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Are Items Posted to China for Personal Use Subject to Import Tax?

All inbound postal items intended for personal use – and deemed to be of a reasonable quantity for such a purpose –  are liable to be taxed under the terms of the prevailing import personal postal articles regulations. This sees customs duty, import VAT and consumption tax integrated into one value-related payment, with the amount due assessed on a three-tier basis depending on the exact nature of the product(s) in question.

The currently-applicable tax rates are as follows:

Tax Category Nature of Posted Item Tax Rate
1Books and newspapers, magazines, and educational audio-visual products; information technology products including computers, video cameras and digital cameras; food and beverages; gold and silver; furniture; toys, games and other recreational articles; and medicines. (Imported cancer drugs, which are subject to VAT at a reduced rate of 3% according to state regulations, are taxed at the standard rate for such goods)15%
2Sporting goods (excluding golf clubs and related equipment) and fishing tackle; textiles and textile products; TV cameras and other electrical appliances; bicycles; and all other goods not specified as falling under Category 1 or 325%
3Tobacco and alcohol; precious jewellery, gemstones and jade; golf clubs and equipment; high-end watches; and high-end cosmetics. (For items in this category, the taxable rate is the same as that applicable under the terms of the consumption tax.)50%


The value of each personal postal item mailed from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan is capped at RMB800, while for those mailed from other countries and regions it is capped at RMB1,000. Any personal postal item liable for import tax of RMB50 or below will be deemed to be exempt from the integrated duty. Any inbound package deemed to contain items for commercial use will be subject to customs duty and other applicable taxes under the terms of the general trade system.

For further details, please access the following links:

New Cross-Border E-Commerce Retail Import Tax Policy to Take Effect on 8 April

China Adjusts Personal Article Import Levy as of 1 November

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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