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. While the export of ICT goods plays a major role in Taiwan’s economy, its growing wealth continues to fuel the demand for foreign imports leading to further growth. Therefore, in order to keep Taiwan’s economy competitive, the country is slowly expanding its services portfolio by implementing taxation as well as regulation reforms. And to add to it, Taiwan is also advocating free-trade agreements with many countries such as Singapore.
So, if you are shipping from Singapore to Taiwan, here’s what you need to know:
Taiwan’s Customs rules
- If the shipment’s content is non-document or a piece of its weight exceeds 70kgs, then the shipment must be sent as Worldwide Parcel Express (WPX) with supporting documents.
- The consignee should possess a license of wine and tobacco if the shipment is over 5 litres. However, the shipper must ensure that the shipment is carefully packed to prevent spillage and damage of containers.
- A delay of 2-3 days is expected and will be released only 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.
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 say that it’s an animal product. To apply for the application for import license, a delay of 1-2 days is expected.
- Food for dogs or cats containing any animal ingredients is prohibited.
Eyeglasses & contact lenses
- Import license or a permit application is required to ship eyeglasses and contact lenses. A minimum delay of 1-3 days is expected.
- Goods made in China are prohibited to import.
Drugs in pharmacy with or without prescription
Fabrics (including samples and swatches)
- Invoice must state the contents, material, colour and measurements such as length and width of the fabrics.
- Effective from 1st Oct 2012, an import permission from the BSMI (Bureau of Standards, Metrology & Inspection, M.O.E.A., R.O.C) is required for import of towels (CCC Code 6302.60 ~ 6302.99), underwears (CCC Code 6212.10 ~ 6212.90) and bed clothing (CCC Code 6304.11, 6304.19, 6304.91 ~ 6304.99, 9404.10~9404.90). Note that the importer needs to apply for an import permit first before shipping it to Taiwan. More information can be found at: http://www.bsmi.gov.tw/wSite/public/Data/f1346978848950.pdf
- The consignee must provide an authorisation letter from the country of production.
- To import seeds, an original quarantine certificate from the country of origin is required. If there are plant products, a label should be attached on the outside of the package to say that it’s a plant product.
- For the application for import license, expect a delay of 1-2 days. Also, there are some prohibited items that cannot be imported into Taiwan, such as quinoa, chia, hemp and poppy seeds.
- All importation of seed products shall require a prescription set forth in the Table of Commodities, which is subject to legal animal and plant quarantine.
- To import oil products, the information of brand name and net weight must be mentioned in the invoice based on the FDA regulations. Find more information over here: https://www.fda.gov.tw/ENG/index.aspx
- In addition, the country of origin certificate is required and is subject to a delay of 3-5 days.
Foodstuff (including grain)
- The information of brand name and net weight must be mentioned in the invoice based on the FDA regulations. Find more information over here: https://www.fda.gov.tw/ENG/index.aspx
- If the shipment value exceeds USD 1,000 or the weight is greater than 6 kgs, then a certificate of legal import inspection shall be required from the consignee. Additionally, mentioning the net weight of each item is mandatory.
- A delay of 1-2 days is expected for vitamins as they require the approval of the National Health Administration.
- Importation of food or food additives from China is prohibited and will cause customs penalty. Mooncakes made in China are not admissible.
- All importation of foodstuffs shall require a prescription set forth in the Table of Commodities, which is subject to legal animal and plant quarantine.
For unaccompanied personal luggage, documents of Proof of address (POA), copy of passport identification, and arrival stamp pages are required.
- Further, passengers’ flight number, flight date and entry port is also required. The baggage must arrive within six months following the date of passengers’ entry.
- New items and used personal belongings should be declared separately and will require certificates of living abroad when bringing in used personal belongings. Moreover, used personal belongings with a value not exceeding NTD 20,000 can be exempted from duty; however duty might incur for the exceeded amount.
- Passengers are required to inform in case they go through the Red Channel (Goods to Declare) counter, upon arrival along with the quantity and main items. If the passengers don’t go through the Red Channel and instead through the Green Channel counter, the baggage will be dealt with through general import procedure and duty will be applied.
- For NCC (National Communication Commission) personal use, an affidavit and product catalogues are required when the quantity of any wireless products are two or less.
Computer components & parts
- The model number and specification of the model must be included in the invoice based on the BSMI regulations. Find more information here: https://www.bsmi.gov.tw/wSite/mp?mp=2
- For any equipment or product with wireless transmission function (for example WIFI, Bluetooth, and Infrared, etc.), like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, drones, network devices, etc., the consignee must comply with NCC's (National Communication Commission) requirement and fill an affidavit form for approval.
