Has anybody imported a motor vehicle to Taiwan?


With the law banning the import of bigger motorcycles about to change this summer, I’m considering importing a bike to Taiwan. I assume that the government is going to use the same laws and regulations as they would with cars.

My question is: Being an Alien Resident (working with a 1 year expatriate agreement), do I have to pay the motorcycle tax + commodity tax when bringing the bike in? If so, is it possible to reclaim the tax when exporting the bike back to my home country in the end of my stay here?

I fully intend to take the bike back with me when I leave the country next winter. So far the messages I’m getting seem to indicate that I indeed do have to pay the taxes, but I would like to know if somebody out there has any real experience on importing a vehicle to Taiwan.

I would be really gratefull if anyone can help me with this.


A follow-up on the issue.

I got a message from the customs informing me that importing large motorcycles after July 1st is indeed possible, the downside of this are the taxes. Below you can find the taxes I was notified of, they are calculated on the CIF cost of the vehicle (CIF=Cost+Insurance+Freight).

Motorcycle import tariff 24%
Some kind of harbour charge 0,0415%
Commodity tax 17%
VAT 5%

The local law apparently does not have any special rule for importing something temporarily to the country. The taxes/duties paid are not refundable even if you can prove that you took the vehicle back to where it originally came from.

As a personal note I have to say that this was a big disappointment for me, and it definately stopped me from considering to stay here longer than one year.


Given a ‘C+I+F’ basis, you should import a used bike with a lower cost. Of course, if the insurance records a higher value than your cost, it would be difficult to justify the lower basis.

There used to be a one-time exemption of duty for foriegn residents importing an auto for personal use. I wonder if this still applies and applies to any form of motor vehicle

Hello George,

I had heard about the same exception rule. That is the way how it usually works almost everywhere else in the world, but so far I haven’t got any indication that in Taiwan this would be anything more than an urban legend.

Temporary import of a vehicle (meaning that it has to go back to the country of origin in the same condition as it came in to the country within a predefined time)for personal use is apparently impossible without paying the duties. This was also the reply I got from a well known internation moving company.

Why I’m hell bent on importing the bike you might ask? Well the reason lies within the legistlation of my native coutry, the local taxes hike up motorcycle (or car for that matter) cost by about 110%. At the same time there is an exception rule of buying the vehicle tax free if some requirements are fullfilled. The requirements are: I have to live abroad for 1 year, and I have to have the vehicle in the country I reside in in my personal use for 6 months. So because of my Taiwan assignment I would have been eligible for this “benefit”. Unfortunately Taiwan is not terrible friendly towards importing vehicles.

This is pretty stupid, but what can you do? If someone knows of any way to apply for an exception permit for this kind of import I would be extremely grateful of the tip.

As it stands now I’m planning to move to a more friendly country in the next fall and bring the bike there. This of course means spending half a year more abroad in a new location, but I see no alternative.



Let me get this straight, your going to move to another country for six months because you will be able import a bike there for cheaper and then after your six months pack up and leave and finally get your bike home to its end-destination which is your country of origin… and in your calculations you will have saved yourself how many dollars?


In the end after all additional costs I get the bike at half the price I would pay for it back home, so I will save about US$13000. And no, I’m not going to pay for the relocation myself and no I don’t lose my job as I’m merely going to be working in a different branch office.

Did you really think I would do something like this without a thinking it through first?


Why do you need to import the bike?

Just wait for the market to open up here, buy it here (assuming the make/model will become available) and then repatriate, thus fullfilling all the requirements.

I have understood that if I would buy it from Taiwan I would still have to pay taxes for it according to the local regulations. So even if I could bring it back home without having to pay any customs fees there, I would still have paid taxes in Taiwan.
If I’m mistaken and it is possible to buy the motorcycle tax free from Taiwan could you guys please let me know about it. I’m still a bit unsure of the local laws governing this, but the way everything tax/customs fees related has worked out so far, I’m not really expecting this to be possible.


Temporary import or rather transit should be tax free in most countries but at 6 month I doubt it. As well I am not sure if the cost of shipping to Taiwan wouldn’t be around the same what you pay for taxes here, perhaps the purchase price here is even more attractive then in the country of origin.

Which leads me to another question: where do you actually want to buy the bike if I may ask!?

Excession, seeing as you are from Finland i sympathise with you over the local taxation costs in Finland, are they any worse than those in Denmark.
It is possible to import a vehicle duty free, but it must fulfill certain conditions. I am referring mainly to cars not sure if the same rules apply to motorcycles or not. The person importing the vehicle must have owned for for one year prior to it leaving the country of export, ie it is a used vehicle, even then there a quota limitations i believe.
It is not possible legally to bring a new vehicle into Taiwan without having paid the duties first.
Again depending on the country of manufacture this may still have quota limits in terms of the duty percentage values you have been given.

I also would suggest you wait until you see the prices here, you maybe very pleasantly surprised, they will be cheap to start with to get people into them. Which motorcycle are we talking about here anyway ?



  1. I believe that most countries accept temporary import under foreign import licence plates for a period not longer than one year (non extendable).

  2. As the taxation in Finland is extremely high the manufacturers compensate this by lowering their import price accordingly. So I think that I can get the cheapest price if I’d buy it from there.

To NeillM:

I’m not an expert on danish taxes, but I do know that in Finland I would have to pay more than 110% tax for the bike.
I was going to buy a 2002 Harley Softail, I doubt that the prices here are going to be competitive when comparing them to the tax free price in Finland, even if they can be lowin the beginning to get some marketshare for big bikes. I’m going to be here until this fall anyways, so I’ll just sit tight and wait to see what kind of prices they are going to have in TW.

Still I think that in the end I’ll just have to go back to some other EU country and spend 6 months there to get the bike tax free. I was kinda hoping to head back home after 1 year, but apparently it was not meant to be…


I am not sure if buying the bike in Finland is going to turn out cheaper (considering shipping etc), not to mention the hassle with the paper work. Hope you speak fluently Chinese …

A lot of my Finish ex-colleagues in Malaysia purchased the bikes (Harleys) locally, obviously they were much cheaper there - and some shipped them later to Finland rather then the other way around …