Yeah, I hate that Parcelfarce bullshit with a passion. I had a service fee levied on something which was zero-rated for import duties, but they charged a handling fee plus duties anyway. When I called them and said so, they basically blamed me for not writing ‘customs duties will be handled by addressee’ on it and sent me a nice form to reclaim the tax, with the proviso that they’d be keeping their handling fee. Seriously, the UK is turning into a third-world shithole populated by skimmers and scammers.
This is the basic reason I oppose import duties on principle, especially systems that involve complicated rules: they tend to evolve into a disgusting cesspit of corruption and official skulduggery.
I recently ordered vitamins from iHerb which was more than NT$3600 so was charged 30% import tax. Well, getting an order to less than $2000 is possible but must place several orders to cover my annual needs.
I figure iHerb got stuck with a lot of orders to Taiwan on the day this change was announced. Heck, 4 of us at the office rushed to make our orders. Mine was originally 2900 ntd, but my pal said that was cutting too close, so out a pack of soap and Bob’s your uncle. There was a non taxable limit of 6 orderrs or so and so many orders per year/month… seems it accumulates not from just oen place, so one iHerb, one PetPlace and one Amazon and ZAZ! you’re taxed.
It just occurred to me that the international shipping companies are going to be mighty unhappy about all this. The massive loss of business will probably force them to increase their fees, thereby bumping up your import costs even further.
That’s the sort of thing that happens when you try to ‘protect’ industry A … you end up hurting industries B, C and D in the process.
Ok, forgive me if I missed it, but I can’t imagine duties would be imposed on 6+ shipments REGARDLESS of the value. I imagine it must be something like 6+ shipments in excess of $2k value, and any single shipment in excess of $3k value. Does anyone have a clearer source on such details?
The policy, which was intended to go live by May 1, has been met with widespread objection from locals, and the Ministry of Finance received more than 500 messages from the public that resulted in the extension of the evaluation period.
Sounds like they may amend or cancel it (fingers crossed) if there’s sufficient resistance.
Thanks to @yyy for posting the contact page for the MOF in English.
This is infuriating for me. I got an e-mail from DHL last night that basically said to be careful with iherb purchases and I was confused about why they sent it.
I went ahead and explained a few scenarios regarding why – especially foreigners – may have to make multiple purchases from abroad per year and sent my e-mail off to the MOF. I read through some new? rules in Chinese, but didn’t really get it. I don’t know whether they are overestimating the number of home re-sellers or not, but this is going to hurt foreigners just trying to make life more bearable while away from home.
Living in Taiwan long term is difficult and the little things like this – more major for some people – begin adding up and personally I would have called it quits with Taiwan years ago if it weren’t for fear of my cats dying during the airplane ride while returning home among a few other things.
For what it’s worth iHerb now has this on their website when you’re placing an order:
Effective July 1st, 2017: Duties and Taxes will not be levied for international purchased shipments as long as no more than 6 orders with a value below NTD 3,000 are purchased within a half-year period. (Half year periods begin Jan 1st and July 1st). Any order beyond 6 times within the same half year period will be levied Duties/Taxes despite order amount.
So I guess that definitely means your 7th and later orders in that six month period will get duties. I’m not sure how it’ll work if, for example, you’ve had three Amazon orders and four iHerb orders.
I wonder if the order I’m placing tonight (June 30) will count towards the July 1 period or not.
Can someone provide a link to the actual rule change in Chinese and how this will be executed? How will the government keep track of your orders if they will be delivered by different carriers such as DHL, Post Office, UPS, Amazon Direct, Aliexpress, SF, etc? Or do they mean six orders from one online merchant? Hard to make sense of it.
But how do they know how much the imported goods are worth? Do they now open every package and inspect it? And how do they track how many things come to your address? Is there a record for every time a package outside of taiwan comes in?
Does this also mean customs is going to be slower than NY and Australia where they check everything and is super strict? I’d hate for something I order to sit in customs for 2 weeks like in NY.