Coordinating with Customs and other government agencies in support of policies and practices that expedite the cross-border flow of goods and people.
E-Commerce presents a new engine of growth for Taiwan. The country’s online spending accounts for 10% of total retail, worth US$9.7 billion, according to Euromonitor’s market research. Taiwan was the fifth-largest e-commerce market in the Asia Pacific region in 2017, after China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
Taiwan is also located in the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce region, with over 50% of all online shopping for retail goods and services taking place in the Asia-Pacific region. All markets in the region are expected to have double-digit growth annually between 2017 and 2022, presenting tremendous opportunities for Taiwanese companies tap into.
To help Taiwan better capture this new growth opportunity, the Committee encourages the government to consider establishing measures to further simplify trade, facilitate clearance, and simplify taxation for low-value shipments – most of which are e-commerce.
At the same time, we recognize that cross-border e-commerce may bring new challenges to policy makers. A surge in volume of low-value shipments may strain resources for Customs. Many e-commerce importers are individuals and small businesses who are inexperienced and often unfamiliar with the rules of trade, creating various compliance challenges for Customs. Our members would be pleased to work with relevant government agencies, especially Customs, to develop policy solutions that address this new economic reality.
Suggestion: Create a public-private working group to develop policies and procedures for e-commerce.
Since a traditional policy approach may not be suitable to cope with the new challenges created by e-commerce, the Committee proposes to organize a public-private working group on trade facilitation for e-commerce. The working group would include representatives from Customs, international express companies, and other experts. The objective of this working group would be to identify policy solutions to simplify customs procedures, improve border clearance processes, promote efficient tax payment and collection, and facilitate the return of e-commerce purchases.
The group will draw on international best practices and policy frameworks from the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization, and leverage insights from local customs experts to customize the solutions for Taiwan. Based on its own study, sharing by international experts and brainstorming among the members, the working group would commit to present a report to border agencies with actionable recommendations in next year’s AmCham White Paper.