A Duty Nightmare in Taiwan

duty

Hey all. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been back in Taiwan, and I’ve been going all online-shopping-happy at iHerb. In Vietnam it was impossible to find health foods and supplements, and when you did find them they were so expensive it just wasn’t worth it. So now that I’m back in Taiwan, I’ve been stocking up on all my vitamins, probiotics, powders and potions. Tis’ liberating!

But ordering online isn’t all peaches and cream.

Taiwan charges a 20 % duty on packages that are over $3,000NT. In order to avoid this, I opt to separate my orders into smaller batches, as the amount I pay for extra shipping is way less than the tax. I realize this is sneaky, but I really don’t care. It’s a loophole and I’m seizing it.

I had no hiccups with my first three packages, but with the last two I received an email from DHL saying they needed my permission to inspect my packages….Turns out, since I made the orders within a day of each other, they were shipped out at the same time, and arrived on the same DHL plane to Kaohsiung. So what does this mean? Well, it means the nice people at DHL lumped my two packages into one, and charged me 20% tax on them anyways!

Sneaky! I guess two can play at this game, eh?

I spent a week corresponding with them and disputing the charges. But in the long run, I had to hand over the cash. However, my persistence paid off because I got them to lower the price from $1900NT to $1400NT. 

In addition, there were hemp seeds and flax seeds in the box, which were sent to quarantine. The paperwork for that was extensive and time consuming, and after completing it, all the documents had to be printed, signed, and then mailed to the quarantine office with $100NT.

So why were my health foods quarantined? Turns out that anything with the word “seed” in it is not allowed into Taiwan. A $50US dollar lesson for me, but hopefully you can save some money from my loss. Currently, my “contraband” is still in quarantine (it’s been one week now) but from what I gather, I can kiss those seeds goodbye.

Taiwan Duty Tips:

  1. Keep your orders under $3,000NT if possible. The $3,000NT INCLUDES the shipping costs.
  2. Make sure to put three days or more between your orders. I would give it a full five days to be on the safe side.
  3. If you can, put one of the orders in a friends name and have it sent to another address. That way they can’t be lumped together as one order.
  4. Do not order anything with the word “seed” in it.
  5. If you want to take a risk, you can order edible seeds but DO NOT use DHL. I used US post a few weeks ago and a small bag of hemp seeds managed to get through.

P.S. If you would like to save 10% off your first iHerb order, use the code QCW626 at checkout.

Good luck!

 

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Comments

  1. Sylvia Longoria says:

    Wow, what a nuisance, Jenna…  Learning, though! From: Nomad Notions To: sylvia.longoria@sbcglobal.net Sent: Monday, July 4, 2016 12:40 AM Subject: [New post] A Duty Nightmare in Taiwan #yiv5929722639 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5929722639 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5929722639 a.yiv5929722639primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5929722639 a.yiv5929722639primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5929722639 a.yiv5929722639primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5929722639 a.yiv5929722639primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5929722639 WordPress.com | healthiernotions posted: “Hey all. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been back in Taiwan, and I’ve been going all online-shopping-happy at iHerb. In Vietnam it was impossible to find health foods and supplements, and when you did find them they were so expensive it just wasn’t” | |

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