If you’re visiting Shenzhen, better leave your iPad at home, or risk having to pay taxes for the device. An American-Chinese man said he was imposed a duty on his iPad by the Shenzhen customs officer at the Lowu border recently for an iPad that he had been using for months. To prevent his iPad from being confiscated, he paid 1,000 yuan ($150) for the ‘release’.
He told the media the following:
“Although I showed them the pictures and documents I stored in my iPad, and told them I have been using it for months, they just wouldn’t listen. In the end I had to pay 1,000 yuan before I could leave.”
In a bid to prevent smuggling, Shenzhen authorities are imposing a tax of 1,000 yuan ($150) on several gadgets, including iPads and other microcomputers. According to Shenzhen customs officials, a traveler is allowed to bring along goods with the value not exceeding 5,000 yuan for personal use. Goods such as television, cameras, or other 20 types of electronic gadgets are not duty-free. Since iPad belongs to ‘microcomputers’, a traveler needs to pay 20% import duty for bringing along, irregardless if it’s used or unused. Authorities seized an average of 10 iPads a day and so far, 60 are suspected of being smuggled across the border. The rest were returned after owners paid the taxes.
Ludicrous, to say the least.