European Union proposes taxes on purchases through Temu or AliExpress

Import tax on cheap items could be on the way
Image: athree23, Pixabay

4 July 2024

The European Union is trying to cope with online retailers offering their goods at bargain prices. A proposal is now to also impose import taxes on smaller purchases outside the EU.

Chinese retailers such as AliExpress, Temu or Shein are also in high demand here. Because they offer products produced in large quantities at exceptionally low prices, it is tempting for consumers to shop online like this.

For the EU, this is a thorn in its side. Its own market is finding it increasingly difficult to remain attractive amid the foreign price war. Currently, there is a tax-free threshold of €150 for online purchases, intended for small gifts or personal packages. As a result, imports of low-value items have only increased.

The Financial Times reports that the EU is therefore considering a plan. An import tax would also be imposed on all orders under €150 made on non-EU e-commerce platforms.

The proposal has not yet been fleshed out, though. EU spokesmen are not commenting on the plan for now. There is also no consensus yet among member states on its introduction, let alone under what conditions.

The imposition of additional taxes on Chinese goods has been going on for some time.

The latest proposal is part of the growing trend of European protectionism against Chinese companies. This month, the EU will introduce provisional levies of up to 38% on Chinese electric vehicles. Although not every member state is so pleased. Germany, in particular, does not favour protectionist policies.

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