How to start shipping from Australia to Taiwan

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An economic powerhouse in the Asia Pacific region, Taiwan is a well-developed economy that has a population with high disposable income. Looking to start shipping to Taiwan? Here’s a guide on the export customs law and regulations. 

Taiwan has become one of the world's fastest-growing economies over recent years. According to the National Statistics Republic of China (Taiwan), Taiwan has a population of 23 million. It is also one of the four Asian tigers, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, and it has a robust, mature economy, modern infrastructure and a well-educated, cosmopolitan populace. In 2020, Taiwan was Australia’s 12th largest trading partner, with trade worth AU$16.1 billion, as reported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This makes Taiwan an attractive choice for Australian businesses looking to expand within the Asia Pacific region.

So how do you start shipping your product from Australia to Taiwan? Clearing customs is an important component in the export process. 

The process of shipping from Australia to Taiwan involves multiple steps. These include clearing customs in both markets, obtaining import permits, preparing documents and paying duties and taxes. This article provides information about each step along the way.

Why export to Taiwan?

According to Reuters, Taiwanese consumers are becoming increasingly wealthy, with the market’s GDP expected to increase by 4.42% in 2022. This is leading to increased spending power and a growing appetite for imported goods. CEIC Data further notes that, Taiwan’s average annual household income reached approximately US$15,768 in 2020. As a result, there is now a strong market opportunity for Australian companies looking to sell in Taiwan. More affluent shoppers here now enjoy an increase in disposable income, driving up the demand for luxury goods such as cars, watches, jewellery and cosmetics.

What to look out for before shipping to Taiwan?

In order to do business internationally, companies must comply with international trade laws. These laws govern everything from what products may be imported into which country to how they should be packaged and labelled. Companies must also abide by local regulations regarding product safety, environmental protection, labour standards, intellectual property rights, and many others. 

1. Essential shipping documents

Preparing the right import and export documents is key to ensuring a successful shipment. Export documents are used to prove ownership of the product, prepared according to the rules set out by Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT). 

You will be required to prepare the following documents: 

  • Commercial invoices (required for all shipments) 

  • Air waybill (AWB)

  • Packing list (for shipments with more than two cartons)

  • A pro forma invoice (to be able to apply for an import permit)

  • Power of attorney

  • Certificate of origin for specific commodities

  • Certificate of inspection or quarantine issued in the country of origin

The International Trade Administration has noted that all shipment documents should be prepared in Mandarin Chinese to prevent goods being unnecessarily held up at customs.

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2. Prohibited and restricted imports

Customs clearance – the process of inspecting goods entering a country or territory – ensures that the product complies with local laws and regulations before allowing it to enter the market. Before you begin exporting to Taiwan, it is important that you check if you need any licences or permits for the item that you want to ship. Taipei Customs Administration stipulates that import permits are required for certain items. They are usually obtained prior to shipment. For example, medicines and controlled drugs need an import permit from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other restricted items include dried food, plants, seeds, weapons and firearms.

3. Customs duties and import taxes

Certain products are subject to customs duties according to the Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature (CCCN) goods classification system used by Taiwan, as summarised by PwC Taiwan. The holder of the bill of lading is responsible for paying the customs duties based on the value of the imported goods. All imports of goods are subject to business tax – either value-added tax (VAT) or gross business receipts tax (GBRT) – borne by the receiver or buyer of the goods. In Taiwan, certain commodities, such as beverages or electrical appliances, are subject to commodity tax. If you plan to import high-end furniture, it’s important to note that a 10% luxury tax will apply. 

Start shipping to Taiwan with DHL Express

As you expand abroad, choosing the right logistics partner will ensure your products reach your customers in optimal conditions. If you want to ship a parcel from Australia to Taiwan, consider using an experienced international delivery provider, such as DHL Express

Our cross-border shipping service offers door-to-door delivery services across 200 countries and territories worldwide. We also offer several express shipping options, such as same-day delivery. With multiple locations across the globe, DHL Express’ network covers every major city, airport, port and border crossing. Partner with us to ensure you keep customers satisfied. 


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