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Although some imports to Taiwan can be relatively straightforward, we guide you through the more complex import process for electronic and telecommunication products.
An overview of Taiwan’s economy and industry
Taiwan is a fruitful country; the 8th largest economy in Asia and the 18th largest in the world, which means that Taiwan has a seat at the table in the advance economies group, as defined by the International Monetary Fund.
Taiwan is extremely futuristic; it is the most technically advanced chip-set manufacturer in the world, and is a leading LCD panel manufacturer, DRAM computer memory, networking equipment, and consumer electronics designer and manufacturer.
Major Taiwanese hardware companies include Acer, Asus, HTC, Foxconn, TSMC and Pegatron. In fact, three of the highest paid sectors in Taiwan includes telecommunication, financial services and utilities, which drive continued transformation in high technology and a service-orientated economy and diversification of trade markets.
The country sees sizable revenue trade with the larger economies in Asia such as China, Hong Kong and Japan, and it benefits greatly from Trade Agreements with the European Union and the USA.
Importing into Taiwan
The act of importing into Taiwan is relatively simple; most goods can be imported without the need for import licenses or permits, the main exception being goods relating to public sanitation, ammunitions, defence-related items, and some agricultural products, plants and animals. Chocolate and medical devices manufactured in China are banned.
Although imports are largely unlicensed, electronic goods are heavily regulated. The department that regulates the development, compilation and publication of the National Standards of the Republic of China, as well as being responsible for conformity assessment, is the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI), under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). The BSMI also implements commodity inspection measures as stipulated in Taiwan’s Commodity Inspection Law.
The CNS Mark Certification System
The CNS Mark Certification System, open to applications from foreign manufacturers, is a voluntary certification system that promotes the compliance of product quality with national standards.
Manufacturers may apply to the BSMI for the CNS Mark based on their own needs. Foreign companies will be issued a CNS Mark Certificate once their products are assessed to be in compliance with related requirements.
Assessment of quality management systems and products
To obtain a CNS Mark, a company needs to have their quality management system assessed and their products tested against related national standards.
Assessment of the company's quality management system can be done by the BSMI or by certification bodies recognized by the BSMI. Testing of products can be done by the BSMI, its commissioned organisations or testing laboratories recognised by the BSMI.
The following excerpts are taken from content published by the MOEA:
The provisions of Article 3 of the Regulations Governing the CNS Mark (hereinafter referred to as “the Regulations”) state the following requirements of the Certification System:
(i) The quality management system (hereinafter referred to as “QMS”) of the factory is certified against CNS 12681 (ISO 9001) by quality management system certification bodies that are located in Taiwan or in the same country as the factory and recognized by the BSMI (hereinafter referred to as “the BSMI-recognized QMS CBs”), and the product is tested to be in compliance with relevant CNS; or
(ii) The factory obtains factory reports from BSMI or the factory inspection bodies located in Taiwan or in the same country as the factory that are recognized by the BSMI (hereinafter referred to as “the factory inspection agency/bodies”) and the product is tested to be in compliance with relevant CNS.
The BSMI certificate must be presented to customs prior to import.
Controlled Telecommunication Radio-Frequency Devices (CTRFDs), including WiFi and Bluetooth
The National Communications Commission (NCC) regulates telecommunications and broadcasting services in Taiwan, including controlled telecommunication radio-frequency devices (CTRFDs). The four goals of the NCC are:
- promote the sound development of communications
- safeguard the rights of the people
- protect the interests of consumers
- raise multicultural diversity.
These four policy goals constitute the administrative principles of NCC.
All goods with Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) and/or Bluetooth must go through extensive testing and approvals before they can enter the Taiwanese market. This remit extends to all Global Mobile Radio Systems (GMS), Long Term Evolution (LTE), and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Goods need to be pre-tested by an authorised testing body endorsed by the NCC.
Once certification has been achieved, the NCC logo must be applied to the labels on the device.
Taiwan's import tariffs
VAT for Taiwan is set at 5% of CIF value.
For clients that do not have the time, finance or personnel to invest in these costs and time-consuming certificates and permits, there are allowable exemptions that can be applied to allow the import of goods.