Imported goods over NT$2,000 to be levied with customs duty


From the Taiwan News article nonredneck linked to above, emphasis added:

The first phase to be rolled out on July 1 this year will be targeting “frequent online importers” which is defined by Taiwan Customs Administration as persons who are making more than two online purchases per month, or importing items more than six times within half a year.

Smartphone numbers might be used to identity and trace the recipient to ensure it is the same person making high volume overseas online purchases, said the ministry officials. …

By the second phase the policy will follow the concept of “limiting imports to low priced products,” which will lower the bar for tariffs and VAT placed on online purchases from over NT$3,000 to NT$2,000 by Sept. 1, 2017.

So … they’ll track by cellphone numbers? Not sure how well that will work - I assume that anyone who makes a living this way will just get multiple cellphones.

If that article is accurate, and if the information still holds, then the 6 orders per six months policy is already in effect, but the move to 2,000 isn’t yet in effect. I guess iHerb’s message in September will be changed to “no more than 6 orders with a value below NTD 2,000 [rather than 3,000] … within a half-year period”. But last I heard - and all I know is from forumosa! - I had the impression this policy was still under review.


So for personal use, not for people who import to make money, can’t I just not put a number of give a fake one? This whole thing is stupid. They need to fix the current laws not make new stupid ones.


Apple Daily link to what seems to be story

This blog link offers a detailed explanation for those who can read Chinese. Maybe somebody can enlighten us . .


So is there a difference between my friend sending me a present vs me buying something on amazon. If my friend buys me a nice watch over 2k will I be taxed? This is all not very clear to me. And again, how do they determine the price of the item?


Can someone please explain to me how they know if what I ordered is over 2000nt?


Isn’t the value of the package usually listed on a piece of paper stuck on the outside of the box? I’ll try to remember to post about that when/if the two packages I’ve got coming arrive.

The two main companies I order from are iHerb and Amazon: both of those let you know that import fees will come into effect over a certain level. Amazon charges an import fee deposit if you’re over around USD$90; I’ve never gone over that with iHerb, so I’m not sure what they do.


What is the import tax rate on items??? Does anyone know?

If I buy something from iherb for 2000nt or if I buy something from Amazon for 50,000nt. What will the tax rate be on those amounts and amounts in between?


I like this new rule because it is fair since it taxes all people and not just foreigners.


I recently ordered items from two different online sites. I had the items shipped to a freight forwarding service I use in the US (the sites advertised “Free shipping to the US”). The freight forwarding service then combines the orders into one shipment to Taiwan. They use DHL, and you must provide the item values to the freight forwarding service if the values are not listed on the packaging.

Anyway, the total value was just under NT3,000 (I planned it that way), and I received my package from DHL today. No fees/taxes required. They didn’t ask me for my ID number or telephone number, so I have no idea how they (DHL? Taiwan Government?) are going to track how many orders I’ve made. By my address?


It seems like tracking the packages will take more man power and money than the tax received… i guess they can say they created more jobs maybe?

I just got one from Iherb. No duty. Can I avoid it if say my friend buys it and ships it to me?


somebody speaks up


2 people read it.

Now three.


Shopping online here is painful, overpriced and terrible selection, not to mention websites from hell. Now import duties make it even worse.


For what it’s worth I’ve received two packages in the month of July and didn’t have to pay duty for either of them: both were over NT$2,000 but under NT$3,000. One Amazon, one iHerb. Either they aren’t charging duty on goods over NT$2,000 yet, or they’re not doing it very competently.

Both shipments had the US dollar value somewhere on the packaging, so the information is available for customs, although for the iHerb shipment they would have needed to dig into an attached plastic envelope. I didn’t see any indication of “You have ordered TWO packages and have FOUR remaining for the current six month period”, but who knows how or if the public will be informed about that.

iHerb (all groceries) came through with no hassles at all. For Amazon (electronics product), I received an email from customs (or whatever the associated office is), and needed to give them my Chinese name and my APRC number. After that it was fine. Fortunately no phone calls were involved.

Little shipping details: iHerb’s product shipping is quite good at letting you know where the package is, although don’t be alarmed by a “Shipment delayed” that seems to happen every time it arrives in Taiwan, I think just because the work day is over and everyone’s gone home until tomorrow. Amazon’s shipping info is weird and quite delayed; I got an alert that the package had arrived about 24 hours after I’d received it.


The new deal is supposed to start in September.


As of last week, no decision had been made as to whether or not to reduce the duty-free threshold. The proposed start date is September 1. The Ministry of Finance is still accepting comments from the public on the proposal. If you don’t like it, you can call or write to the MOF to express your opinion.


VAT is 5% of value, and payable regardless of what product (once you are above a certain value).

Import duties depend on the product: 0% for some items, but can be 20% for sparkling wine, for instance. Clothing is high too, if I remember correctly. You can search for “Taiwan tariffs database” in Google to find the link of the customs office and then go through the database to find the rates applicable.


Import duties can be quite substantial, do they’ll almost certainly earn more than they spend on the extra labour.

Similar to parking enforcement in parts of California - they hired a few more cops, increased enforcement, and it more than paid for itself.


Received a package of baby clothes this week with a value over NT$3000 with no issue.


Did you order from Amazon? Amazon, AFAIK, already whacks a tax on what you buy. Not entirely certain, but stuff sent privately (ie a relative sends stuff, care packages, etc) are more or less hit or miss from customs BS, depending how it was sent.