Shopee overseas sellers and NT$2000 import duty limit

I’m about to order some stuff from an overseas seller on Shopee that comes in slightly above the NT$2000 limit where I understand import duties/VAT/whatever it is starts to be an issue (specifically, it’s NT$2004 and LED tubes from China, which would be 2-3 times more expensive if I bought from a local seller who presumably just imported the stuff from China anyway and added a 200% markup).

It’s one of those Shopee sellers where the package can be shipped to a convenience store here and paid cash on delivery. Couple of questions:

  • Am I correct in my understanding of the NT$2000 limit? That is, below this limit I’m unlikely to encounter problems but even a couple of dollars over and I risk duties/taxes/whatever being applied to the full value?
  • How much of a risk is it that the order would be stopped at customs? I could also remove/change an item or two and order them separately later (but I’d prefer to do everything at once).
  • How is this even enforced for deliveries to convenience stores with cash on delivery? As in, if problems are encountered at customs, what’s to stop me from just not collecting the order?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. :slightly_smiling_face:

It’s hit or miss. Shopee has an EZWay application form too.

Just tell the seller to make the price $1999. I can’t imagine anyone being that stingy.

Is there a possibility of prepaying the import duty?

A private forwarder I use (you use them when ordering anything from Taobao) allows you to prepay import duties at 2RMB per kg. It’s a bargain compared to what customs end up charging (typically about 10% or so). The item ends up passing EZ Way without any duties.

Keep in mind that in China, electronics can’t be sent by air! They have to go by sea.

I was thinking about that actually, just didn’t know if it would annoy the seller…

Who cares what they think? You’re the customer. I ask for discounts all the time and the risk is getting back a no. Win win. They can understand not wanting to pay extra tax. Hell, even if the won’t budge on price, discount it and put it in shipping. They’re not gonna care.

I messaged a guy about a $3000 GTX 780 Ti. He wanted $3000.
I told him $2500 and i’ll buy it now.

He said $2800. Bought it. Done. Thing’s market price is $5000.

Bing Bang Boom Done.


Oh it wasn’t really about that. It’s just that I can’t write Chinese and it’s 50:50 whether they want to deal with customer service enquiries in English (and I’m not too interested in having protracted conversations with online sellers either - would prefer to just order the stuff and have it come to me). :slightly_smiling_face:

I don’t believe that’s an option on Shopee. Haven’t seen it anyway, and can’t really be bothered asking the seller to go outside the system.

Are you sure about that? Isn’t it just for stuff with lithium-ion batteries (not the case here)? The estimated arrival date of the end of March seemed a bit too fast for sea shipping, actually.

You coulda just asked someone to write a quick sentence for you asking them to discount it to $1999

嗨, 不好意思. 請問可以幫我折扣一下嗎? 因為如果產品$1999以下, 就不需要繳海關的稅. 謝謝您.

I can write something more substantial, but here’s a rudimentary request. Bing bang boom done.


Cheers for that! Yeah, I could, I just don’t want to bother friends so much for this kind of stuff. Thanks for the translation! :slightly_smiling_face:

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No worries. It took me 30 seconds.

Chances are it’s all the same seller using multiple platforms. If I want to buy from China I prefer using China’s platforms. Bit easier to deal with it there.

I tried buying electronics of any kind, with or without batteries. They are not allowed to be shipped by air unless it goes through special customs channel. Yea it’s weird but it is what it is…

China isn’t that far from Taiwan, so sea shipping ends up taking the same amount of time as air shipping…

See if the same item is on Aliexpress. Same basic process, possibly cheaper, they don’t give one about what they write as the value on the customs form. I have to tell them not to make it too low as to be obvious.

Remember that shipping factors into the price.

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Just a follow-up (and a follow-up question): I wrote to the seller with @Marco’s message, and they told me to select another item that was ca. NT$100 cheaper for the purposes of the order, whereupon they’d just send me the correct item instead. In the end though I decided to buy a smaller number of longer LED tubes, so it wasn’t an issue. :slightly_smiling_face:

Now, could someone remind me how long it takes for the NT$2000 limit to “reset”? I thought this was every 3 months or 6 months or something like that, and I was thinking to order some stuff on iHerb in the near future…

Packages coming through the postal service does not seem to count… it doesn’t even appear in EZ Way. Item could be worth 10,000nt (according to invoice) and not a cent is taxed.

So if you can get iherb to ship by USPS, even if shipping cost more, you may end up saving money.

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