Thailand’s Import Customs Regulations & Procedures

Your Move, Our Care!

As part of the moving process, an important aspect to consider would always be the customs clearance in the country of arrival. In this article, you will learn more about the customs regulations and procedures when relocating to Thailand.

There are two types of import procedures as you already know: duty free entry and dutiable shipment. As an international moving company in Bangkok, we strive to make your move experience as stress free as possible, hence, we will guide you through the import procedures based on your situation.

1. IMPORT PROCEDURES – DUTY FREE ENTRY

A. Foreign nationals.

For your information, all used household and personal effects shipments without a valid 1-year work permit are subject to duties and taxes. Only an eligible 1-year work permit will be considered for duty exemption. No other types of visa, such as retirement / tourist / non-immigrant O visa will be considered.

Documents required for customs clearance:
  • Original passport
  • Original one-year work permit
  • Original Bill of Lading (if not express release / surrendered)
  • Packing list
  • Authorized letter and customs entry form (prepared by USP Relocations)
Important Notes:
  • The client must be in Thailand when shipment arrives.
  • The shipper should enter the Kingdom with a 90 days “class B” (business) non-immigrant visa (non-citizens).
  • The shipper must have a 12 month work permit (without any condition), and a 12 month visa stamped by immigration in Thailand.
  • The shipment must arrive within 6 months after the owner of the goods’ first arrival on their non-immigrant visa or arrival stamp on the passport.
  • The shipment must contain only used household goods and personal effects ( no new items).
  • The household goods must come from the country in which the shipper has been staying/working before moving to Thailand.

B. Returning Thai Nationals.

Thai nationals who have been living overseas for more than 12 consecutive months will be considered for tax and duty free re-entry. However, frequent travel back and forth may cause Customs to deem the owner to have not been permanently based in the origin country. If the owner of the goods visits Thailand while staying abroad, the visit must last only 3 months maximum each time.

Documents required for customs clearance:
  • Original valid passport along with previous passport if possible
    (A physical stamp in the passport is required)
  • Original valid Thai ID card and copy of a house certificate
  • Original Bill of Lading (if not express release / surrendered)
  • Packing List
  • Immigration Travel Record (where applicable)
  • Authorized letter and customs entry form (prepared by USP Relocations)
Important Notes:
  • The goods’ owner has never imported goods into Thailand
  • Household goods must arrive within 6 months after his/her arrival
  • The shipment arrival in Thailand must not be earlier than 1 month prior to the owner’s return to Thailand
  • Must contain only used household and personal effect items (no new items)
  • The shipper must have been in the origin country for at least 1 year
  • If the owner of the goods visits Thailand many times while staying overseas, the owner of the goods must have a good reason and explanation for Thai customs.

C. Information applicable for both foreign nationals and Thai nationals

Specific Information. Thai customs allow one of each kind of electrical appliances. Double items will be dutiable as well as other certain items like: Toys, Baby items, Bicycles, Rugs, Exercise & Sport Equipment, Golf sets. Certain luxury items such as crystal glasses, porcelain vases, and fax machines are all dutiable and are not considered by Customs for duty exemption especially coming in via Air Freight.

Timeline for customs clearance.
The tentative customs clearance would approximately take 3 to 5 days.
The estimated clearance time-frame is based on having all documents in order, and available when the shipment arrives in Thailand.

2. IMPORT PROCEDURES – DIPLOMATIC SHIPMENT

Diplomatic shipments are exempt from tax and duty, but processing takes approximately 14 business days by the respective Embassy. Therefore, documentation must arrive prior to shipment for us to pass it to the Embassy to verify if the consignee is able to receive the “Diplomatic status (DP1)” or not.

Furthermore, the documents must be sent as early as possible to also avoid additional port charges.

Documents required for customs clearance:
  • Original Bill of Lading (if not express release / surrendered)
  • Packing list
  • DP1 document from the Embassy (obtain after shipment arrival at port)
  • Authorized letter and customs entry form (prepared by USP Relocations)
Timeline for customs clearance.

