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EU to impose tariffs on cheap goods from Chinese online stores, FT reports

EU to impose tariffs on cheap goods from Chinese online stores, FT reports Photo: EU to impose duties on goods from Temu, Shein and AliExpress (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The European Union is developing plans to impose duties on cheap goods from Chinese online stores, including Temu, Shein, and AliExpress, the Financial Times reports.

According to the agency's sources, at the end of this month, the European Commission will propose to cancel the current threshold of 150 euros, below which goods can be purchased duty-free.

According to current EU rules, parcels purchased online from non-EU countries are not subject to duty if their value is less than €150.

European Commission says that in 2023, two billion parcels with a declared value of less than €150 arrived in the EU from abroad, huge volumes of e-commerce are putting customs authorities to the test.

The FT says that the EU is discussing the removal of the restriction as part of the customs reform project proposed by the European Commission in May 2023, but it may now try to speed up its adoption to counter the surge in cheap imports.

Critics of Shein and Temu in the United States have already complained that they use import duty exemptions to undermine competitors and avoid customs inspections of their products. This practice allows both companies to offer dresses for as little as $8 and smartwatches for $25 to customers around the world.

The tax-free value of parcels from abroad in Ukraine is also €150. The reduced limit of EUR 100 was in effect for 2.5 years until the beginning of 2022, but it did not bring additional revenues to the budget.