DDP vs. DDU: How it Works in International Shipping

SARA NAWAB Jan 05, 2024 • 4 Min read
DDP and DDU in international shipping and how they impact
DDP and DDU in international shipping and how they impact


With international import and export revenue estimated to reach over US$3.5 trillion in 2024, moving into the global shipping market is more lucrative than ever for eCommerce businesses.

But when moving into cross-border commerce, one of the most daunting parts can be navigating duty requirements. 

The key to mastering this process is understanding the difference between DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) and DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid). These terms not only define cost responsibilities but also shape the efficiency and legality of your global shipping operations.

Let’s dive into the difference between these two features of cross-border logistics, to determine which is the right fit for your business. 

Understanding DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)

DDP stands for Delivered Duty Paid. Under this agreement, the seller assumes all responsibilities and costs associated with transporting goods until they reach their destination. This includes paying for shipping costs, import and export duties, insurance, and any other expenses incurred during transportation. 

  • Advantages

DDP simplifies tasks for the buyer, making it an attractive option for those new to international shipping. It also ensures that all customs duties and fees are taken care of, avoiding unexpected costs upon arrival.

  • Disadvantages 

For the seller, DDP can be risky and expensive, as it requires a deep understanding of the customs regulations of the buyer's country.

  • Impact on Customs and Shipping Documentation 

The seller is responsible for preparing and managing all shipping documentation, ensuring compliance with global shipping solutions and customs regulations. Here at eShipper, we are able to help you with this process. 

In this video, we break down the intricacies of DDP (Delivery Duties Paid) and DDU (Delivery Duty Unpaid) in international shipping.

Understanding DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)

DDU, or Delivered Duty Unpaid, places the responsibility of paying import duties, taxes, and related charges on the buyer.

  • Advantages

For sellers, DDU reduces the burden of navigating foreign customs regulations and unexpected costs.

  • Disadvantages

Buyers must handle customs clearance and additional fees, which can be complex and time-consuming, and deter them from making a purchase. 

  • Role in Customs and Import/Export 

Under DDU, the buyer must be well-versed in their country's import regulations, including understanding potential delays and additional costs.

DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) Vs DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid),

DDP vs. DDU: A Comparative Analysis

Choosing between DDP and DDU depends on various factors like the nature of the goods, the experience of the parties involved, and the specific requirements of the destination country. 

DDP is generally preferred for its simplicity and convenience, especially in B2C transactions. 

In contrast, DDU can be more cost-effective for the seller but requires the buyer to have a certain level of expertise in handling customs processes.

Practical Implications for eCommerce Businesses

For eCommerce businesses, the choice between DDP and DDU can significantly impact operations and your global shipping solutions. 

Using DDP can enhance customer satisfaction by providing a hassle-free experience, but it requires a higher level of commitment from the seller. 

On the other hand, DDU can be more flexible for sellers but might place a burden on the buyer, potentially affecting customer experience.

What it comes down to: you should assess your capacity to handle shipping logistics and choose the solution that aligns with their business model and customer expectations.


Understanding and wisely choosing between DDP and DDU is crucial for effective international shipping and your cross-border logistics strategy. Each has its advantages and challenges, and the right choice depends on your business needs and capabilities. 

Here at eShipper, we can help simplify the duties process and customs clearance with experts to guide you through it all. Reach out to us to easily expand your reach to across 220 countries in 2024! 

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