places much of the risk and insurance costs on the buyer.


Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) can be phonetically transcribed as: /dɪˈlɪvərd ˈdjuːti ʌnˈpeɪd/

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) is a type of international trade agreement where the seller is responsible for ensuring the goods are delivered to a specified location, but all costs related to duties, taxes, and customs clearance are the buyer’s responsibility.</li> <li>In a DDU agreement, the risk of transporting goods is on the seller until the goods have been delivered to the specified location. However, the buyer assumes the risk as soon as they’re responsible for clearing the goods through customs.</li> <li>DDU is less commonly used today because of the introduction of the term Delivered At Place (DAP), which was introduced by Incoterms in 2010 as a more comprehensive term. While DDU still sees some use, particularly in certain sectors or legacy contracts, DAP is now more prevalent and inclusive.</li></ol>


The business/finance term Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) is crucial as it delineates the responsibilities of both the seller and buyer in a global trade transaction. According to this Incoterm, the seller is responsible for covering the costs and risks associated with delivering goods to the destination specified by the buyer. However, the buyer assumes all responsibilities and costs associated with import clearance, duties, taxes, and other expenses once the goods have arrived at the destination. This arrangement can provide a clear delineation of responsibilities and liabilities in international trade agreements, thereby minimizing potential disputes and promoting smoother operations.


Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) is a term primarily used in international trade. Its main purpose is to lay out the roles and responsibilities between a seller and a buyer regarding the shipment and delivery of goods. In a DDU agreement, the seller is responsible for ensuring that the goods are safely delivered to a location specified by the buyer. However, the seller isn’t accountable for any duties, taxes, and other fees associated with importing the goods into the buyer’s country. This means under DDU terms, the seller fulfills his obligation when the goods are made available at the designated location in the importing country but before the importation clearance process. The primary intent of using DDU is to create a clear boundary of responsibilities between the buyer and the seller, minimizing potential disputes. In essence, DDU renders a sense of protection for the sellers since they aren’t entangled in the complexities of customs processes, duties, or taxes of the buyer’s country. On the other hand, the responsibility for clearing the goods for import and dealing with customs formalities falls on the buyer and hence, the buyer needs to have a clear understanding of the importing country’s customs rules and regulations. Therefore, DDU is preferably used when the buyer is well-versed with the import custom processes of their country and can handle them effectively.


1. Online Shopping from International Sellers: Imagine you are purchasing a collector’s item from an online marketplace and the seller is located in the United Kingdom, while you’re located in the United States. If the transaction is handled under DDU terms, the seller will cover freight costs to send the item to the U.S., but the buyer is obligated to pay any import duties, taxes, and other costs associated with getting the good through customs.2. Importing Raw Materials for Manufacturing: Suppose a car manufacturer in Germany needs to import steel from a company in Japan. If the steel is shipped under DDU terms, the Japanese steel company will bear the costs and risks involved in shipping the steel all the way to Germany. However, once the shipment arrives, the German car manufacturer would be responsible for paying the import duty and any other applicable taxes and fees.3. International Trade of Collectible Wines: A wine collector in Australia decides to purchase a case of rare French wine for his collection. If the French supplier ships the wine under DDU terms, they would cover the costs of transportation and insurance to deliver the wine to Australia. However, once the wine arrives in Australia, the collector would be responsible for any customs duties or taxes before he can receive the wine.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) mean in finance and business term?

DDU, or Delivered Duty Unpaid, is an international trade term indicating that the seller is responsible for ensuring goods are delivered to a specific location, but all the costs related to import clearance, duties, and taxes are borne by the buyer.

When is DDU applied in a transaction?

DDU is applied in international transactions where the seller takes responsibility for delivering goods, but the buyer is responsible for import clearance, duties, and other related costs.

Who is responsible for insurance in DDU arrangements?

Under a DDU agreement, the risk transfers from seller to buyer once the goods are delivered to the specified location. Therefore, up until that point, the seller is usually responsible for insurance.

What is the difference between DDU and DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)?

The key difference between DDU and DDP is who bears the costs and responsibilities related to import clearance, duties and taxes. In DDP, the seller assumes all responsibilities and costs, including import clearance and duties. In DDU, the seller only delivers the goods with costs of import clearance, duties or taxes falling on the buyer.

What are the benefits of a DDU arrangement for the buyer?

A main benefit of DDU for the buyer is control over the import process, which can potentially lessen costs if the buyer has a better understanding of local regulations and duties than the seller. However, this requires the buyer to assume more responsibility and risk than in a DDP arrangement.

Is DDU still used in international trade terms?

While DDU was a common trade term, it has formally been replaced by DAP (Delivered At Place) in the latest version of Incoterms. However, some businesses colloquially still use DDU.

Can the terms of DDU be negotiated differently between buyer and seller?

Yes, all Incoterms, including DDU, can be modified through negotiations between the buyer and seller. It’s important to always confirm the exact terms of any agreement before entering a trade agreement.

Related Finance Terms

  • Incoterms: This refers to the set of international commercial terms that is used to define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers involved in the delivery of goods under sales contracts. DDU is one specific type of Incoterm.
  • Customs Duties: These are taxes that are imposed on the importation and exportation of goods. Under DDU terms, the buyer is responsible for paying these duties.
  • Freight Charges: This refers to the cost associated with the transportation of goods from the seller to the buyer. In a DDU arrangement, the seller covers these charges.
  • Risk Transfer: This is the point in the transaction where the risks of transportation switch from the seller to the buyer. In a DDU contract, risk transfers when the goods are available for unloading at the destination.
  • Import Clearance: The procedures involved in getting approval from the customs authorities to bring goods into a country. Under DDU terms, the buyer handles import clearance.

Sources for More Information

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