From my experiences the charges are as such: Postal service charges + VAT + Duty/customs fees. Postal service charges vary according to the company. Generally, if it's ParcelFarce Force It'll be around £8 for the privilege of them looking after your parcel until you pay up. Fedex charges significantly more as they want to be paid back for "paying HMRC for you". VAT is charged if HMRC decide it's VAT liable - it's usually 20% and this can sometimes, but not always, include the shipping charge too, Of note this is based on HMRC's decided value of the item, not the actual purchase price. Duty/customs fees is decided by HMRC. Not been charged this but I gather it is just as arbitrary. I usually assume worst case scenario of 25-30% extra on the price of the item if importing from America. Got to love the HMRC Exactly!