Taxes on electronic purchases: The implications of the latest Customs decision

The announcement has caused widespread controversy. As of July 1, 2022, purchases made via international e-commerce platforms will be excluded from the import duty exemption, regardless of value, according to the ADII.
This provision does not apply to shipments, without commercial character received from abroad whose value does not exceed 1,250 dirhams, which will continue to benefit from the customs exemption in accordance with the aforementioned decree, says the same source.
The new measure is justified by the Customs Administration by the explosion of online shopping, noting that the turnover achieved in Morocco by some platforms exceeded the billion dirhams in 2021.  In addition, it was found, after investigations by the Moroccan authorities, that illegal practices were behind this disturbing development.
The new taxes vary according to the nature of the products. In addition to the VAT, which remains fixed, import duties may vary from one country to another. The former is generally set at 20%. Suppose that an item whose initial selling price before this measure is 100 dirhams, it would have to pay 20 dirhams more. If the product in question is textiles, the additional cost would be 40 dirhams as a 40% import duty. This same rate increases to 2.5% if the product is electrotonic.
For Turkish products, import duties are 36% for textiles. The additional cost would be 36 dirhams.
The application of these taxes also emanate from the fact that shipments sent by some international platforms of e-commerce are in reality operations of importing large quantities of goods, under cover of customs facilities provided for exceptional shipments not having a commercial character as well as goods of low value.
This situation has led to the emergence of an informal market consisting of the resale of items purchased via international e-commerce sites, using fraud on the declared value of purchases (under-invoicing) or by distributing them among several beneficiaries, while the real buyer is the same person and this, in order to benefit from the customs exemption and circumvent the control standards related to consumer protection. The ADII explained that with these measures it seeks to create a balance in the market, given that “these practices constitute unfair competition for local industry and formal trade and a loss of revenue for the State and may represent a danger to consumer health.
“In order to mitigate this situation, the strengthening of customs control over shipments of electronic commerce has proved necessary, which is why it was decided to amend the provisions of Article 190-e)-2 ° of Decree No. 2-77-862 framing the exceptional shipments devoid of any commercial character, “concludes the ADII.

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