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Taiwan

Your Taiwan cheat sheet which covers customs clearance and import duties for your e-commerce international shipping needs, eCommerce insights, and more

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Taiwan's B2C Customs Clearance Info and eCommerce Insights

IDTW
CapitalTaipei
Official LanguageMandarin Chinese
CurrencyNew Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
Population Size23.6 millions

Taiwan’s eCommerce Market

The eCommerce market in Taiwan has been rapidly expanding over the past few years, with a market size of US$42.69 billion in 2017, and a 5-year average growth rate of 10-20%.

Taiwan’s eCommerce penetration rate is one of the highest in the world, which entails a large market of sophisticated consumers who are familiar with global trends. Though media products, apparel and footwear, consumer electronics are still the top three most purchased product categories, online consumption of basic household necessities has increased, as has the demand for speedy delivery. The evolution of eCommerce consumer trends has led to an expansion of potential opportunities to meet growing demand.

Customs & Regulations

Calculating the Customs Value of Your Goods

Customs valuation is calculated via the CIF method. The customs valuation takes into account costs incidental to the sale and delivery of the imports. These include:

  • Cost of shipping – freight, packing costs, delivery insurance
  • Royalties and license fees
  • Selling commissions
  • etc.
Import Duty and Taxes

Taiwan has a de minimis of TWD 2,000, meaning no taxes and duties are imposed on shipments valued below or up to TWD 2,000.

B2C imports above the de minimis are charged Goods and Services Tax (GST) OR Import Tariffs at the discretion of the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance of Taiwan.

Shipment value below TWD 2,000 for the first 6 shipments to the same customer within 6 months*
Value-added Tax (VAT)0%

 

Shipment value above TWD 2,000
Value-Added Tax (VAT)5%
Import DutiesDepends on items imported
Total Tax ApplicableSee notes below**

*For parcels valued below TWD 2,000 (de minimis):

  • Phone number authentication of private importers in Taiwan
    • Applies to Business-to-consumer (B2C) shipments with a value lower than TWD 50,000 (or around USD 1,600), including de minimis shipments (value below TWD 2,000)
    • Merchants need to provide the private importer’s registered phone number when preparing shipping documents and labels:
      • Taiwanese private customers need to have registered via https://eccs.tradevan.com.tw/ or via the EZWAY App.
      • If your Taiwanese customer has not registered as shown above, you’ll need the following from them:
        • A copy of their Identification (e.g. ID card)
        • Power of Attorney authorising the logistics service provider to clear customs on the customer’s behalf.
  • Only applicable for up to six shipments within six months per person
    • Effective 1st July 2017, exemption for duties and taxes is only applicable for up to six shipments to the same recipient within a six month period.
    • The half-year period starts on every January 1st and July 1st.
    • Any de minimis imports above the original 6 will be charged duties and taxes.
  • Exemptions for samples without commercial value
    • For shipments with invoices clearly stating ‘Samples without commercial value’ the de minimis value limit is TWD 3000.

**For parcels valued above TWD 2,000 and between USD 5,000 (above de minimis)

In many cases, B2C direct to consumer imports in Taiwan are only charged GST but exceptions may exist.

If you’re planning to delivery B2C shipments that are above the Taiwanese de minimis of NTD 2,000 and want to estimate the import tariffs they may charge you, you can download the pdf on Taiwan’s Custom Import Tariff Data File.

To make better use of the Import Tariff Data file, it helps to know the three categories of import duties that Taiwan charges to merchants depending on their country’s trade ties with Taiwan. To find out more, click here.

For parcels valued above USD 5,000

For higher value shipments, recipients will need to process the customs clearance procedure and fill out import declaration forms at the Taiwan Customs office and may need to pay the tax directly depending on their arrangement with the merchant.

 

This currently represents information that is publicly available and the actual results may vary. For more information on clearing Taiwanese customs, consider contacting Taipei Customs directly or calling them at +886-3-383-4265

 

Restricted and Forbidden Goods

A license or permit from the responsible agency is necessary to import the following:

  • Radio apparatus: regulated by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
  • Videotapes with programs and films: regulated by Government Information Office.
  • Mainland China goods: regulated by the Bureau of Foreign Trade.
  • Drugs, medicated cosmetics, medical devices, food in capsule or tablet form, narcotics: regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Firearms & ammunition: regulated by National Police Administration, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of National Defense.
  • Agricultural products, animal products, flowers, plants, and seeds: regulated mainly by the Food and Drug Administration, Council of Agriculture.
  • Radioactive material: regulated by Atomic Energy Council.
  • Tobacco & liquor: regulated by the Department of National Treasury, Ministry of Finance (Import Permit needed for cigarettes over 1,000 sticks, cigars over 125 sticks, cut tobacco over 5 pounds or liquor over 5 litres)
  • Other documents specified by relevant authorities.

