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Enquiry: Are Inward/Outward Personal Postal Articles Subject to Taxes in China? What Are the Restrictions?

Photo: Inward/outward passenger baggage
Photo: Inward/outward passenger baggage

The term “personal postal article” can be taken to refer to inward/outward passenger baggage, gifts exchanged between relatives and friends and other articles deemed as for personal use. All such articles should be limited to a reasonable quantity in line with what could be deemed reasonable for personal use.

The limit as to the quantity and nature of the articles acceptable for delivery by mail is set by China Customs. The duties then levied on such articles will be in line with the prevailing regulations.

In more specific terms:

1. Customs shall levy import duty (so-called “personal postal article tax”) on personal articles mailed from outside the mainland and exempt duty on articles accruing import duty of RMB50 or less.

2. Personal articles mailed from or to Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan should be worth no more than RMB800. In the case of personal articles mailed from or to other countries and regions, they should be valued at no more than RMB1,000.

3. In the case of personal articles with a value exceeding the above-mentioned duty-free limit, these may be returned or cleared by Customs in line with the prevailing regulations. If, however, any mailing consists of just one item and still exceeds the specified value limit, the package may be approved by Customs following verification that said item is genuinely for personal use.

4. In the case of commercial mailings, for both inbound and outbound purposes, these will be approved/rejected in line with the relevant goods regulations.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research