No more cheap imports from China

The end of cheap direct imports from China is approaching. From July 2021, new rules will apply to direct imports from non-EU countries.

No more cheap direct imports

From July 16, 2021, new rules will apply to direct imports from non-EU countries.

Most online retailers with direct imports are based in China. The proportion of Chinese products on Amazon is around 40%, whereas in 2016 it was only around 10%.

European customers are supplied with products on platforms such as Ali-Express that often do not meet European safety requirements.

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Market supervisors are required

This is set to change on July 16! Non-European providers must then designate a responsible person who is available to answer questions and solve problems. Amazon already offers this service for €25 per month.

As representatives, these market surveillance officers must answer questions about the products and keep conformity documents available. These are documents in which the manufacturer certifies that its products comply with all EU regulations.

Abolition of the exemption limit

In addition to the responsible person to be named, the new VAT obligation will have an even greater impact. This is because the import VAT exemption limit of 22 euros per package will no longer apply from the beginning of July. This means that all parcels that are imported directly are subject to 19% import sales tax. The new exemption limit is then effectively €5.23, because charges of less than €1 are not levied.


In addition to the abolition of the €22 exemption limit, a customs declaration must be submitted for each parcel from July.

Customs declaration per parcel

The new tax rule and the customs declaration from July will make the direct import of cheap items from non-EU countries extremely uneconomical! As a result, larger units are imported into the EU, stored and only shipped to the end customer after sale. Fulfillment providers can take on these tasks, including customs declarations, and also act as market supervisors.

Growing obligations of the platforms

In any case, from July, platforms such as Amazon, Wish and eBay will be increasingly required to comply with EU rules. If online retailers do not comply with this, their account will be blocked, as has already been implemented.

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