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The new import law is unfair and will keep Taiwan uncompetitive

Dear Editor,

As someone who imports around 200 packages a year for personal use, mainly health foods, clothing, books and educational materials, I am annoyed and angry at the new import policy the Ministry of Finance hastily passed without consulting the people. This new law goes against all logic and encourages companies to price gouge even more than they already do.

Taiwan's competition is almost non-existent. The government continually kowtows to local businesses because they refuse to adapt for the 21st century. This hurts both the people and the businesses themselves. Taiwan's businesses need to change — they need to become more competitive in a positive way

If the government deems it right to tax people bringing in products for business (to sell), then it needs to find a better way of doing so. Right now, the system catches everyone. A limit of six packages in six months without tax and duty is ridiculous. Most countries allow for an equivalent value of a package of up to US$100 a day. I think the old system worked fine and should be brought back immediately. The new law is highly flawed and highly unreasonable.

It is clear that the government does not consider the reasons why people shop online and import products to Taiwan. Let me list some of them to educate the uneducated government. At least as a foreign national living in Taiwan, here are some examples why I buy products from overseas.

— Of course to get things cheaper, thus Taiwan businesses need to re-evaluate their business structures and learn how to become more competitive without the government's assistance.

— To get products that Taiwan simply does not have — there are many brands that no company in Taiwan carries.

— Products that are safer, healthier or more environmental friendly.

— Books and materials not available in Taiwan.

— Educational materials that assist teachers in teaching students, thus benefiting the Taiwanese people.

— Clothing, because I cannot find clothing items in Taiwan that fit me.

I do not think it is reasonable to tax me and charge duty on any of these items, especially those items that benefit locals.

I am asking that the government immediately reverse its decision on this law, and to leave the people alone — the limitation on importing items must stop. Perhaps becoming a bit more like Hong Kong's free port may actually encourage and stimulate Taiwan's economy. Please stop making policies that hurt the people.

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