Zentrada i Media

zentrada launches petition for the European trade: “Stop the EU Subsidies for Temu & Shein”

June 12, 2024

zentrada.network is standing up for its European retailers and is launching a Europe-wide petition with the aim of stopping the subsidies for Temu & Shein.

"Many of our members, especially online retailers, are suffering greatly from the unfair competition with the Chinese low-cost platforms. They therefore asked us to launch an overarching initiative. We have now done so,” explains zentrada Managing Director Martina Schimmel.

The petition calls for the abolition of subsidies by EU citizens and fair competitive conditions in the fight against Chinese platforms such as Temu and Shein. After all, we (EU citizens) are all financing the rise of the Asian platforms Temu, Shein and Wish through a lack of customs and tax revenue. “And at the same time, we are digging the grave for our local retailers,” says Schimmel.

The German Tax Union speaks of suspected tax fraud by Asian platforms that is costing European taxpayers billions of euros. European customs is helplessly at the mercy of the flood of parcels, resulting in billions of euros in additional customs damage and masses of unchecked and non-EU-compliant products flooding the market.

The petition calls for equal opportunities for European retail and online traders in the battle for customers against platforms such as Temu, Shein and Wish.

The petition specifically states:

We demand a level playing field for our EU-based retailers,

  • who comply with EU directives when importing products and carry out extensive checks
  • who pay import duties and import VAT on imported goods
  • who pay disposal fees for shipped goods

The Chinese platforms circumvent these regulations because the customs authorities lack capacity. In addition, the Chinese platforms use subsidized freight contracts (keyword: Universal Postal Union) to send their parcels to Europe. Freight rates at which European retailers cannot even ship nationally, let alone to China.

With its petition, zentrada wants to ensure that the issue is placed at the top of the Ministry of Economics and Finance's agenda and that quick solutions are sought. "Currently, political decision-makers are shifting everything towards Brussels with the argument that the EU is responsible for customs issues. But Norway and Sweden have nevertheless introduced a parcel fee at national level for the import of small parcels from third countries and have already achieved a significant reduction in the flood of parcels. We can see that the countries can also do something,” says Martina Schimmel.

She is therefore calling on Germany and Europe to act quickly. The figures speak for themselves: the daily global shipment volumes of the Temu and Shein platforms each amount to 4,000 to 5,000 tons. This includes around 400,000 daily shipments to Germany from the two players combined. At an average value of just 10 euros per parcel, that would be a turnover of 4 million euros per day. This results in a daily loss of 760,000 euros in tax revenue (import sales tax or VAT), calculated here as an example for the German state.


About zentrada:

With over 400,000 active retailers, zentrada.Europe is the leading buyers' network in Europe. The online platform connects the mass of small and independent retailers with the largest suppliers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods. With platforms in 8 languages and local offices in the respective countries, zentrada supports borderless trade within Europe.

Press release as PDF file

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