Importing a Vehicle

Find out how to import a car to Taiwan and get it registered on the roads and the documents required when bringing a car for personal use in Taiwan...

Importing a foreign car for personal use is not against the law in Taiwan. However, in reality the required inspections, taxes and duties make it difficult, time consuming and expensive to do. Taiwan is very protective of its own automotive industry. The tax burden to import a vehicle into Taiwan is high and Taiwanese customs advises people to be discreet about importing cars or motorcycles into the country.

Cars Which May be Imported

Since 2002 used and new vehicles manufactured in World Trade Organisation (WTO) countries can be imported into Taiwan. However, not all foreign cars can be imported into the country. The car should have been manufactured in accordance with Taiwanese regulations; otherwise it is difficult for a vehicle to pass the mandatory government inspection. Requirements are not limited to, but include:

  • The vehicle meeting EUR 4 emissions standards
  • The car being left hand drive
  • The car having a metric speedometer

Importing a Car

Individuals wishing to import a vehicle whose value exceeds US$20,000 need to apply for an import permit from the Board of Foreign Trade. No permit is needed for cars with a value lower than this. Once an imported vehicle has cleared customs it must meet further requirements before Certificates of Title are given:

  • Environmental protection inspection
  • Energy efficiency standard test

The Automotive Research and Testing Centre manages vehicle testing in Taiwan.

  • For more information on vehicle testing: Click here

Costs

Most people find that the cost of importing a car into Taiwan is too much to make it worthwhile. Costs include:

  • Import duty, which is levied at 17.5 percent of the customs value of the vehicle, which is itself a function of its make, model and age
  • VAT charged at 5 percent of the car's value plus import duty and commodity tax
  • Commodity tax. This depends on the size of the engine but is around 25-30 percent of the car's value
  • Business tax, which is calculated as 5 percent of the sum of the Customs value, Import Duty and Commodity Tax
  • Shipping and handling costs to get the car to Taiwan
  • Any corrections that need to be done to the car following the Taiwan government's inspection

Shipping

A car being shipped for import must be listed on a shipping inventory. This requires full details of the car including the make and model, registration details and the year. Most shipping companies require the following documents:

  • An original certificate of registration
  • An invoice or receipt that provides proof or purchase for the vehicle and states the amount paid for it
  • Passport
  • Insurance
  • A customs declaration
  • A work permit, valid for at least one year

Getting a Taiwanese Licence Plate

Applications for a Taiwanese Licence plate should be made at a local Motor Vehicle Office. The vehicle for which plates are being applied for will be inspected. The following documents will be required:

  • Proof of identity (Alien Resident Card, driving licence)
  • Two copies of the new licence plate registration certificate for automobiles or motorcycles that have passed the inspection
  • Customs clearance certificates for customs duties and tax
  • The vehicle manufacturer's certificate
  • The vehicle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

A fee is charged to inspect the vehicle; the size of the fee depends on whether it is a motorcycle or a car. Large vehicles are charged more than small ones. There is also a charge for the licence plate, which is more for cars than for motorbikes.

Further Information