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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.[1]

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.[1]

Poundage was closely associated with tonnage, or tunnage, which was a duty on every tun of wine imported.[1]

Poundage on postal orders[edit]

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.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Higgs, Henry. Palgrave's Dictionary of Political Economy, Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1926, p.548.
  2. ^ Annual Register 1914, p.262.