This list may change depending on government regulations. Visit official customs page for the latest version.

Prohibited items that cannot be imported into the market:

  • Fake or spurious currencies or securities, or moulds for printing counterfeit currency.
  • Articles infringing upon the rights of patents, trademarks and copyrights.
  • Contraband articles specified by other laws, such as:
    • (a) Contraband drugs specified by the Medicine Law;
    • (b) Foods and fruits from epidemic area;
    • (c) Mainland China goods not permitted to import;
    • (d) Endangered wildlife and their products unless approved by the Council of Agriculture in advance.

This list may change depending on government regulations. Visit official customs page for the latest version.

 

Documentation

Documents required by Taiwan’s customs clearance include:

1. Packing List

This gives product details, shipment volume in kilogram or cubic meter, and serves as a checklist to ensure shipment has been packed correctly or not.

2. Commercial Invoice

This gives total shipment value usually in US dollar. Helps to determine the import duties and taxes, and eligibility of shipment.

If your parcel’s free-on-board (FOB) value is above USD5,000,  the documents required by Taiwan’s customs clearance include:

  • Bill of lading (Parcel List): consignee’s name and address must be consistent with those on the Import Permit.
  • Import Declaration Form: with duty payer’s name and address in both Chinese and English, importer ID and telephone number.
  • A license or permit from the competent authority.
  • Power of Attorney: needed (with seals of the company head and the company) if Customs Broker is entrusted to make a declaration.
  • Price Declaration Form: needed if there are additions or subtractions to customs value, or if importer and exporter are related.
  • Invoice or Commercial Invoice: with the consignee’s name, address, commodity name, brand, quantity, specification, unit price, freight, insurance.
  • Instruction manual or catalogue. 
  • Packing list.

If you need more information on this, consider contacting Taiwanese Customs directly or calling them at +886-3-383-4265

Additional information

Payment preferences

The Marketing Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC), a market research firm based in Taiwan, reported in 2017 that 75.7% of consumers used credit cards as their preferred method of online payment. This was followed by convenience store pickup at 66.4%. Another popular option is ATM bank transfers at 25.2%.

Non-working days in 2019

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are non-working days. Please factor these days’ effects on your delivery schedule.

List of public holidays:

DateHoliday
Jan 1New Year’s Day
Jan 1Republic Day
Feb 4 to Feb 8Lunar New Year
Feb 28228 Peace Memorial Day
Mar 1228 Peace Memorial Day Holiday
Apr 4Children’s Day
Apr 5Qing Ming Festival
May 1Labour Day
Jun 7Dragon Boat Festival
Oct 10ROC National Day
Oct 11ROC National Day Holiday

Market Opportunities

Popular E-commerce Item Categories

Though media products, apparel and footwear, consumer electronics are the top three most purchased product categories, the Taiwanese eCommerce market still includes a wide range of products bought and sold online. Here are some of the eCommerce market trends in Taiwan:

  • Apparel and Accessories
  • Shoes, Bags and Collectibles
  • Household Products
  • Beauty and Skin Care
  • Mother and Baby
  • Media Products and Videogames

Popular Shopping Seasons

 

Event NameEvent Period
Lunar New YearUsually in Jan or Feb
Mothers’ DayMay 12
National DayOct 10
Singles’ Day (11.11)Nov 11
Black FridayNov 29
12.12 Online SaleDec 12
ChristmasDec 25

Popular Shipping Destinations

 

EXPORTS
RankMarket
1China and HK
2ASEAN
3United States
4Europe
5Japan
IMPORTS
RankMarket
1China and HK
2Japan
3Europe
4United States
5Middle East

 

Sources:

CEIC (2018) | Taiwan’s Custom Import Tariff Data File (2018) | KPMG (2018) | Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance (Accessed as at 5 Aug 2019) | Public Holidays Global (2019) | Export.gov (2018) | Trading Economics – Taiwan Imports (Accessed as at 5 Aug 2019)

Updated as of 5 Aug 2019.

                               
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