New limits for international shipping to Taiwan

Word among the furriners in the office is that since March 1st, a new regulation in place limits your tax free shipments to SIX. After that, you may pay a hefty tax.

Info was from a call to Fedex. Seems all shipments from all carriers are afected -which would mean you are in trouble if you get stuff from Amazon, iHerb, etc. the usual suspects.

Has anyone heard about this/has linkies to more info?

Six shipments per year or per lifetime?

I didn’t realize there was a way to get tax free shipments. The way I understood it was that anything under $3000 would be exempt, but beyond that you’d have to pay tax (if customs caught it). I was a bit perplexed a few years ago when I ordered a computer and wasn’t asked to pay anything when it arrived. That may explain why.

Placed a call just now and our Fedex contact did not hear about this (yet…?)-- which certainly is not a final word as a big company like that can have varying info from different reps.

So if what Fedex told you is correct-- Taiwan customs will keep a record of your name and address and once you hit 6 shipments per 12 months (or calendar year) they will then start taxing you for shipments under NT 3000. That’s a lot of info to store & ‘police’ for values that are only NT 3000.

I wonder if they might be asking Fedex for info on people who import large qtys of these low value shipments…? Or certain types of products?

I think the keyword might be “may”— although hopefully it is only applied to those who are egregiously ‘gaming the system’. But I could be wrong.

If there is any definitive info hopefully someone can post it.

That’s crazy, though: there’d be literally millions of packages under $3000 that would be affected. I feel like there’d be almost no way to enforce it with their current work force.

I mean, I may hit six shipments in total, with a couple of the from Ebay, one from Amazon, and at least 3 from iHerb a year.

I do wonder about enforcement.

My coworker who does not speak/read Chinese was told this, but he imports a lot of stuff. So does my other colleague… who was just hit with a 50% tax… on whey protein.

Yep, the 3000 ntd has always been the mark. But imports have been troublesome lately, who knows what’s up.

Is this an Apple Daily rumor piece or is their an actual source?

I could ask reception at the office since they deal with couriers on a daily basis.

A lot of it depends on customs. I’ve ordered some athletic apparel and sports nutrition things from a cycling website in the UK and they always write the commercial invoice value at under 3000NT, but I’ve been caught a few times.

Let’s say that was what the Fedex guy told my coworker. That is why I did a quick Google search, but my Google-fu is not that good. Will try other Chinese sources, but anyways, it is something to keep an eye on.

Don’t have any specifics or links however what I briefly heard while trying to have lunch the other day from the TV in the restaurant with the volume turned to 11 and the speakers trying to vibrate their way out of the case was that the crack down was on home resellers, i.e. those that make a small living from shipping products from Taiwan to China, US etc or perhaps the other way around. Anyhow, what I think I heard was that 6 shipments to the same address may lead to a check. How they track or check, I have no idea. Could also have heard it wrong!

That’s weird. I was told by someone watching a local news item on TV that the new rule reduced the duty-free limit from 3k to 1.5k.
Which is a whole nother (but equally retarded) deal.

So, my colleague says it is not new, it is something that was in the books for some time but NOW they decided to enforce it.

From the English site:

Tax Relief and Tax Calculation

  1. Tax relief is granted on postal articles (excluding tobacco and alcohol) up to a Customs value of NT$3,000.
  1. If the customs value exceeds NT$3,000, the full amount of import tax (charge) shall be imposed. For miscellaneous postal articles(excluding tobacco, alcohol, and agricultural products subject to tariff quota), a 5% flat rate of customs duty shall be imposed. If the postal parcels are not composed of miscellaneous articles, the tariff rate stipulated under the Customs Import Tariff shall be applicable.
  1. If two or more postal articles imported from overseas are sent from the same address and delivered to the same address or the same addressee on the same day, the customs value of such articles shall be calculated in a combined manner.
  The same delivery date referred to under the preceding paragraph means the postal seals affixed by the postal authority show the same date as the dispatch notes of postal parcels.

(Re: Art. 11, Regulations Governing Customs Clearance Procedures for Importing and Exporting Postal Parcels)

4. The provisions regarding tax exemption mentioned above are not applicable to frequent posting of postal articles sent from the same place to the same address or the same addressee.

The frequent posting referred to under the preceding paragraph means two or more postings within 30 days or six or more postings within six months.

Note: same site refers to tapes and Government Information Office, while quoting a 2015 dayte. Given both things have been defunct since way before 2015, please take above information with a pound of salt.

Chinese version yet to be found.


Wasn’t there a theory this was why many of us had trouble with iHerb shipments a year or two back? But then things became easy again.

This island is literally the worst place to try and be an entrepreneur via online sales of merchandise outside of Taiwan (read: everything, just about.)

Almost every product that I was interested in importing, is slammed with ridiculous shipping costs… and now this potential tax.

Tell me again how and who this helps?

1 Like

Big businesses that have connections with the government.


Interestingly, a note on this regard:

China accounted for the most-used cross-border e-commerce sites in Taiwan with 72.7 percent of respondents saying they shopped on Chinese online retailers. It was followed by Japan with 40.4 percent, the U.S. with 22.9 percent and South Korea with 12.8 percent. The most popular sites were Taobao/Tmall, Rakuten, Amazon and eBay, respectively.

The MIC survey found the highest proportion of shoppers using overseas online shopping websites to be among the 26- to 30-year-old demographic. The reasons respondents gave for shopping on non-Taiwan-based websites included affordability (69 percent), better variety (42.2 percent) and frequent discounts or promotions (29 percent).

In December, Chang noted that Taiwanese online retailers were losing market share to foreign competitors and that domestic websites would have to cope with the consumer demand moving abroad…

As of last year, 62 percent of Taiwan residents had shopped online, the third highest penetration rate in the world behind the U.K. and U.S., respectively. Online retail accounts for 11 percent of Taiwan’s overall retail industry revenue…

We can shop from China?! :eek:That is news to me… good news. :happyrunningaround:

Not sure about the number of shipments: I’ve imported plenty more than 6 in a calendar year without issue, but you should be aware of the reduction in the duty-free threshold;

Posted on December 15, 2017 (FedEx website)
Changes of duty and tax exemption for imports to Taiwan
The Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance of Taiwan amended the “Regulations Governing Customs Clearance Procedures for Air Express Consignments”. Effective 1 January 2018, the de minimis amount for import low-value duty-free consignment will be NTD$ 2,000, down from NTD$ 3,000.

… … realised post was from last year

So is this 6 per year package limit actually true and being enforced?

I made a couple of orders from Amazon using their free shipping deal, and unfortunately both times they split the items into multiple parcels - so I’m already at 6 total in 2021. Now I want to make an order from iherb.

First, about the rules: I’ve always thought it was six packages per six months (rather than per year). One of the items @Icon posted above says …

Unfortunately the link above is dead; this page seems to have the same information:

Second, about enforcement: I’ve asked a few times on this site about if anyone’s ever been stuck with extra payment on the 7th+ shipment. No one has ever said yes. So I’m not entirely sure if this rule matters anyway.

I’ve always assumed that it was six packages per half-year (i.e. Jan-June, then a new period starts July-Dec), and that the count starts over in July, but perhaps that assumption wasn’t justified - maybe it’s six packages within the most recent six months. When did your first Amazon orders arrive? If they were at the beginning of January, I think you’re totally safe. But if you want to be extra-careful, wait until it’s more than six months since your first Amazon order.

Side point: if you’re trying to make use of iHerb’s current discount on orders over USD$80, remember that if you’re over that amount, you’re supposed to get hit by customs duties anyway.