End of duty exemptions for cheap goods from Chinese e-shops

4. 07. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

The European Commission plans to impose duties not only on Chinese electric cars, but also on cheap consumer goods from Chinese e-shops such as Temu and Shein. According to the UK’s Financial Times, the Commission wants to abolish the current €150 threshold where goods are exempt from duty.

The new proposal, to be unveiled later this month, targets Chinese online marketplaces such as Temu, AliExpress and Shein, where many extremely cheap products are sold. Last year, 2.3 billion shipments worth up to €150 were imported into the EU, with e-commerce imports more than doubling year-on-year. In April alone, the number of such shipments reached 350,000.

The proposed rules would apply to all online retailers that send goods directly to EU customers from outside the bloc, which would not affect US giant Amazon, for example, which uses European retailers.

The move is part of a broader reform of the customs system proposed by the EC back in May 2023. The EC is now looking to speed up the introduction of these reforms in response to a surge in cheap imports. However, some member states may struggle with the new customs regime due to the increased workload for customs officials.

Small shipments from non-EU countries will lose their VAT exemption as early as the end of 2021.Chinese e-shops face consumer protection complaints and manipulative practices in the EU. Temu has seen strong growth, with more than 75 million users per month. Shein has been criticized for environmental issues and accusations of forced labor. AliExpress, part of Alibaba, is also popular in the Czech Republic and opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Europe near Madrid in 2019.

Photo source: www.pexels.com

Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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