In English law, poundage was an ad valorem customs duty imposed on imports and exports at the rate of 1 shilling for every pound of goods imported or exported.
The levy was introduced in 1347 and continued for many years at the same rate until after the Restoration from when Parliament set the rates according to current needs.
Poundage was closely associated with tonnage, or tunnage, which was a duty on every tun of wine imported.
Poundage on postal orders
One penny poundage on a canteen order, a form of postal order
In Britain, and elsewhere, the term poundage is used for the charge imposed on the sale of a postal order.
- ^ a b c Higgs, Henry. Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy, Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1926, p.548.
- ^ Annual Register 1914, p.262.