Cross-border online shopping has become a shopping trend. You don’t have to go abroad to buy foreign-restricted or relatively cheap goods, so many netizens often go to foreign shopping sites to dig treasures, and even buy out of heart!
Overseas shopping is becoming more and more popular, but in fact, if you don’t pay attention to some small places, it is very likely that you will not only save money, but even worse, you will spend more.

What are the key points to pay attention to in cross-border online shopping?

  1. Tariff / Consumption Tax (this topic)
  2. International Shipping
  3. Carefully selected seller
  4. Foreign card processing fee/exchange rate
  5. Is there a discount code?

Comparee wants to tell everyone “How can cross-border shopping avoid (reduce) tariffs and consumption taxes?”, knowing these priorities can enjoy the fun of cross-border shopping!

First of all, knowing how to save the tariffs and consumption taxes generated by overseas shopping, you must first understand the following terms:

tariff

A tariff is a tax imposed by a country on goods entering and leaving the country in accordance with the law. Therefore, buying goods from abroad and transporting them to our country is an “importation act”. At this time, customs duties must be paid to the customs according to the country’s tax laws, except for duty-free ports, such as Hong Kong.

Example of tariff trials:

If you buy basketball shoes imported to Taiwan, after the exchange rate conversion, a total of NT$5,000, international shipping costs NT$1,000, insurance premium NT$0, the tariff calculation is as follows:
Tax payment amount = 5,000 + 1,000 + 0 = 6,000
Import duty = 6,000 × 7.5% = 450
Note: The tax rate for Taiwan basketball shoes is about 7.5%. (The shoes and materials of different sports have different tax rates.)
Business tax = (6,000 + 450) × 5% = 323
Note: Taiwan’s business tax is unified at 5%.
The total tariff of this import = 450 + 323 = 673

※ Taxes for all kinds of goods can be found on the website of the relevant institutions in the country, or call the local consultation telephone to inquire about customs officers.

Import allowance

Imported goods are subject to customs duties, but not all import practices are subject to tariffs. Each country’s import tax credits are different, so when the amount of goods you purchase does not exceed the country’s tax exemption, you will not be charged. For example, Taiwan’s import allowance is NT$2,000, so as long as the duty-paid amount is less than NT$2,000, no tariff will be generated.
※Tax-paid amount = purchase price of goods + international freight + insurance premium

Summary of import allowances for common countries

Contrycurrency Import allowance Other specifications
TaiwanNTD2,000Imported more than 6 times in half a year, even if it is lower than the import allowance at the 7th time, it will still levy import duties.
MalaysiaMYR500 Malaysia’s tariff formula consists of:
[Sales and service tax + import tax + customs declaration fee]
A 5-10% sales and service tax is charged regardless of the amount of imports.
The proportion of import tax exceeding MYR500 is determined by the type of goods (eg, most household appliances import tax is 20%).
SingaporeSGD400If the commodity duty-paid price exceeds the tax allowance, a 7% tariff will be charged.
Hong KongHKDduty freeduty free

Consumption tax / excise tax

The general term for the government to tax the consumer’s consumption behavior. So when you buy goods online from other countries, almost all of the checkout amounts include consumption tax.

State tax (United States)

When shopping from a US website, sometimes you find out why the checkout amount is always the same as the product price? That is because the price of goods sold in Taiwan already includes tax, but the US consumption tax is calculated separately. Different states have their own tax rates, and there are high and low tax-free states.

OK! After reading the above four boring nouns, I finally have to enter our theme!
“How can cross-border shopping avoid (reduce) tariffs and consumption taxes?”

  1. Reduce international shipping costs:
    All countries are looking at the tax-paid amount of goods (product purchase price + international freight + insurance premium) whether there is more than the tax allowance to levy tariffs, so the international freight rate is closely related to the tariff. There are many ways to reduce international shipping costs, such as choosing a cost-effective logistics company, using a consolidation company’s consolidation (boxing) service to ship multiple items together. Shipping company price/service comparison
  2. Understand the import goods tax:
    The Customs will use different tariff rates for different types of goods, materials and other factors. Therefore, if you can, you can check the tax rate on the tax websites of various countries before purchasing goods, so as to avoid excessive tariffs when you are enrolled.
  3. Replace the name of the importer: (for Taiwan)
    In addition to the minimum allowance of NT$2,000, Taiwan will import more than 6 times if the same importer frequently imports in the first half of the year. Therefore, if there are relatives and friends willing to assist in the import of goods, you can avoid tariffs (the best way is to pull friends and relatives to shop together, you can import XD in their name)
  4. other methods:
    Some netizens share the method of reducing the amount of goods declared, asking the seller to mark the goods as “gifts”, sending them by EMS, etc., etc., which can reduce or eliminate tariffs. Comparee does not recommend this. These methods can only be used in It is only applicable if you fill out the customs declaration name yourself or ask someone else to help you send the package to you, and the risks are at your own risk.

There is also a focus on “state tax” that needs to be paid attention to when shopping from the US website. Because the US states have different tax rules, pay attention to the state in which the purchased goods are in the state before buying the goods. The high-priced goods should pay more attention to it, and it will not be hard for a long time to buy expensive.
If you are looking for a shipping company to help send the goods and send the goods to the shipping company’s collection address, the state where the collection is located will also affect the price of the goods shipped! The person who is interested in the Italian tax can give priority to finding a logistics company that collects the warehouse in the state-free tax, and can save a lot of money.

The above methods are only for reference. The organic rate of these methods can reduce (reduce) the generation of tariffs and consumption tax, but it is not 100% effective. It is based on the professional judgment of customs of various countries whether to collect tariffs.

You must be thinking that “shopping is still a lot of trouble! Is there a way to know the freight and customs tariffs faster?”
Have! Comparee knows in advance that many people will be worried about the inability to estimate tariffs and shipping charges. Therefore, in addition to providing detailed specifications, global seller prices, and evaluations, each item on the official website also provides information on estimated tariffs and international shipping rates. You can easily calculate the cost of shopping and enjoy the fun of every purchase!

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