Importing computer TO taiwan

hello everyone…i could use a bit of help. i do 2d and 3d animation (maya, etc.) and am going to be in taiwan as a teacher for the next year and a half. i purchased a workstation (the parts were not available in taiwan) and need to bring it with me. the taiwanese ‘consulate’ here in houston hasn’t been too much help. how do i get it in to taiwan? are there import duties coming IN to the country, or only coming OUT? can i bring it on the plane…should i ship it whole…should I dissassemble it? any ideas? thanks very much in advance!

I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about…if it’s much bigger than a regular PC, that might be difficult, but I’ve entered Taiwan with just a gonzo huge cardboard box containing (stacked one on top of the other with those packing peanuts between them) a CPU, a monitor and a laser printer. No one ever said a word. I think that if you bring in ONE of something, it’s usually not a problem. Usually better to say you’re a student instead of that you’re going to make money using said equipment however.

My take on it is that if you can get it down to a reasonable size, asking for permission is just asking for trouble. I usually bring in at least one of those big plastic boxes full of stuff (microwave, bread machine, stuff like that) each trip and I’ve never had any trouble yet (but…knock wood!)

Taking it on a plane (as lugguage, not handcarried) shouldn’t be a problem at all. Be aware of charges if you exceed the max. allowed weight (20kg in Economy I think).

I think that if you bring in ONE of something, it’s usually not a problem.

Import duties always apply when you bring things in, not out of a country. In most countries only portable / battery powered equipment is excempted.
That said you may be lucky and they close both eyes. If the stuff can fit into a suitcase you may also be “lucky” - unless the customs asks you to open it upon arrival.
Of course the correct way is to declare the items - not that you think I would ever have done something like this. :wink:

Hint: you should be able to reclaim any VAT paid in the country you purchased the equipment as you are now exporting it, so check with the customs at your airport of origin (expect to produce the receipt and the item(s)).
In some countries this however forces you to handcarry the items since the counter may be located inside the transit area / after check-in.

i find it hard to believe that “parts aren’t available in taiwan.” most of the stuff in most computers come from taiwan (or korea)! browsing the computer mkt area on Ba De and seeing all the computer innards available make me think something stinks in Houston (and for once it isn’t the texans).

as for bringing it with you, have you considered just bringing the CPU and buying peripherals here? lot’s of monitors and printers and scanners and … come from here too (ViewSonic, MAG, etc,…).

you can always say this is spl. computer for Demos !!! there is no commericial value.
I have gotten a lot of hardware this way.

But for a work station parts not avalible, that is strange, what my have happned is you cannot find a particular card from a spec. company, but they must be OEM it from taiwan only. the best way is to go to the market and as for card with specfication not from spec. vendors.

hey guys…thanks for the help. i am going to be checking the computer on the plane with me. i called the commercial divisions of the consulates in new york and los angeles and each said that if it was for personal use, there would be no problem. here’s hoping!

as regards the availability of parts in taiwan…i sent a friend around with the specs for the 3d card i needed (it’s a wildcat III 6110) and no one knew what it was, nor could they confirm that motherboards could be had which support pro 110 graphics (the spec the card requires). i was surprised as well, as i was hoping to build a system cheaply in taiwan. it may indeed have been possible to purchase the stuff OEM, but i couldn’t gamble on not being able to assemble the system i needed upon arrival, so i bought it here. all i bought was the tower, the peripherals to be bought in taipei.

my main concern was that i priced (through dell taiwan) the same system i purchased here and the price was literally twice as much. i thought the vast difference in prices may have been due to import duties and the like, and was worried that i would be required to pay the difference upon arrival…so…again…thanks for all of your help (especially ironlady)…take care!

you are not supposed to buy Dell or IBM or HP if you are in taiwan, you just go to the local market and buy a local brand.

I just bought a machine P4, 256MB,4x AGP,60GB (plus all the std. stuff ) with the moniter it costed me NT$30K ( less than US$ 900.

I’ve broght a ton of computer things with me into the country. I don’t declare it as I consider it my personal belongings. For that matter, why would a businessman or woman want to declare their laptop each time they went into a new country? There is a lot of slack here. And yes, in Taiwan, it is better to NOT say anything than to ask. As long as you have a good excuse if stopped, you’re OK. Just make sure you have one of each and it looks integrated into your luggage. What I mean is, if it is a new purchase, take it out of the original packaging and just place it in a big box with foam or in your luggage.

If you ship the unit separately, it will mostly likely be taxed. I’ve shipped a Mac before (not brand new either) and it was taxed.

My boyfriend and I came here four months ago with two computers, two cats and three suitcases. We had no problems at all, except for that we had to cary all of it! And we had to pay an extra $90 because we had one more suitcase than we were allowed (which we knew). We only brought our CPUs and software (of which there was a lot). I would bring your receipts with you to show that you purchases it in the US, though, so that you don’t have any problems when you go home!

Since you

I remember being in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the train station in 1991 and seeing an incoming cargo train laden with what I later discovered to be Polish coal. Glad to see the idiom still has a modern application.

Without going into the boring specifics, I have had new electronic equipment sent to me here in Taiwan from the US and have had to pay hellish import duties. These were birthday presents and no amount of pleading could dissuade the machinery of bureacracy from nailing me to the wall.
If you want to bring stuff, do so, but be award that sending new equipment carries a risk.
(btw, no everything I have received from the States was taxed…so you never know.)

For that matter, why would a businessman or woman want to declare their laptop each time they went into a new country?

Because they are not resident here and leave the country (with that item) again.

Personal belonging or not, you are applicable to import duties with only a few exceptions.
Or do you think you can import a car tax-free because it’s “for personal use” only? Good luck in trying …

However, based on the previous comments, it seems that Taiwanese customs isn’t that picky when you hand-carry items, so that’s perhaps the best route to go then …

(btw, no everything I have received from the States was taxed…so you never know.)

Which can depend on three things or a combination thereof:

  1. The value of the item(s)
  2. The declaration / purpose of the shipment
  3. Your luck