Taiwan - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2020-09-24

Price is the most important consideration for most Taiwan buyers.  As a result, it is also the most common complaint regarding U.S. products and services.  American businesses are frequently frustrated that Taiwan firms do not always factor in life-cycle costs when negotiating a purchase.  Although attitudes are changing, most Taiwan firms will only pay a higher price for a product if they see a short-term payoff.  The second and third most important considerations for Taiwan buyers are quality and after-sales service, respectively.

When selling products in the Taiwan marketing, labeling, product instructions, and sales literature must be written in traditional Chinese characters.  Detailed information about labeling is available at the Commerce Industrial Services Portal on the Ministry of Economic Affairs website.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

Taiwan executives stay informed about current trends in their industries by reading international trade journals and participating in major trade events both in Taiwan and abroad.  In most major industries, industry associations work with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) to organize local trade shows.  Participating in major trade shows and advertising in relevant Taiwan trade publications are useful ways to boost sales in the market.  Local partners often give the best advice on where and how to advertise effectively. 

Information about upcoming trade shows in Taiwan is available on TAITRA’s website.  

TAITRA also offers several helpful lists, including a frequently updated calendar of TAITRA-sponsored trade shows, international conferences, and exhibitions held at the Taipei World Trade Center and the Nangang Exhibition Center. 

The following are some of Taiwan’s major commercial newspapers and business publications:

Taiwan’s advertising sector is comparable to that of other developed economies and covers a wide range of media.

However, Taiwan advertising is known for a complicated network of “do’s and don’ts”, particularly in regard to the protection of women and children, that may require reference to other laws and regulations.  The Cable, Radio and Television Act, which governs advertising using these media, specifies that all commercials must be pre-approved by the relevant official department(s).  The duration of advertisements may not exceed one-sixth of a program’s total transmission time.  Additionally, there are other content restrictions for television and radio advertising, especially for alcohol and tobacco products. 

Digital and social media are effective marketing platforms in Taiwan.  For additional information, please visit the Digital Marketing subsection under the e-Commerce section. 

CS Taiwan offers fee-based services to help U.S. companies promote their products and services in Taiwan.  It also organizes U.S. Pavilions to help American companies participate in Taiwan trade shows.   Trade Event Partnership Program (TEPP) and Trade Event Menu of Services (TEMS) services support trade shows and U.S. Pavilion organizers.  For further details, please contact the TEPP/TEMS task force at Tradeevents@trade.gov, or visit the AIT Commercial Section (CS Taiwan) website. 

Pricing

Branding is an important factor in developing a pricing strategy, especially in the consumer goods sector.  Distributor price margins average between 15 percent and 40 percent, depending in part upon whether the distributor controls a product’s marketing.  Price breaks and discounts for large-volume purchases are common promotional incentives.

In Taiwan, a five percent value-added tax (VAT) is imposed on the sale of nearly all products and services.  Imports are subject to VAT based upon their landed price, including duties and commodity taxes on certain products.  Products including rubber tires, cement, non-alcoholic beverages, oil and gas, certain electrical appliances, flat glass, and motor vehicles are subject to commodity taxes that range from eight to 50 percent ad valorem or other specific tariffs.  In addition to customs duties, all imports are assessed a commercial harbor service charge, which is based on cargo weight and net ship tonnage.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Taiwan’s buyers, especially those purchasing commercial and industrial products, consider many factors when making purchase decisions.  These factors include technical support, after-sales service, product performance, and durability.  However, U.S. firms should understand that price is usually the most important element of a buyer’s decision.

Local Professional Services

Taiwan has a comprehensive modern legal system and a number of well-regarded local and international law firms and legal consultants.  Many Taiwan attorneys active in international business have studied law in the United States, speak English, and understand the concerns of U.S. businesses.  Consultations with a competent local attorney prior to engaging in business in the Taiwan market are highly recommended. 

Similarly, major U.S. and global accounting firms and insurance companies have offices in Taiwan.  U.S. firms interested in entering the Taiwan market should make it a priority meet with these professional advisors.   They can then provide advice within their specific areas of expertise and a range of business and cultural matters. 

Up-to-date lists of professional firms may be obtained from the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei on their website or by e-mail: amcham@amcham.com.tw

Principal Business Associations

Trade-Related Organizations

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)

AIT Taipei Main Office

Taipei Commercial Section

Chief: Helen Peterson

No. 100, Jinhu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2162-2650

Fax: 886-2-2162-2519

Email: Office.Taipei@trade.gov

AIT Kaohsiung Branch Office

Kaohsiung Commercial Section

5F, No. 88, Chenggong 2nd Road, Qianzhen Dist., Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2162-2650

Fax: 886-2-2162-2519

Email: Office.Kaohsiung@trade.gov

Agriculture Section

Chief: Mark Petry

No. 100, Jinhu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2162-2316

Fax: 886-2-2162-2238

Email: agtaipei@fas.usda.gov

Agriculture Trade Office

Director: Emily Scott

No. 100, Jinhu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2162-2682

Fax: 886-2-2162-2520

Email: atotaipei@fas.usda.gov

Economic Section

Chief: Dannielle Andrews

No. 100, Jinhu Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2162-2000 ext. 2374

