Tag Archive: import

  1. Thailand’s Import Procedures

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    All goods that are imported into Thailand must be reported to the Thai Customs Department. The steps required to import products into Thailand legally are outlined below.

    Step 1 – E-Customs system registration

    As of January 1st, 2007, the procedures for importing goods into Thailand have been centralized into the online e-Customs system. In order to register for the e-Customs system, the importer must first obtain a “digital certificate” prior to registration. A digital certificate is an electronic signature file used to confirm the identity of the sender of electronic documents and the authenticity of said documents.

    Once a digital certificate is obtained, the importer may then proceed to register for the e-Customs system. Companies can either register with the system directly (i.e. at their own office) or through an agent. If a company decides to register through an agent, the agent will handle all aspects of the registration process. If a company decides to register to use the e-Customs system directly, the following steps must be taken:
    e-Customs software must be installed on the company’s IT system, and digital certificates must be verified;

    • the importer must register with Thai Customs at one of the following places:
      • The Registration and Customs Privileges Sub-Division;
      • Customs Procedures and Valuation Standard Bureau;
      • or the General Administration Division at each Customs office;
    • the accuracy and readiness of message exchange with the e-Customs system must be tested;
      • once tests are completed successfully, the Communication and IT Bureau will issue an e-Customs registration ID, and the process is complete.

    Step 2 – Review of controlled goods

    Two separate checks must be made before goods are imported: first, products that require an import permit (if any) must be identified. A range of goods requires import permits issued by different agencies before the date of arrival. Second, it must be ascertained if products are considered ‘red line’ goods (as opposed to green line). Red line goods are goods found to be at high risk or requiring additional certification and verification upon arrival. When importing red line goods, it is necessary to provide the following supporting documents:

    • Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Waybill
    • Invoice
    • Packing List
    • Import License (if required)
    • Certificates of origin
    • Other relevant documents (e.g. list of ingredients, technical standards certificates, etc.)

    There is no definitive list of red line goods. However, the e-Customs system will inform the importer once the Import Declaration has been submitted (see Step 3) whether the goods are considered red line or green line. As such, it is crucial to ensure the correct paperwork is prepared for all imports in order to be prepared for a shipment being flagged as being red line.

    Step 3 – Submission and verification of the declaration

    Once all correct documentation is prepared, an Import Declaration can be submitted to the e-Customs system together with an arrival report with the information of the vessel carrying the shipment of goods. The e-Customs system will then check and verify the submission, identify any discrepancies, and specify whether the shipment is considered green line or red line.

    Step 4 – Payment of taxes and duties

    Thai Customs Tariff Decree B.E. 2530 (1987) stipulates that “goods imported or brought into, exported, or taken out of the Kingdom shall be chargeable with and liable to duty”. Some items are exempt from import duties.

    For goods that are subject to import duties, payment can be made at either the Customs Department of the port of entry or via the e-Customs system’s e-Payment section.

    Step 5 – Inspection and release

    The final step before the imported cargo is released is the inspection of the goods. For green line goods, this is a simple online screening and will take only a few minutes. For red line goods, all the supporting documents will have to be presented, and the cargo must be physically examined by customs officials.

    If you have any question regarding the Thailand’s Import Procedures, Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or +66 (02) 117 9131 – 2. 

  2. How to Import a Boat to Thailand

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    When importing a boat from oversea to Thailand – even if it is solely for personal use and not for running a business – it is necessary to register the boat at the Marine Department in charge. Which department is in charge is determined by the mooring of the boat. To complete the registration process, the following documents are required:

    1. Boat sale agreement;
    2. Receipt of paying import taxes at the Customs Department;
    3. Supporting documentation to certify domicile in Thailand by going to the immigration office that is in the province that the boat is located (certification of the Thai visa at the Immigration Office); and
    4. Translations of all documents in English into Thai.

    In case a pre-owned boat is imported, additional documents are required as follows:

    1. Boat registration document from abroad;
    2. Certificate of the cancellation of the boat registration abroad.

    If the boat is neither registered as a Thai boat nor is operated under the Thai flag, the boat can remain in Thailand only for a limited time. The boat has to be brought out of Thailand after the permitted time has expired, thus if the boat shall be operated in Thailand without time restriction, it must be registered as a Thai boat.

    There is no limitation regarding the number of boats which can be registered under the same person. However, the applicant for the boat registration must be the same person as the importer and the person on the purchase agreement. If the names differ, the registration cannot be done. Therefore, it is recommendable to complete the registration at the Marine Department under the buyer’s name as a first step, after the boat is imported. After the registration is completed, the transfer of the boat should go smoothly.

    Please note: a boat registration for a foreign individual is possible, but a foreign company is not permitted to register a boat under its name. If a company wants to register a boat under its name, at least 70% of the shares have to be held by Thai nationals.

    If there are any questions regarding the import of a boat to Thailand, feel free to contact us at [email protected].

  3. Release of Import Duties on Machinery with the eMT System

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    The electronic machine tracking system (eMT) was developed by the Investor Club Association to assist companies, promoted by the Board of Investment (BOI), with privileges granted under Section 28 and 29 of the Investment Act B.E. 2520.

    The Investor Club Association (IC), established in 1993, is an organization which brings together Thai and foreign investors for collaboration and exchange of information. Under this collaboration, the IC developed different systems to quickly realize a BOI promotion.


    Depending on the status of a promoted person, the BOI grants various benefits and rights which are listed in Chapter 3 of the Investment Act B.E. 2520. According to Section 28 of Chapter 3, the promoted person shall be released from the payment of import duties on machinery which is essential for the promoted activity. And this is where the eMT system is utilized.

    To ensure an expeditious process and to realize the exemption granted in Section 28 without delay, the promoted person can apply for the use of the eMT system and submit a master list of the machinery and equipment. After the approval by the eMT system, the IC will issue an approval letter within three hours. This process is very efficient.

    The following documents are required for the use of the eMT system:

    • application form for use of eMT system
    • Copy of the promotion certificate indicating the privilege according to Section 28 Investment Act B.E. 2520
    • Tax ID
    • Name and address in Thai and English for issuing tax receipts

    The applicant needs to pay an application fee of THB 3,745, an advance service fee of THB 535 and undergo an eMT systems orientation training. The latter is free of charge for one attendant per company. Additional participants are subject to a fee of THB 4,280 (Investor Club members) / THB 6,420 (non-members).