Duty-free cigarettes are cheaper than those on the market, but people may not realize that reselling violates the law. According to Penghu County Government’s Finance Department, duty-free cigarette and alcohol are limited as self-use and give away gifts to friends or relatives. Those who violate the law by reselling them will face a penalty up to NT$500,000 (US$16,887).
It is understood that a carton of cigarettes at duty-free shops is NT$200 (US$6.76) to NT$300 (US$10.14) cheaper than those sold on the market. Resellers can make between NT$1000 (US$33.79) and NT$2000 (US$67.58) from sought-after high-end wine.
The Finance Department said, people traveling abroad often purchase cigarettes and alcohols at duty-free shops when returning home. Yet, locals can enjoy limited duty-free discounts at off-shore island duty-free shops in Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu areas without traveling abroad.
However, these duty-free cigarettes are products before tax. They are only intended for personal use or as give away gifts to friends and relatives rather than resale purpose. Those who sell tax-free cigarettes and alcohols, an action equivalent to selling illicit cigarettes and alcohols, will face a fine from NT$50,000 (US$1,689) to NT$500,000 (US$16,887) and the goods will be forfeited.
In accordance with The Tobacco and Alcohol Tax Law’s regulations of the Finance Department, it is prohibited from selling alcohols through vending machines, mail order, online shopping or other means which the buyers’ age cannot be identified. It is therefore a violation of the regulations to purchase alcohols online anonymously, with a penalty from NT$10,000 (US$338) to NT$50,000 (US$1,689).