Fax: 886-2-2162-2240

AIT/Washington

Trade and Commercial Programs

Senior Advisors: Rick Ruzicka/ Jeff Horwitz

Suite 1700, 1700 N. Moore Street, Arlington, VA 22209

Tel: 703-525-8474

Fax: 703-841-1385

U.S. Federal Government

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Office of Trade Program

South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250

Tel: 202-690-3576 

U.S. Department of Commerce

Global Markets, Asia Desk

International Trade Administration

Room 2846, 14th and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230

Tel: 202-482-2611

Fax: 202-482-3316

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service has 106 domestic offices throughout the United States.  To locate your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center, please visit https://www.trade.gov/let-our-experts-help-0.

U.S. Department of State

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs

Office of Commercial and Business Affairs

2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520

Tel: 202-647-4000

Fax: 202-647-3953

Other U.S. Government Agencies

Other U.S. Government Agencies

Export-Import Bank of the United States

811 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20571

Tel: 202-565-3946

Fax: 202-565-3380

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

1100 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20527

Tel: 202-336-8400

Fax: 202-336-7949

Taiwan Authorities

Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT)

No. 1, Hukou St., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2321-0271

Fax: 886-2-2351-7080

Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI)

No. 4, Sec. 1, Jinan Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2343-1700

Fax: 886-2-2356-0998

Council of Agriculture (COA)

No. 37, Nanhai Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2381-2991

Fax: 886-2-2331-0341

Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)

No. 83, Sec. 1, Zhonghua Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2311-7722

Fax: 886-2-2311-6071

Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC)

18F, No. 7, Sec. 2, Sianmin Blvd., Banqiao, Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-8968-0899

Fax: 886-2-8968-1215

Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)

No. 15, Fuzhou St., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2321-2200

Fax: 886-2-2391-9398

Ministry of Finance (MOF)

No. 2, Aiguo W. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2322-8000

Fax: 886-2-2356-8774

Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW)

No. 36, Tacheng St., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-8590-6666

Fax: 886-2-8590-6000

Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC)

No. 50, Sec. 1, Renai Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2349-2900

Fax: 886-2-2349-2491

Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA)

3F, No. 95, Sec. 2, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2368-6858

Fax: 886-2-2367-3883

Principal Business Associations (list)

U.S.-based Trade or Industry Associations

U.S.-Taiwan Business Council

Suite 1703, 1700 N. Moore Street, Arlington, Virginia 22209

Tel: 703-465-2930

Fax: 703-465-2937

Taiwan-based Trade or Industry Association

American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei

Suite 706, No. 129, Sec. 3, Minsheng E. Road, Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2718-8226

Fax: 886-2-2718-8182

Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)

14F, No. 11, Songgao Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei 11073, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2760-1139

Fax: 886-2-2760-7569

Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association

7F, No. 85, Sec. 4, Bade Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei 10561, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2528-8833

Fax: 886-5-2742-5342

Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce

13F, No. 390, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2707-0111

Fax: 886-2-2707-0977

Chinese National Export Enterprises Association

6F, No. 285, Sec. 3, Nanjing E. Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei 10550, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2713-6920; 886-2-2712-9525

Fax: 886-2-2713-0115; 886-2-2545-1668

Chinese National Federation of Industries

12F, No. 390, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2703-3500

Fax: 886-2-2705-8317

General Chamber of Commerce of the R.O.C.

6F, No. 390, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei 10656, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2701-2671

Fax: 886-2-2755-5493

Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei

No. 350, Sungchiang Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2581-3521

Fax: 886-2-2523-8782

International Trade Association of R.O.C.

12F-1, No. 125, Sec. 3, Roosevelt Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei 10647, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-8369-5907

FAX: 886-2-8369-5908

Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)

5-7F, No. 333, Sec. 1, Keelung Rd., Taipei, Taiwan

Tel: 886-2-2725-5200

Fax: 886-2-2757-6652

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

Standards Body

The Bureau of Standards, Metrology, and Inspection (BSMI) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs is responsible for publishing relevant standards for imported goods, their standards generally conform to international standards.

Bureau of Standards, Metrology, and Inspection (BSMI)

No. 4, Sec. 1, Jinan Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan

Tel: +886-2-23431700

Fax: +886-2-23560998

Conformity Assessment

Under the Commodity Inspection Act, the following traded and nontraded commodities shall be inspected by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI): Agricultural, industrial, and mining commodities manufactured domestically.  Most of the products are food and agricultural goods, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and mineral products.  The law specifies four methods for determining compliance: batch-by-batch inspection, monitoring inspection, registration of product certification, and self-declaration of conformity.  The commodity type determines the applicable method for assessing compliance.

WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement

Taiwan adheres to the WTO’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, which prohibits the use of technical requirements as discriminatory barriers to trade.  The TBT Agreement covers standards for all products, including agricultural, industrial, and consumer goods, as well as production and processing methods and conformity assessment procedures.  

Additional resources to help firms comply with U.S. and international standards are available through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website.