Export to Taiwan and international trade

What do we know about Taiwanese consumers?

Taiwan is a small but impressive island nation, 180 kms off the coast of Mainland China. Its population of 23.57 million includes Taiwanese and Chinese people. The nation’s latest Gini Index depicts a fairly even wealth distribution. The highest earning 10% of the Taiwanese population shared 40.3 of the country’s earnings while the bottom earning 10% shared 6.4% of it.

Highly urbanised areas in Taiwan include the capital Taipei, and the cities of Kaohsiung, Taichung and Tainan.

What do people import to Taiwan?

Taiwan imported goods worth US$285.69 billion in 2019.

The following commodities are among those being imported to Taiwan currently:

  • Oil/Petroleum
  • Semiconductors
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Steel
  • Computers
  • Wireless communication equipment

Who are Taiwan’s favorite import partners? (Percentage of total imports)

  • China (27.9%)
  • US (14.1%)
  • Japan (7.1%)

Which are Taiwan’s top container ports?

  • Kaohsiung
  • Keelung and Taipei
  • Taichung

Which is Taiwan’s top cargo airport?

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is Taiwan’s busiest cargo loading and unloading airport.

What are Taiwan’s import regulations?

Taiwan has a simple automated Customs system which classifies all goods into either C1: Free of paper and cargo examination, C2: Subject to document scrutiny or C3: subject to document scrutiny and cargo examination.

Documents required can include the certificate of origin, DG certification, import permits and other related documents and approvals depending on the nature of the product being imported.

What are Taiwan’s tariffs and taxes?

Import tariffs in Taiwan are based on the Harmonised System in which most duties are based on percentage of GATT Valuation Code which is the cost, insurance and freight value of the package.

Other taxes include business tax (for the sale of product in the country) which consists of VAT and GBRT.

Taiwan’s distribution problem

Though Taiwan is easy to penetrate with the right product offering, its distribution system is a complicated one. Very often the importer also plays the role of a distributor, especially for processed items and general merchandise for better control.

Importers are also contacting retail chains directly in the attempt to avoid the local distribution network in order to bypass the complexities. Many foreign producers are using multiple channel systems to reach their target audiences.

In any case, with its exciting infrastructure, democratic political system and young consumer base, modern Taiwan is something to look forward to and possibly get associated with!

This entry in Asia was updated on 3 April 2021 by specialist.