New import tax for Chinese goods entering Sweden

Imports from China to Sweden are about to become increasingly expensive now that a dispute about import VAT has been resolved.

To give you a sense of scale. Roughly 150k packages from the likes of Alibaba and Wish come into Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. In the past shoppers didn’t have to pay import taxes on these purchases.

The reason is due to a dispute between PostNord and the Swedish customs service who couldn’t agree on which of them was responsible for collecting the tax when goods arrive from China. It is estimated that this has been costing the country about one billion kronor (roughly 100 million euros) in lost revenue per year.

It has now been decided PostNord are to be responsible for tax collection now. And they have said that they will be charging an administration fee to process each package as a result. VAT will soon be collected from the first krona, but PostNord says an additional administration fee of 125 kronor (12.77 euros) per package will be payable. It is possible that this fee will change, and possibly decrease, as the new system beds in.

Obviously this will increase revenues for PostNord but it will also likely dent the number of Chinese imports into Sweden and it could also delay imports too as the tax is processed. It will also make the often low prices for shopping with China higher which will make some small value items prohibitively expensive. That may not be a bad thing, you might argue, but it will irritate prices conscious shoppers.

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