curious lady
curious lady

KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE PURCHASING

While order fulfillment is the responsibility of the e-retailer, you play an important role in the smooth processing, clearance and delivery of online shopping. To avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a seamless end-to-end experience, be sure you know all the rules of international trade before committing to a purchase.

Three key questions to ask to make your purchase process a smooth one:

I CAN BUY THIS ONLINE BUT CAN I BRING IT INTO MY COUNTRY?

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.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?

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.

CAN I RETURN PRODUCTS,AND IF SO, WILL I RECEIVE A REFUND OF DUTIES AND TAXES?

While many e-retailers recognize the importance of supporting returns, most ASEAN countries are not established to support the refund of duties and tax