It will take approximately 2 – 4 weeks to obtain the DP1 status after the shipment arrival at the Airport or Seaport. Once all documents are supplied to USP Relocations, we will take 3 to 4 working days to clear an air shipment through customs and approximately 3 to 5 working days to clear a full container load shipment as well as LCL sea shipment.

The estimated time schedule is based on complete documentation being available at the time of shipment arrival and for normal Customs clearance.

3. IMPORT PROCEDURES – DUTIABLE SHIPMENTS

Documents required for customs clearance (Foreign Nationals):

  • Original valid passport
  • Original Bill of Lading (if not express release / surrendered)
  • Packing list
  • Authorized letter and customs entry form (prepared by USP Relocations)
Documents required for customs clearance (Thai Citizens):
  • Original valid passport
  • Original valid Thai ID Card
  • Copy of house Certificate
  • Original Bill of Lading (if not express release / surrendered)
  • Packing list
  • Authorized letter and customs entry form (prepared by USP Relocations)
Duties.

Import tax and duties can range from 7 – 39.10% of the Cost Insurance Freight (CIF) value.

(Please see table range of import tax and duties below)

Import taxes and duties tariff subject to Customs determination. This is only for your reference.
DetailsApproximative Taxes and Duties
Personal computer, notebook7% of the C.I.F Value
Picture, TV, CDs, Lamp, Furniture, Desk, Chair28.4% of the C.I.F Value
Kitchenware, ceramics, clothes, carpet, bicycle39.1% of the C.I.F Value
Electric fan, refrigerator, washing machine, Microwave39.1% of the C.I.F Value
Sport equipment, exercise machine, piano, stereo, video camera, camera, golf club17.7% of the C.I.F Value

Wine/Alcohol
330% of the C.I.F Value (Requires special Import License which are not normally granted for personal shipments and will be needed prior the shipment’s dispatch)
Important Notes:

Airport Customs Authorities are very strict, they do not expect large Air Shipments of Used household goods and personal effects. Goods will be more thoroughly examined and subject to higher duties.

It is NOT recommended sending electrical goods, baby toys, and golf clubs by Air as they will be highly dutiable.

4. RESTRICTED/DUTIABLE ITEMS

  • Wine, spirits, foodstuffs (must not be included in the shipment without prior consultation)
  • Baby items, including toys
  • Alcohol
  • Antiques and objects of art (permission from the Fine Arts Department is required)
  • Office items and equipment
  • Sport equipment, including golf sets
  • Musical instruments, including pianos
  • Luxury items, including crystal and porcelain, and carpets
  • Only one of each electrical item is allowed duty and tax free; subsequent items will be assessed on the most expensive items
  • Fireworks (permission from the Ministry of Interior)
  • Wild flora, fauna, fish, and other aquatic fauna (permission from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department / Department of Agriculture / or Department of Fishery is required)
  • Buddha statues and relics require import permits

5. PROHIBITED ITEMS

  • Shortwave radios
  • Pornographics or obscene objects, literature, pictures, etc.
  • Counterfeit currency, bonds, coins or other counterfeit objects
  • Medical equipment without a license
  • Gold and silver
  • Buddha heads / non full figure buddha article or religious items
  • Firearms, ammunition

6. USP’S ALTERNATIVE OPTION

If you are coming to Thailand with any other type of visa that is not a work permit or if you think you are subject to duties/taxes, USP Relocations can provide a unique and alternative option to make your customs clearance smoother and faster, as well as cheaper. For more details, please contact us.

7. CUSTOMS GUIDES FOR OTHER COUNTRIES

If you wish to relocate from Thailand to another country and you would like to learn more about their import regulations and procedures, you can find some destination guides on our website.

As part of providing one of the best international moving services in Bangkok, we strive to provide consistent and reliable moving services to achieve superior customer satisfaction, that means guiding you in your relocation from A to Z.