In addition to the WTO, Taiwan is a member of the Asian Development Bank as "Taipei, China", the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum as "Chinese Taipei". These developments reflect Taiwan's economic importance and its desire to become further integrated into the global economy. Taiwan and China have signed in 2010 an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement which plans to facilitate trade between the two "partners" in organizing the progressive reduction of tariffs on hundreds of goods and facilitating the opening of some service industries.Further information about Taiwan’s bilateral and multilateral trade agreements is available on the Board of Foreign Trade’s (BOFT) website.
Non Tariff Barriers
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. Some agricultural products are protected, but this is limited as Taiwan is part of the WTO. Currently, there are 101 product categories facing import restrictions. Most of the permit-required categories are related to public sanitation and national defense concerns.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
The duties payable on imported goods are essentially defined on an ad valorem, specific, or selective basis, depending on the items involved. In 2011 the average nominal tariff rate was 5,89% for imported goods.
The Taiwanese tariffs are based on the Nomenclature of the Harmonized system of Name and Codification of Goods. More information on the Taiwanese custom's website.
The Customs levies duties on import goods in accordance with Customs Laws, Customs Import Tariff and other relevant regulations. Under the automated Customs system, cargo clearance is categorized into three types, namely C1 (free of paper and cargo examination), C2 (subject to document scrutiny) and C3 (subject to document scrutiny and cargo examination). Please consult the website FedEx for more information.
and liquor samples must follow liquor requirements if over 5 liters.
Splitting a shipment to avoid duty/tax is prohibited. Contact Ministry
of Finance for Import Business License. Cosmetic samples containing
poisonous or potent medicines require an approval letter from the
Department of Health.
Consumers are loyal to brands. The leading brands dominate the market completely (especially in agri-food). However, the Taiwanese are very attentive to prices; a brand or a store which put its prices up would lose customers immediately. Quality and after-sales service are the other main considerations regarding the consumers behavior. Food purchases are made as and when needed, and national and Japanese products are the most frequently bought.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
The Taiwanese consumer is also keen on new products especially in the high-tech sector.
Hypermarkets have become very widespread over the last few years as
have local shops. There are also very many department stores. At the
present time the market is saturated.
The main group is Carrefour with about 40 hypermarkets, then comes A.Mart, RT Mart Auchan (3 stores) and Costco (3 stores). 7 eleven dominates the local shop market with about 3 000 stores offering many different services and open 24/24.