Some commodities need permission before you can bring them into your country, while others are totally banned. Please check your country’s list of restricted and prohibited goods before committing to the purchase.
Common restricted goods are alcohol (beer/wine), tobacco, plants, seeds, perishable (frozen meat/ fish), dangerous goods (i.e. lithium batteries) and biological substances (i.e. vaccine, tissue samples etc.). In addition to import permits, shipments containing such controlled goods may also undergo inspection and quarantine by the relevant authorities before shipments are released.
Imports of weapons, including guns for recreational purposes, and drugs are strictly prohibited by law in ASEAN countries. Such shipments will be intercepted and held with heavy penalties imposed.
To avoid surprises, it is important to assume that on top of the price of goods and shipping costs, duties and taxes are applicable on all imports into the ASEAN region.
Duties are usually commodity-based and are rated based on specific product Harmonized System Codes. Taxes usually refer to goods and services tax (GST) or value-added tax (VAT) at a percentage of the value of the shipment and shipping services. It is important to understand if e-retailers have already ncorporated duties and taxes into your online transaction, or if these will be due to Customs agencies upon importation.
In some instances, duties and taxes are waived for goods below a certain identified threshold.
While many e-retailers recognize the importance of supporting returns, most ASEAN countries are not established to support the refund of duties and tax