Import Tax on Mail to Impact Mail Orders from Hong Kong

Posted by Reading Time: < 1 minute

HONG KONG, Aug. 4 – China’s new Customs tax on personal mail, which begins  September 1, will effectively end the practice in Hong Kong of earning commissions for sending packages to Mainland China.

The new regulations will impose an import tax on personally mailed items into China. For individuals sending or receiving items from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, import duties will be waived for packages with a dutiable value of under RMB50. Previously, import duties were waived on parcels form Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan if the duty was below RMB400.

In addition, personal mail from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan valued beyond RMB800 (RMB1,000 for other countries and regions) will need to then go through Customs clearance procedures.

Typical items traded commercially between Hong Kong and the mainland include cosmetics, milk powder, handbags and other low cost fashion or consumer items. Hong Kong as a duty free port tends to enjoy lower prices than many products in China and, since the melamine milk powder scandal of 2008, has also been a major provider of processed dairy items to China via this route.

Agents have been set up to handle the traffic with one of the largest, Taobao – currently the biggest e-commerce platform in China, likely to be badly hit by the new restrictions. The total trade estimate of goods shipped in this way is reckoned to be somewhere in the region of US$1.2 billion annually.

It is expected that customs, especially in Guangdong Province, will more closely monitor packages coming in from Hong Kong.

Related Reading
Customs to Impose Tax on Personal Mail

2 thoughts on “Import Tax on Mail to Impact Mail Orders from Hong Kong

    J. Cipriani says:

    At least for expats resident in China, unless bringing into the country items for resale or that are not for one’s own personal use, this new policy is not anything other than a mild inconvenience. Unless the article falls into the category termed luxury goods or has an exceptionally high value, there is generally no tax levied. The major difference is that before packages with declared value often over $800 were not diverted for customs clearance whereas now the declared value threshhold is lower.

    JamesK says:

    Not true. Any purchases from a foreign online store is considered commercial goods regardless of intent…personal use or resale. Expats are hit hard with duty for such items.

Comments are closed.