Taiwan is Asia’s seventh-largest economy and is the only Asian Tiger among three others, to rank first in the APAC region for showing a positive GDP growth rate in 2020. Its growing wealth continues to fuel the demand for foreign imports leading to further growth. According to a report published by the Trading Economics, the Taiwan economy expanding 3.05% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, it is advantageous for businesses in Singapore to expand into the Taiwan market. Leveraging the positive trade links between the two countries, businesses in Singapore can target Taiwanese consumers and send parcels or ship goods to them. Furthermore, Taiwan is also advocating free-trade agreements with many countries including Singapore.
As such, this article aims to cover the Taiwanese import duties and regulations pertaining to the shipping of products from Singapore to Taiwan – ultimately helping businesses plan their logistics procedures for expanding internationally.
All goods imported into the country are subject to Taiwan’s customs tariff based on their tariff code and 5% of Value Added Tax (VAT). However, the restricted items listed above may require additional duties and permits.
Different categories of imported goods to Taiwan have very specific rules, guidelines and documents to be presented for customs clearance and should be researched. For instance, there are some restricted goods listed under Taiwan’s strict customs restrictions that can be imported into the country. These include removal goods, antiques, motor vehicles, wine and alcohol under five litres, dogs and cats, birds, wooden packaging materials and lastly, certain articles made in the People’s Republic of China.
Based on the above mentioned, there is also a list of prohibited items that businesses are forbidden to send to Taiwan. Some of them are:
Counterfeit coins, security notes, and tools pertaining to forging currencies
Live wildlife or protected wildlife products
Weapons and firearms, toy guns and ornamental swords
Articles that infringe copyrights
However, some of these restricted items can be circumvented into the country with government-approved licences and permits. Hence, it is crucial to remember not to send these prohibited items to Taiwan without doing the necessary research on the proper procedures to import them through Taiwan’s customs, as you may end up incurring a fine on the receiving party of the goods mentioned.
Here’s a list of regulations businesses have to adhere to when shipping goods from Singapore to Taiwan:
The consignee should possess a licence of wine and tobacco if the shipment is over five litres. However, the shipper must ensure that the shipment is carefully packed to prevent spillage and damage of containers.
A delay of two to three days is expected and goods will only be released upon presenting a 'certificate of age and origin for Scotch whisky' issued by the customs of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Note: Mentioning the alcohol concentration is mandatory.
There is also a strict requirement when it comes to shipping liquid internationally.
For unprocessed animal products, an original quarantine certificate from the country of origin is required. A label is also required on the outside of the package to state that it’s an animal product. To apply for the application for import licence, a delay of one to two days is expected.
Import licence or a permit application is required to ship eyeglasses and contact lenses. A minimum delay of one to three days can be expected.
Invoice must state the contents, material, colour and measurements such as length and width of the fabrics.
Businesses importing food and beverage items are advised to visit Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration page for the latest updates. If you are looking to import electronic goods into Taiwan, you can visit the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection of Taiwan for more information.
Effective from 1st March 2017, importers (B2B and B2C) enjoy duty and tax exemption for de-minimis imports no more than six times within a half-year period. For additional de-minimis shipments, duties and taxes will be levied. However, this is at the discretion of the Taiwan Customs and can be flagged for inspection and levied duties/taxes, thus incurring additional delays and costs to importers.
Based on Taiwan Customs regulations, all import declarations must be applied for clearance within 15 days following the arrival date of the flight. A late fee penalty of NT$200 per day will be levied when the 15-day period has expired.
Failure to apply for declaration to customs within the timeframe will result in:
Standard Taiwan cell phone format: +886 xxx xxx xxx (9 digital numbers) and the cell phone number holder should be the same as the consignee/recipient. If the individual importer fails to provide a Power of Attorney (POA) prior to the shipment’s import, then it may be returned.
If the shipment’s value is less than or equal to NT$2,000, no duty, tax and fee are applied. However, if the shipment’s value is more than NT$2,000, the consignee must provide a POA, pay duty, tax and fee prior to clearance. Additionally, provide the consignee's GUI (Government Unified Invoices) number to expedite clearance. Expect an additional delay of 0-24 hours.
According to Taiwan’s customs regulations, if the shipment’s value is more than NT$50,000, the consignee must provide a POA, pay duty, tax and fee prior to clearance. Provide the consignee's GUI number to expedite clearance. Do expect an additional delay of 0-48 hours.
The quarantine requirements for WPM (wood packaging material) used in imported commodities has become effective from 1st Jan 2009. Hence, shipments containing wood packaging material must either be heat treated or fumigated in accordance to ISPM 15 guidelines and also be marked with an approved (IPPC) stamp certifying treatment.
Besides the aforementioned shipping rules, Taiwan has also implemented new customs regulations for imports. Since 1st of July 2022, Taiwanese customs have been implementing Real Name Authentication (RNA) which ensures a greater degree of transparency and identity protection when the process of importation occurs. Recipients will need to download the EZWAY Customs application for a one-time registration with their mobile numbers. The recipient will receive a notification via the app to pre-authenticate the shipment against the unique waybill number before the goods are allowed to pass through customs.
This revolutionary process can help prevent identity problems when importing goods to Taiwan, streamlining the customs process and solving cross-border shipping challenges to a large extent.
The shipping process from Singapore to Taiwan is simple. Here are the simple steps to follow:
Create an airway bill (AWB).
Accurately fill your invoice by mentioning all the contents along with their details within your package. However, note that only completed invoices with a signature are acceptable, without which they could be rejected by customs and cause clearance delays. In addition, proforma invoices are also not accepted by Taiwanese customs.
Taiwan customs have also started to validate the consignee name, address and shipment description since the 16th of May 2020. An incomplete consignee name, address, contact number or vague description will cause clearance delays and prevent your parcel from being sent from Singapore to Taiwan. Vague shipment descriptions such as samples, parts, accessories, cloth, apparel, shoes, footwear, garments, cosmetics, and bags are unacceptable.
Once the paperwork is complete, pack your shipment carefully to prevent the goods from getting damaged.
Now, you can finally hand over the shipment to DHL Express, by calling our customer care or scheduling a pick-up date and time through MyDHL+. If there’s a DHL retail store near your location, you can choose to drop it off there.
The best thing about using DHL Express is that you don’t have to worry about any shipping delays or shipment hold-ups at customs clearance. Our in-house customs service team is proficient in handling all the customs requirements on your behalf.
Additionally, DHL Express also provides:
Real-time updates about shipment clearance statuses to customers
Choice to decide the package collection time as per customers’ convenience
Easy international shipping through its door-to-door shipping service
Flexible delivery options to customers to decide where and when their parcel should be dropped
Various shipping tools like MyDHL+, MyBill, and ODD (On-Demand Delivery) to make the shipping process safer and easier
A great network coverage over 220 countries and territories
Open a business account with us now and let us make your shipping experience from Singapore to Taiwan miles easier.