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Measures taken by Taiwan Customs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
  • Content:
1. Measures aiming to facilitate the cross-border movement
(1) Simplifying documentation requirement for import clearance
To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Customs allows traders to submit required documents for import declaration via facsimile, such as commercial invoices, packing lists, and POAs(Power of Attorney), while the original copies may be submitted afterwards.
(2) Establishing a single window for customs clearance of epidemic prevention articles
“Single Window for the Expedited Customs Clearance of Epidemic Prevention Articles” was established on January 22, 2020, so as to provide accelerated and convenient customs clearance services and respond to the inquires raised by the public.
(3) Expediting cargo inspection and release
Taiwan Customs utilizes X-ray inspection equipment in assisting investigations to reduce inspection time, and also works overtime to conduct inspections to accommodate business schedules.
(4) Accelerating the processing for applications from bonded operators
Customs has expedited its process for entrusting factories outside the bonded area to process goods to assist bonded operators in restoring production.
(5) Continuous communication and outreach on pandemic prevention measures
A special section on “Customs Measures concerning COVID-19” has been established on the official Customs website to compile COVID-19-related measures and regulations, whereby the public can access frequently updated information on the pandemic.
2. Measures aiming at supporting the economy and sustaining supply chain continuity
(1) Mobile reduction of the tariff rates of epidemic prevention articles
From February 27 to May 26 in 2020, the tariff rate of face masks was temporarily reduced from 7.5% to 0%. In addition, from February 27, 2020 to August 26, 2023, the tariff rate of the ingredients of pharmaceutical alcohol was reduced from 20% to 10%. Tariff rates of epidemic prevention articles are subject to periodic review based upon domestic circumstances of the pandemic.
(2) Extending the application period for offsetting or refund of duties and taxes on raw materials for export product
Article 52 of the Enforcement Rules of the Customs Act was amended on May 18, 2020, which expanded the conditions for extended applications for offsetting or refund of duties/taxes. Manufacturers that failed to apply for a duty refund or offsetting of duties/taxes within the originally regulated period of 18 months following the 2nd date of release due to the pandemic shall be able to apply for an extension for one additional year.
(3) Relaxing restrictions on the storage period of bonded goods in duty-free shops and offshore island duty-free shops
The maximum storage period of bonded goods in bonded warehouses is two years. In case of the dramatic decline of domestic demand and sales volume due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, warehouse operators may apply to the competent customs office for extension of the storage period. In addition, the Regulations Governing the Establishment and Management of Duty-free Shops were amended on June 16, 2020, whereby the storage period of bonded goods in duty-free shops and offshore island duty-free shops may be extended more than once.
(4) Increasing the amount of duty-free goods for offshore island duty-free shops
Article 19 of the Regulations Governing the Establishment and Management of Offshore Island Duty-free Shops was amended on December 15, 2020, whereby the amount of duty-free goods, excluding tobacco or alcohol, carried by passengers out of the offshore island areas into the main island of Taiwan or other offshore islands is increased from NT$60,000 to NT$100,000.
(5) Extending the time period of vessel declaration and export clearance
Export goods were required to be loaded on board and shipped within 30 days following the date of Customs release. On May 28, 2021, Customs Administration announced that export goods will be allowed for e-clearance within 60 days after Customs release once they are included in the Container Loading List (The announcement has ceased to apply since August 1, 2023). The amended measure saves shut-out/cancelled charges and over-the-counter clearance costs derived from the shipping delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for exporters and carriers.
  • Performance:
1. As of the end of September 2023, 70 applications have been submitted for the extension to offset or refund duties and taxes on raw materials for export products.
2. As of the end of September 2023, the number of applications on the extension of the storage period of bonded goods was 360, among which 118 cases were related to the bonded warehouses while 242 cases were related to duty-free shops and offshore island duty-free shops.
3. As of the end of September 2023, the number of export goods which enjoyed the benefits of e-clearance is 22,373.
Issued:Customs Administration Release date:2023-10-12 Last updated:2023-10-12 Click times:539