Custom Duties

I’m wondering if anyone knows where one could find information, address, phone and/or email to find out rules on import customs duties. I had some packages mailed from my home country recently and customs were a little high so I’d like to find out the rules. Thanks.

I had some experience with this several years ago, and came away with the general impression that the best advice is “mail in small packages, and a week or ten days apart.”

That way, it was possible to avoid many customs duties.

However, my friends in the USA could never understand this. They said that “mailing it all together in one big package is more convenient.”

Hence, I ended up paying a lot of customs duties.

In my case, the products involved were (1) health-food items, (2) vitamins, (3) general toiletry items.

It is ever worth bringing a car to Taiwan ? What can you get in Taiwan for US$ 5000 ? I knew someone who bought an old banger years ago for NT$ 40,000 but it had no air-conditioning!

Check the for sale forum – there’s a 1982 Mercedes going for NT$62,000. I’d be all over that one like a rash if I didn’t already have a car.

I’m in Ireland still, but making plans… Do you think he’d take a Euro cheque…???

To find out customs duty you need to know the CCC-No. of your product, with that No. you can then find out the customs-tariff.

If you are thinking about importing personal effects or private stuff you can get arround import procedures when the consignment comes together with a sort of Proforma Invoice, givin only a very small value for each item plus the very important statement “samples only - these goods have no commercial value - invoice for customs purpose only”

In Taiwan, I gues the easiest and safest way is still to have someone handcarry goods for you into Taiwan. I never heard of any Laowai that was checked by customs officers at CKS airport.

Regarding importing 2nd hand cars as a indivdual person (not as a company) be aware of a lot of hazzle and paperwork, I.e. I was told you have to own a car for one year prior to importing it into TWN.

More information might be available (in Chinese) from ARTC,

Frizz: I am surprised you had to pay, that never happened to me so far, no matter if it was from private or corporation (Amazon). (Germany makes a distinction between these two situations.) The only problem I always had was damage - I only received one (I never counted how many parcels I received here.) parcel without anything inside being damaged or disappeared. Once I sent chocolate and other things from Germany to my girl friend here, when it arrived, someone had taken a bite from the chocolate…
Oh, two parcels with one morning star each are missing - or at least very late. So, why do I sometimes hear people speak of custom duties? Or is my damage the equivalent if they don’t like the hassle to collect money?

Ship more than NT$3000 of vitamin pills, etc. into the country and wham, there’s like 35% tax on the whole thing. Contact your local Guan1 shui4 ju2.

By the way, Jeff Geer offers the following comments: Use international postal insurance whenever you send items overseas like to China or Taiwan. It is very cheap to insure USD 100 for about $1.80 from the USA. Also send it in smaller amounts of less than $50.00 value “daily” and even several days apart, thus the “gift” is duty-free. If you think you can be greedy and successfully subvert customs duties this way, think twice, if you are too enterprising.

Olaf: You asked what I had sent here. Well I have gotten hit twice now. Both times with UPS delivery. I used them once two months ago and everything was ok. What I had sent was some shampoo a couple bottles of each one I like, that I cannot get in Taiwan cheaply, and the second time was five heavy dress shirts. The shampoo I had sent once before by mail and there was no problem. I guess the post office doesn’t worry about customs charges so much, so in the future I will use it more. Though it gets more expensive, so either way it comes out the same.

I have also ordered from Amazon and no problem. I think it depends on where you have it shipped also. I have noticed this. If you have things shipped to a busiess depending on what it is, sometimes they don’t charge you, but then again I have also been charged when it was shipped to a business. So… six of one and half dozen of another…

We get stuff off Ebay and other places in the States, and we always have it shipped Global Priority Mail thru the US postal service ( Global Priority Mail is very affordable… a (approx) 9x12 envelope is $9 and you can stuff as much as you want into the envelope. Then there are boxes that are something like 10x15x2 inches and you can stuff it as full as you want as long as it doesn’t exceed 4 lbs.

Orders have always been shipped to a commercial address and we’ve never had to pay import taxes. Maybe we’ve just been lucky?

I try never to use a courier like UPS/Fedex (have never needed to). I’ve seen their rates… way more expensive than USPS.

Try not to use UPS or FEDEX, DHL …etc as they have very poor relationships with customs here and almost always gets stopped for duty collection. Also, the Taiwan customs considers these couriers to be used for business purpose, and will stop and inspect/asess duty. Using the regular post is usually trouble free for one box but will get stopped if more than one. Separate the shipments of 2 boxes by about 10 days and you shouldn’t have any trouble. If you do get the green notice from customs then go down to the Post Office and drink Chinese tea with the officers there and tell them how much you love Taiwan and they just may let you go for nothing.

And you have actually sat down and had tea with them and told them how much you love Taiwan? Well, it is true that there is a certain latitude in terms of what things you can negotiate in Taiwan.

As far as using USPS, yes, I have come to realize that it is cheaper in terms of custom duties, however, if the amount of stuff you want to send is great, then your still going to pay. Unless you send it by slow boat, it takes like 6-8 weeks, but if your in no rush, then it’s the way to go. As far as priority mail, yes I know that is cheaper and quick. But the amount you can send is relatively small.

I will be staying away from UPS, FedEx, and DHL in the future unless it’s an emergency.

I am still wondering however, who can I contact about the rules? Pfeffersack touched on this, but I’m still wondering. Thanks.

Yes, crappy tea but I didn’t have to pay customs so it was worth it. They got to know me down there so things went very smooth every time I had packages coming in.