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Taxes and Applicable to Imported Goods

If you import goods commercially into Timor-Leste, you must pay the duties and taxes that are applicable by law.

There are three types of duty or tax on imports, as follows:

  • Import Duty, which is also commonly known as “customs duty”, is calculated at a rate of 2.5% of the value of the goods.

  • Sales Tax is charged at a rate of 2.5% of the following amounts:

    (A) the customs value of the goods
    (B) the amount of import duty imposed
    (C) the amount of any excise duty paid

In other words, the base value for Sales Tax = A+B+C

  • Excise Tax is charged at different percentage rates or specific units, depending on the type of goods.
    The base value for excise tax is the total of the following amounts:

    (A) the customs value of the goods
    (B) the amount of any import duty imposed

In other words, the base value for Sales Tax = A+B

Excisable Goods

We have listed goods that attract excise taxes below. You can access and download a copy of the Taxes and Duties Act (Law 08/2008) here.

# General Description of Goods Applicable Tax (USD)
01 Beer, with alcohol content less than 4.5% $2.50 per litre
02 Beer with alcohol content of 4.5% or more $3.50 per litre
03 Fresh grape wines, including wines enriched with alcohol $3.50 per litre
04 Other fermented drinks (for example, cider, perry, mead, sack); mixtures of fermented drinks and mixtures of fermented drinks with nonalcoholic beverages, not specified or included elsewhere $3.50 per litre
05 Ethyl alcohol (other than denatured) and other alcoholic beverages $8.90 per litre
06 Tobacco and tobacco products $19.00 per kg
07 Gasoline, diesel fuel products and other petroleum products $0.06 per litre
08 Cigarette lighters 12% of the excise value
09 Smoking pipes 12% of the excise value
10 Arms and ammunition 200% of the excise value
11 Motor cars and small passenger vehicles with an excise value exceeding $70,000 35% of the excise value
12 Private boats and aircrafts 20% of the excise value

Goods Exempt from Import Duty

Certain goods are exempt from duties and taxes if they meet certain conditions, including:

a) Goods accompanying a traveler arriving in Timor-Leste from another country
You can learn more about these types of goods here.

b) Imported goods that fall under the following types:

  • Exempted under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and Consular Relations of 1963;
  • Exempted under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations;
  • Exempted under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies;
  • Goods re-imported in the same condition in which they were exported;
  • Goods imported by registered charitable organizations in Timor-Leste, except alcohol or tobacco, if the goods are to be used for charitable purposes of humanitarian assistance and relief, education or health care;
  • Goods for temporary admission, like large machinery to complete a project. The importer will be required to provide a financial guarantee;
  • Goods for consumption by international staff of UNMIT or members of the Peace Keeping Force from contingent countries, if the goods are sold in conformity with prescribed rules of sale;
  • Baby formulas that are specially designed for babies less than one (1) year of age so that after preparation they are consumed in a liquid form and provide the health benefits of human milk that would normally be provided to a baby that suckles from its mother; and
  • Tampons and sanitary napkins

c) Goods not described in (a) and (b) above, if:

The goods are imported into Timor-Leste other than as personal goods accompanying a traveler, and the import duty that would be imposed on the import if not for this paragraph would be $10 or less.

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