EU to Lift Tax Exemption for Low-priced Imports

EU to Lift Tax Exemption for Low-priced Imports

EU to Lift Tax Exemption for Low-priced Imports

EU to Lift Tax Exemption for Low-priced ImportsThe European Union is planning to impose customs duties on low-cost imports, with a proposal expected from the European Commission later this month.

Currently, consignments from non-EU countries valued under €150 ($161) can be imported into Europe without paying duties, a provision that may soon be lifted. Online retail platforms characterized by low-priced goods, such as Temu and Shein, will be significantly affected by this reform. Other foreign vendors of products including printer consumables through online platforms may also be susceptible to it.

According to the Commission, approximately 2.3 billion parcels valued below €150 were shipped to Europe from other countries in 2023. Most of these shipments are categorized as e-commerce and have been described as “testing customs’ limits”, drawing the attention of the Parliament. Earlier this year in March, the European Parliament determined that the EU Customs Code required a comprehensive overhaul due to the surge in e-commerce shopping. The Parliament claimed that most goods sold online did not meet EU’s safety regulations and may be undervalued deliberately, resulting in a substantial loss of revenue.

The proposal aims to create fair competition between European and third-country vendors by closing any lucrative loopholes. However, the increased workload for customs officials if the reform is implemented may cause some EU countries to hesitate. The topic will be discussed later this year once preparations for the new commission are complete.



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