Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance stated that to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to respond promptly to domestic demand for masks which are staple commodities for epidemic prevention, on February 27, 2020, the Executive Yuan approved temporary reduction of tariffs on ingredients of pharmaceutical alcohol, where a certificate issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is necessary, to 10% and masks to duty-free, which shall be implemented for a three-month period.
Customs Administration further stated that, as of Feb. 16, 2020, the soaring import price of ingredients of pharmaceutical alcohol has led to an increase in manufacturers’ import cost. Meanwhile, the government has urgently purchased mask producing machines and has delegated manufacturers to produce masks. It is expected that the mask production capacity could reach ten million per day by early March. With the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the skyrocketing demand for ingredients of pharmaceutical and masks, it is expected that the cost of raw material of the two products will surge. To keep epidemic prevention commodities well supplied, it is necessary to lower the import cost of the two products. Therefore, according to Article 71 of Customs Act, we have temporarily reduced the tariffs on the two products including ingredients of pharmaceutical alcohol (Tariff no.2207.10.90) from 20% to 10% and masks (Tariff no.6307.90.50) from 7.5% to duty-free for a three-month period. The implementation of the reduction will be reviewed periodically, taking into account the progress of epidemic prevention and the market supply and demand for the two commodities.
The Administration highlights that the duration of the temporary reduction of tariffs is from February 27 to May 26, 2020. The application of the revised tariff rates shall be governed by Article 2 of the Enforcement Rules of the Customs Act. For imported goods, the amendment of the tariff shall apply from the arrival date of the means of transportation. According to Article 6 of the same regulation, “the arrival date of the transportation means” refers to the date on which the vessel arrives at the port of entry and files the import manifest with Customs for sea cargo, and for air cargo refers to the date on which the plane arrives at the airport and files the import manifest with Customs.
Customs Administration provided a “List of 2 products including undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 90% vol and masks of textile materials on which tariffs are temporarily reduced” for the public’s reference.