Customs duty on AMR and AGV

Customs duty on AMR and AGV

Customs duty is a tax imposed to the goods that are imported or exported in a country. In general, there are two types of custom duties rates which are specific and on an ad valorem basis, where it is based on the value of goods. 
For instance, when you want to buy a car from Japan and import it back to your own country, you are liable to pay a custom tax of 0% to 30% rate. The same thing goes when you want to buy a robot originated in Denmark, you are liable to either pay a certain custom tax or maybe even 0% rate depending on the countries’ custom duty. 
Same goes to AMR and AGV which may be liable to custom duty. The custom tax imposed for the robots normally will differ as stated by the government rules and it will change from time to time. Some countries will charge it at higher taxes and there are certain countries that did not even tax it. 
It is crucial to describe the product that you want to import correctly. However, sometimes custom officers may interpret the product differently due to the usage of the name. As discussed in the previous article, Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) and Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) are both basically the same thing, which is an industrial mobile robot. However, by using Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) term with “vehicle” name on it may confuse the officers to categorize the AGV under list ‘vehicles’ which could be of ‘dutiable goods’. In contrast, when the Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) term is applied, the officers can easily recognize it as an industrial robot by looking at its name and categorizing it correctly. 
Factories that want to purchase AGV or AMR need to ensure to declare the items correctly so the customs duty is charged accordingly. For example, importing industrial handling machines and vehicles to Malaysia will be charged at 30% tax rates. As for importing industrial robots to Malaysia, there are no taxes charged over it. Table below shows the list of import rates of Vehicle and Industrial Robot for different countries:
Table: List of import rates of vehicles and industrial robots for different countries. 
Country 
Items 
Import rates
Malaysia
Vehicle
30%
Industrial robot
0%
China 
Vehicle 
30%
Industrial robot
20%
Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam
Vehicle
0%
Industrial robot
0%
Germany
Vehicle
19%
Industrial robot
19%
India
Vehicle
7.5%
Industrial robot
7.5%
Laos
Vehicle
5%
Industrial robot
5%
Myanmar
Vehicle
3%
Industrial robot
3%
Thailand
Vehicle
20%
Industrial robot
20%
USA
Vehicle
0%
Industrial robot
2.5%
*Note: SST/GST/VAT may apply according to each country policy. Information is updated on 27 May 2020. 
Sources:
China: http://www.transcustoms.com/
Germany: http://auskunft.ezt-online.de/ezto/Modus.do#ziel
India: http://cbic.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/customs/cst1920-311219/cst1920-311219-idx
Japan: https://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/2020_1/index.htm
Laos: https://www.laotradeportal.gov.la/index.php?r=tradeInfo/index
Malaysia: http://mysstext.customs.gov.my/tariff/
Mexico: http://www.sice.oas.org/TPD/TPP/Final_Texts/English/MEX_Tariff_Sched.pdf
Myanmar: https://www.customs.gov.mm/sites/default/files/UpPDF/Customs%20Tariff%20of%20Myanmar%202017.pdf#overlay-context=node/26
Philippines: https://tariffcommission.gov.ph/tariff-book
Singapore: https://www.tradenet.gov.sg/tradenet/portlets/search/searchHSCA/searchInitHSCA.do
Thailand: http://www.thailandntr.com/en/goods/tariff
USA: https://hts.usitc.gov/
Vietnam: https://www.customs.gov.vn/SitePages/Tariff-Search.aspx?language=en-US

Co-authored by: Dr Yeong Che Fai I Ken Wong I Noor Atikah Soleha Mad Alim
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