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flag Taiwan Taiwan: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
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.

Customs Classification
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.
Import Procedures
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.
Importing Samples
Beer 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.
For Further Information
Taipei custom office.
Department of Customs Administration
Asia Trade Hub
Ministry of Economic Affairs

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Taiwan on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
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.
Consumers Associations
CPC , Consumer Protection Commission
Net Consumers Association (in Chinese)
Main Advertising Agencies
Leo Burnett
Mac Cann
Omni Ad

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the 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.
Market Shares
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.

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Sea shipment and air shipment.
Keelung Harbor Bureau
Port of Kaohsiung
Taichung Harbor
Taiwan international airport
Sea Transport Organizations
Maritime Transport Network
Air Transport Organizations
Ministry of transport and communications.
Road Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transport.
Directorate general of highways.
Rail Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transport.
Taiwan Railway Association.

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
IT sector.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Business Express - Directory of business websites classified by products.
China and Taiwan Products Online - Directory of Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers.
Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei - Database of importing and exporting companies in Taipei. Research can be done by HS code or by keyword.
TW Online - Taiwan's Yellow Pages.
TWBD - Taiwan's business directory.
Yellow pages - Find a business in Taiwan.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
16 professional associations listed for Taiwan.
Enterprises Federation
Taiwan Business Association

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Last Updates: December 2014