Taiwan, China flag Taiwan, China: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Taiwan, China

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Taiwan is a member of the following international economic organisations: ICC, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), WTO, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Taiwan click here. International organisation membership of Taiwan is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
Taiwan is a very open country with very low customs duties. However, many Chinese products are prohibited (especially foodstuffs). Since mainland China and Taiwan are members of the WTO, these restrictions are diminishing. Most of the permit-required categories are related to public sanitation and national defense concerns. Non-tariff barriers include tests and standards, labeling requirements, long, costly and non-transparent regulatory approval processes and rules on local licensing of professionals. Impediments remain especially in services, retail, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agriculture and the medical device sectors.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
In 2019, the average nominal tariff rate for industrial products was 4.16%, and that for agricultural products was 15.12%. The overall average nominal tariff rate for imported goods was 6.37%.
Customs Classification
The Taiwanese tariffs are based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of the Customs Cooperation Council.
Import Procedures
Under the terms of the Foreign Trade Act, most commodities can be imported freely. In general terms, no import permit or licensing is required and importers can apply for customs clearance directly. However, there are some exceptions. Import permits or documents are required for commodities under the Negative List, which are subject to import restrictions. Commodities under the Negative List include those under certain international treaties or trade agreements and items subject to national defence, society security, cultural protection, hygiene, moral, and environmental and ecological concerns, as well as those subject to policy demands. Products subject to import bans can be imported only with a special import permit from the Board of Foreign Trade, while documents, such as a letter of consent from the relevant authorities, are required for those commodities that are subject to certain importation conditions.
A foreign supplier's pro forma invoice (quotation) is required for application of an import permit and the establishment of a letter of credit. Documents required for shipments to or from Taiwan include a commercial invoice, bill of lading or airway bill, and packing list.  A certificate of origin is also required for designated commodities such as sedans, other small passenger cars and chassis, tobacco and alcohol products, and some agricultural products. Shipments of agricultural products, plants, and animals to Taiwan may require certificates of inspection or quarantine issued in the country of origin and are subject to inspection and quarantine upon importation into Taiwan.
Commercial invoices are required for all shipments and must show the import license number; Free on Board (FOB), Cost and Freight (CFR), or Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value; insurance; freight; and discounts or commissions, if any. The commodity description and value shown on the commercial invoices must agree with those on the import license, if any. No requirements exist as to the form of a commercial invoice or a bill of lading. A packing list is required for all shipments if the number of cartons in the shipment exceeds two. In addition to the information generally included in a standard bill of lading, all marks and case numbers appearing on packages must be shown. Customs does not permit the grouping of marks or numbers on a shipment of mixed commodities. Most documents presented for use in customs clearance processing must be prepared in Chinese to avoid delays and expedite clearance processing. The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) set up an on-line import application system.

For more information, please visit the website of the Taiwan Customs Administration.
Importing Samples
Taiwan is a member of the ATA Carnet convention.
Commercial samples, professional instruments and equipment, as well as exhibition goods that are brought into Taiwan for sales promotion and exhibition purposes are exempted from customs duty. Beer and liquor samples must follow liquor requirements if over 5 liters. Splitting a shipment to avoid duty/tax is prohibited. Cosmetic samples containing poisonous or potent medicines require an approval letter from the Department of Health.

For more details, refer to the dedicated page on the website of the Taipei Customs.


To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Taipei custom office.
Department of Customs Administration
Ministry of Economic Affairs
Asia Trade Hub

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.


© eexpand, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: May 2024

Return to top