Warning on customs duty 35%!

Okay some more detail. 20% customs duty. 10% to DHL Taiwan for advancing the payment (nice racket they have there), and 5% VAT.

I’ve got the customs slip but it is all in very technical Mandarin.

I’m Australian. No issue with the concept of a charge, it’s the quantum that bothers me.

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Ok, not surprised then you are upset. I remember australia having a pretty high duty free threshold, like 1000aud or something.

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Custom duties are a bit of a hassle, but over time you learn for what items it pays to buy abroad, what to get here, and what to carry back in a suitcase (or have a friend bring in for you).

Duties differ by product. This page lists all duty rates (and import restrictions) applicable to Taiwan. Before you purchase anything abroad, check the rate. VAT of 5% still applies, regardless of duty.

Duties on clothes and IHerb products are particularly high, based on complaints of Forumosans.


This is an interesting idea.
Hong Kong is a free port. There is no customs tariff on goods imported into Hong Kong.
The trick would be having it delivered to a hotel address on an exact date.
The flight + hotel cost would need to be less than the taxation rate to make it worth the effort.

I found this site very helpful in finding how much money I would have to pay in taxes / duty / vat etc

Ends up it would cost me $5,000NT

A flight to HK + Hotel Stay + Food would be well over $5,000NT

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This has been discussed at length in the two threads below, neither of which I’d exactly call “necro”. Thanks for the 35% info; I’ve long been curious what the duty actually is. Also note that one of the posts in these threads emphasizes it’s the total value of the order that matters - so if you’re paying NT$1950 for your order, but you got a $100 discount, then the order itself is worth more than $2000 so you may still wind up with duty. For the past few orders I’ve been careful to keep the total value, after adding in discounts, under $1950, and I haven’t had to worry about duties yet.

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No, order with either DHL or FEDEX and pick it up from their office. Both of them will need a HK address on file when it is sent out from the US. But once the parcel is in transit call them, and ask to pick it up at their office.

DHL have more offices in central hk, so I prefer them for this reason. But the Fedex offices are not too hard to reach either.

just make sure the parcel arrives in hk prior to you, so if you fly in on say Friday, make sure the parcel is expected to arrive in hk already on Wednesday waiting for you at the dhl office.

Obviously you dont fly to hk just for this, the trick is to combine it with a extended weekend doing some partying :slight_smile:

Laptops are 0% duty, so you won’t be charged anything for that. Just 7% vat.

You will need import certificates though, search my posts for info, I imported one recently.

Usps also won’t insure anything going international over $500, so I wouldn’t use them.

Fabulous. :sunglasses:

Just make sure you follow the correct declaration/non-declaration procedure (whatever that is) when you re-enter Taiwan. :innocent:

Anyway so in the wash up, the title of my post is slightly misleading, as DHL Taiwan took 10% for fronting the 25% for me. Does that remind anyone of a loan shark operation ?

So I’m hating on DHL Taiwan more than the govt for charging me this obscene amount. At least the government has a reason (they are almost broke).

Interestingly, as a (perhaps? ) cultural aside, let me paint a picture of the contrast in my dealings with the two parties.

In my communication with DHL Taiwan, the response tone was all finger waving and “here are the T&Cs that you didn’t read”, “you messed up big time”. (Point taken - I did.)

On the opposing side iHerb the tone was apologetic, they say they try to do their best to inform customers they could be slapped hard with duties. They offered me some compensation, which they are yet to remit.

Ps. Wouldn’t be concerned about sending a laptop through the mail, but I’d be very concerned about buying a laptop in from an offshore e-commerce site… I’d imagine that would not be 0% duty - am I wrong?

Are you sure dhl took 10%? In my experience the dhl fee is a fixed amount, not a % of the import value

Yeah NTD 420 to DHL 關稅代付/代墊
And NTD 811 for 關稅金額.

That 420 may well be fixed yes. Just seemed a very round number to me.

You are indeed wrong :blush: there is 0% duty on laptops regardless of where you order it from.

Unless your family live in a sales tax free State, you’re better off getting the company to ship to you directly.

Which delivery service did you use and how much did it cost you?

For my package the rates are insane except for USPS:
FedEx = $350 USD
DHL = $400 USD
UPS = $450 USD
USPS = $78 USD

All offer 3 day delivery
All insure up to various amounts
USPS will insure up to $5,000USD if you pay for it.
In mycase an extra $15 will insure the laptop.
Not bad

Would this be for laptop?

It should not put you back more than 100usd to have it sent here with DHL. I guess your rates are the consumer rates without discount.

If you can wait a couple of days use a forwarder that have a deal with DHL/FEDEX., e.g https://www.myus.com

Ive read horror stories about those businesses. Namely myus.com and shipito.com

Have you used them? Were either reliable?

myus.com is fine, I used them to send over a bike(5000usd), a 55 inch sony tv, some stuff from google store and amazon books. Never had a problem with them.

Note though, all of the above was sent to hk, not to taiwan, but I would assume it works the same to taiwan.

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I used comGateway and they were always very professional.

I’ve had an account with myus.com for about two years and have used them a few times. Reliable and without any problems, in my experience. They’ve been especially useful for online vendors in the U.S. who won’t ship to Taiwan, but happen to have free shipping within the U.S.

This is very good news.

I am already having an item shipped to family in the US from a retailer. The plan was to have family ship it to me. But, if the shipping is a lot less via myus.com, could I have family ship it to a myus.com address and then have myus.com ship it to me in Taiwan? Or does myus.com only accept incoming shipments from retailers?