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credit: Europa Press, Getty Images
credit: Europa Press, Getty Images

The German Trade Association Is Supporting An Overhaul Of EU Import Taxes Overly Favouring Retailers Such As Shein and Temu

The trade association argues that the exemption supports a flood of cheap goods on their way to Europe, and criticizes the fact that many goods cannot be adequately checked by the customs authorities for compliance with European standards.

The German Trade Association (Handelsverband Deutschland) has been lobbying the government, highlighting that the exemption has resulted in a massive increase in small parcels entering the EU from online platforms like Shein and Temu.

According to the German Trade Association, the Federal Ministry of Finance also wants to support the abolition of the 150 euro duty-free limit in the EU. Currently, no customs duties have to be paid when importing parcels with a value of less than 150 euros – many low-cost retailers benefit from this, the association told Reuters.

The Ministry of Finance stated that it generally welcomed the fact that the EU Commission had presented proposals to adapt customs regulations to the challenges of online trade.

The “Ecommerce Europe” association argues however that scrapping the duty-free limit would increase trade frictions and could result in retaliatory measures from key trading partners like the U.S., reports Reuters.

The EU has been discussing abolishing the limit as part of a customs reform project proposed by the Commission in early 2023. The customs reform bill has been approved by the European Parliament in a preliminary vote in March, but the bill will be assessed further after the European elections in early June.


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