- Computer units are allowed to be imported by a person or a company, given that the importer has the certificate issued by NCC, and there shall be no limit of quantity for import.
- For import permit requirements, expect a minimum delay of 1-3 days.
Tobacco & tobacco products
- E-cigarette and their related parts, for example e-liquid, are regulated by the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act and Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. The mentioned product is forbidden without an advanced import permit.
- Photocopy of the tobacco or an alcohol importer business license or an approval issued by the Ministry of Finance is required. The mentioned documents are not necessary if the import is for gifts, self-consumption or exhibition and the quantity does not exceed the following:
- Tobacco: 1,000 cigarettes, 125 cigars or 5 pounds of cut tobacco
- Alcoholic beverages: 5 litres. Note: An import license or permit is required with an expected delay of 2-3 days. Contact the TPE GW before dispatching the shipment.
- Cigarette samples: Original quarantine certificate is required from the country of origin.
Toys & Toy guns
Bunker oil sample (for analysis)
- An import license or permit is required with a minimum delay of 1-3 days.
- The information regarding the model number and specifications must be included on the invoice based on the BSMI regulations. Check here for more details - https://www.bsmi.gov.tw/wSite/mp?mp=2
- If the shipment’s value exceeds USD 1,000, a certificate of legal import inspection will be required with an expected delay of 1-2 days.
- Aircraft operators are increasingly imposing embargos or other restrictions on their acceptance of UN3480, Lithium Ion batteries, which are prepared in accordance with the Packing Instruction 965 sections IA, IB and II.
- For destinations within Asia Pacific, expect an additional transit time of up to three days, depending upon the destination and routing being used.
Mobile phones, accessories and component, Telecommunication equipment
- The information regarding the brand name and model number must be included on the invoice based on the NCC (National Communication Commission) regulations. Check here for more details - https://www.ncc.gov.tw/english/index.aspx
- NCC requirements for equipment or products with wireless transmission functions (e.g. WIFI, Bluetooth and Infrared, etc.), such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, drones, network devices, etc., include:
- The consignee must comply with NCC's requirement and fill up an Affidavit form for approval.
- Units are allowed to be imported by person or company, only if the importer has the certificate issued by NCC. There will be no limit of quantity for import.
- Expect a delay of 1-3 days for the requirement of import permit.
Coffee (including samples) and Tea
- The information regarding the brand name and net weight must be included on the invoice based on the FDA regulations. Explore this link to know more - https://www.fda.gov.tw/ENG/index.aspx
- FDA license is required for commercial purpose or shipment for individual receivers over 6kgs.
- When shipping tea, a country of origin certificate is required which is subject to a delay of 3-5 days.
- Unroasted beans and unroasted tea leaves require a quarantine certificate. Besides, all tea from China is prohibited and will cause a customs penalty.
- Importation shall be subject to the prescription set forth in the Table of Commodities and is subject to Legal Animal and Plant Quarantine for coffee.
Shipping rules for B2B and B2C
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 TWD 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:
a. The shipment being returned to origin unless the payer/importer confirms to pay the late fee and storage charges or
b. Customs will confiscate the shipment after 35 days of shipment arrival.
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 TWD 2,000, no duty, tax and fee are applied. However, if the shipment’s value is more than TWD 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.
If the shipment’s value is more than TWD 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.
Complete shipping process from Singapore to Taiwan
The shipping process from Singapore to Taiwan is simple. All you need to do is create an airway bill (AWB) first. Then, accurately fill your invoice by mentioning all the contents along with its details within your package. However, note that only an invoice with a signature is acceptable, without which it could be rejected by the Customs and cause clearance delays. Further, Proforma invoices are also not accepted by Taiwan customs.
Taiwan customs have also started to validate the consignee name, address and shipment description starting from the 16th of May 2020. Incomplete consignee name, address, contact number or vague description will cause clearance delays. Vague shipment descriptions such as sample, parts, accessories, cloth, apparel, clothing, shoes, footwear, garment, cosmetic, bag are not acceptable.
After you’ve completed all the paperwork, pack your shipment carefully to prevent the goods from getting damaged. Now, you can finally hand over the shipment to DHL Express. You can do that by calling our customer care or by scheduling a pick-up date and time through MyDHL+. In case there’s a DHL retail store near your location, then you can even drop it off over there.
Advantages of using DHL Express
The best thing about using DHL Express is that you don’t have to worry about any delays or shipment hold-up 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’s 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
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start shipping these items from Singapore to Taiwan. Looking for more information about other goods and services?