German government backs ending customs exemption

German government backs ending customs exemption

Germany’s Ministry of Finance has expressed support for the abolition of the current customs exemption that benefits Asian marketplaces. AliExpress, Shein, Temu, and other platforms currently enjoy a tax exemption on import packages valued up to 150 euros.

Last year alone, according to official figures, two billion parcels with a value of less than 150 euros reached the EU from other countries. Many of these packages were ordered from Asian marketplaces, which have seen significant growth in Germany and other European countries.

Nearly one in three German consumers (32 percent) shops on Temu, as revealed last week, while 22 percent shop on Shein. These platforms often reach Western buyers through social media, particularly appealing to young people.

Reorganization of import rules

The European Union is working on reorganizing existing import regulations. The proposed abolition of the customs exemption for packages valued up to 150 euros, currently under consideration in Brussels, has the support of Europe’s strongest economy. Christian Lindner, the Federal Minister of Finance in Germany, has indicated that the country will support ending the exemption. He welcomes the adjustment of customs rules to meet the challenges of online trade, according to sources such as Tagesschau.

Minister indicates customs rules should address challenges.

Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE), which frequently calls on politicians to be stricter towards cheap marketplaces from China, is pleased with the Minister’s stance. The interest group also emphasizes the need for better control of incoming products by customs authorities to ensure compliance with European quality standards.


With the growth of Shein, Temu, and other platforms, Asian marketplaces have become a recurring topic of discussion in Europe. In addition to industry representatives and politicians, consumer organizations are also speaking out against certain practices. The platforms claim to operate fairly, stressing that their low prices result from efficient supply chains. They argue that their growth does not depend on the tax exemptions. Shein and Temu also deny splitting more expensive deliveries to stay below the 150 euro limit.



Arjan van Oosterhout has been contributing to Ecommerce News Europe since the spring of 2023. He writes news articles for the website on a freelance basis.

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