Temu and Shein: SPD for expansion of tariffs on cheap Chinese imports

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Written By Maya Cantina

The SPD wants to counter the flow of cheap items from China with tariffs. “Chinese low-cost suppliers like Temu and Shein flooding the German market alone with 400,000 products every day that are harmful to the environment and sometimes also to health,” said the trade expert of the SPD faction, Alexander Bartz. Photo on Sunday. Consumers need better protection against toxic children’s toys or burning batteries in electronic goods.

Bartz proposed reversing the special rule according to which goods worth less than 150 euros may not be imported Customs occurs. This exception should actually apply until 2028. The SPD politician called on the European Commission to bring forward the end of the regulation to 2025. This would also prevent tax fraud, he argued. The low-cost suppliers often shipped their products separately to avoid export taxes. “This suspected tax fraud is causing billions of dollars in damage in Europe,” Bartz said. In addition, domestic trading companies must be protected from unfair trade practices.

The European Commission and consumer protection are already active

The Chinese shopping portals Shein and Temu came last consumer advocates warned and had subsequently signed a cease and desist declaration. This included misleading discount levels and manipulative designs. This includes notices that appear during checkout, such as “Hurry! More than 126 people have this item in their cart.” Both providers assured that they would refrain from these actions in the future and change their German websites.

A month ago, the European Commission tightened the rules for Shein. It was created as part of the Digital Markets Act officially classified in the category of very large online platforms. This means that the company, which sells fashion items at very low prices, is now subject to stricter regulations.

For example, Shein wants to do more to protect intellectual property and crack down on counterfeit products. Health risks need to be investigated. Annual risk assessment reports will also be mandatory for Shein. In particular, possible adverse effects on the health and safety of consumers should be investigated.

According to retail experts, this does not solve the problems of unfair competition. Temu and Shein should be subject to the same safety and sustainability standards as other providers within the EU, said Kai Hudetz, director of the Cologne trade research institute IFH.

The German Trade Association (HDE) said test purchases and figures from the Federal Network Agency show that a large proportion of products purchased on these platforms do not comply with product safety and local regulations.

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