We completely agree that Asian companies seem to be doing very well. I am happy for their success and us modelers!
We also agree that, as you stated, "The much more diversified offer of small resin producers and 3D printing fits anyway much better to the market compared to large scale, high costs plastic kit producers - at least for ship modellers."
The point I wish to emphasize is that there is considerable, conclusive evidence that the ship model market is aging and shrinking. The "roll call" poll on this site is consistent with that conclusion, as is the continuing loss of major injection molded plastic model companies in the West.
Industry revenue reports clearly indicate that younger generations' interest is now firmly established in computer gaming.
I worry that in the near future, Asian companies may experience the same financial troubles as their counterparts in the West. We may begin seeing a contraction in Asian companies, too.
If the plastic model industry as a whole were healthy and growing, companies in Asia, Eastern Europe and companies in the West should all be doing well together (assuming they are all equally competently managed).
The continuing release of new products by Asian injection molded model companies seems to indicate they are thriving. While at the same time, we see the loss of major model companies in the west, nearly all of them. The few surviving Western companies aren't creating any new ship models. Most appear to be in serious financial trouble having been forcibly taken over by investment companies following financial collapse. The history of Revell, Monogram, Airfix and Heller ownership over the last 20 years is indicative of a shrinking market, not a growing one.
Regarding taxes, you are correct, I was wrong. I regret my error.
More accurately, it is the combination of shipping, taxes, customs and brokerage fees that can make many products unaffordable for customers far from the place of manufacture, with shipping usually the most costly. Location of manufacture does matter for this reason.
Costs associated with location (shipping/taxes/brokerage fees, etc.) is why I and others have pushed Shapeways to find partners or open a factory in Canada and Asia, perhaps Australia, New Zealand, and The Philippines (I chose those locations based on sales data, but certainly would welcome other Asian locations, too, like Seoul, Hong Kong, Shinzuoka, Mumbai, Singapore, etc.). I think many customers there would benefit greatly from reduced shipping costs and taxes.*
Here's what Shapeways advises regarding import duty, tax and brokerage fees: "Goods shipped outside of the United States or European Union will be described as plastic or metal goods. Combined import duty and tax are typically 5-20% of the total order value. In some cases, an additional brokerage fee may be assessed by the carrier."
Most sales from my shop are for small items, less than $10 USD. So let's say a Canadian customer purchases a small, inexpensive 3D-printed product of my design, a set of 1/350 Phasor 90 radar antennas. It will most likely be printed in the Shapeways factory in New York, a state which shares a border with Canada.
Cost of product: $5.20 USD
Shipping: $11.50 USD more than twice the cost of the product.
Canadian taxes (8%): $0.42 USD
Brokerage fees: varies.
Total cost to print and ship the product: $17.12 USD + brokerage fees.
Distance from manufacture is a challenge, even within national borders. A customer in Puerto Rico, which is part of the USA, will pay $19.99 USD for shipping from New York, nearly 4 times the cost of the product.
A customer in Mexico also pays $19.99 for shipping from New York.
Much further away from the point of manufacture, a customer in Australia or New Zealand buying that same product:
Cost of product: $5.20 USD
Shipping: $14.99 USD nearly three times the cost of the product.
Taxes and brokerage fees: varies by location (Australia just imposed a 10% "Goods and Services Tax" (GST) on goods shipped from overseas, effective July 1st.)
If the product is printed in the Shapeways factory in The Netherlands, even some customers in the EU can get stung by high shipping costs. Customers in Austria, Italy or Ireland will pay $9.50 USD, nearly twice the cost of the product.
And for Asia, shipping costs $26 USD, 5 times the cost of that product. For other countries, it can be as much as $30 USD to ship. For customers in Russia, Shapeways won't ship to you at all.
Please join me in pushing Shapeways to find partners and/or open factories in Canada and Asia.
And best wishes to those producing resin model ships!
* I chose Shapeways as the printer for my designs because it offers the most comprehensive services best suited for modelers, offers reasonably-priced 16 micron resolution printing (awesome) for most designs, and it has superb customer service.