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Customs, Import & Export

Free import

For over 20 year olds:
• 200 cigarettes or 250g cigars 250g of tobacco
• 1L of alcohol
• Non-commercial amount of gifts and other items for
  personal use of up to 10,000 local currency (Baht)


• Narcotics and other controlled substances
• Pornography
• Counterfeit items
• Goods with improper Thai flag on them
• Fake Royal or other Official seals
• Copyright infringing items
• Local currency


• Live animals – health certificate required along with
  complete and valid inoculations. 
• Plants, foodstuff and seeds– health certificate require. 
• Weaponry and ammunition – permission obtainable
  from Ministry of Interior.
• Medication
• Foreign currency – any amounts need to be declared.

Types of Duty:

Import Duties

Generally, these duties levied on any imported goods before releasing them from the custody of Customs; except for goods receiving specific privilege that qualifies according to the law, whereby their duties are reduced or waived.

There are three types of duties that any importer has to pay before the imported goods are released from the custody of Customs:
  • Customs Import Duties with an ad valorem rate;
  • Excise Tax for Excise Department and Interior Tax;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) for the Revenue Department
At present, there are six duty rates for imported goods, excluding vehicles.

Export Duties 

There are two items of exported goods that have to pay duties:
  • Raw hide
  • Wood, sawn-wood, and articles made of wood
Rates of Duty 

There are six duty rates for imported goods, excluding vehicles which have special rates. These duty rates are as follows:
  • Duty rate is 0% for goods that government policy provides not to collect duties
  • Duty rate is 1% for raw materials
  • Duty rate is 5% for primary products and capital goods
  • Duty rate is 10% for intermediate products
  • Duty rate is 20% for finished products
  • Duty rate is 30% for government protected goods
There are two rates of duty to be paid for exported goods:
  • Duty rate of 5 baht/kg for raw hide
  • Duty rate of 40% for wood and sawn wood
Payment of Duties 

All duties shall be levied in accordance with the provisions of Thai Customs Law and the Law on Customs Tariff. Payment of duties shall be made to the Competent Officer at the time of passing the entry. Duties can be paid either by cash or cheque. Cheques must be drawn on the Bank of Thailand but certified cheques from other commercial banks are also accepted.

Duties or acceptable guarantee must be paid to the Customs prior to the examination of the goods.

Where the importer requests clearance of goods subject to a dispute, such goods can be released either by:

  • Paying the maximum rate of duty and reserving the right to settle the dispute at a later time;
  • Paying the amount of duty declared together with an additional amount covering the maximum payable duty as a guarantee.

In valuing any imported goods for duty assessment, Thai Customs uses the True Market Value principle for such purpose. The principle is in fact the building blocks of the valuation system under the Brussels Definition of Value (BDV) and Article 7 of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT). True Market Value of the goods is defined as the wholesale cash price (exclusive of duty in the case of imports), for which goods of the like kind and quality would be sold without loss at the time and place of importation or exportation, as the case may be, without any deduction or abatement. For the vast majority of imports, the CIF invoiced price is accepted; however, in some exceptional cases, the value is established by reference to the maximum prices of the goods of a like kind and quality which have been brought into the country in a previous limited period, generally not more than one month in case raw materials and three months in the case of finished goods.

As the GATT Customs Valuation Code is now being increasingly adopted by many trading nations for uniform and neutral valuation of goods as well as prohibiting arbitrary or fictitious Customs value, Thai Customs realised the necessity and is moving towards adoption of this Code.


General information:

Importers or agents authorised by importers and approved by Customs must comply with the Customs laws and other customs related laws. Importers or agents must pay the full amount of duties and taxes or deposited cash security. 


Import entry has to be made quadruplicate, accompanied with supporting documents as follows:
  • Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading/airway bill
  • Import license (if any)
  • Foreign transaction form 2 if an import value exceeds 500,000 Baht
  • Other documents (if any) e.g. Form D
Customs Duty

Types of duty that are applicable in Thailand:
  • Customs Import Duties at an ad valorem rate
  • Excise Tax for Excise Department and Interior Tax
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) for the Revenue Department

General information:

All exported commodities can be declared by exporter or his/her agent approved by Customs authority. They must take responsibility to the accuracy of the detailed information submitted. There are two items which are subject to export duties, i.e. raw hides of bovine animals and wood, as well as sawn wood.


Export entry should be made duplicate and be submitted to the Export Customs Office, accompanied with the following documents:
  • an invoice
  • a packing list
  • a transaction form 1 if export value exceeds 500,000 Bahts
  • an export license (if any)

There are many Acts, Royal Decrees, Customs Regulations and Ministerial Regulations, which involve the prohibitions and restrictions on importation and/or exportation of certain goods.

Examples of prohibited goods on both importation and exportation, and in some cases, possession as well are:
  • Narcotics;
  • Obscene articles; and
  • Goods with an improper Thai flag design
In the case of restricted goods (for example; fertilisers, medicines, live animals, plants, food, etc.), the importer or exporter must submit a permit or license issued by the government agency concerned to Customs at the time of lodging a Customs goods declaration.


Under the Thai Customs tariff law, certain articles, if accompanied with the owner or temporarily imported and to be re-exported within six months from the date of importation, will be granted exemption from payment of import duty and/or taxes, but the importers may be required to make a contract with Customs that such articles will be re-exported within the fixed period and a guarantee in certain form and amount may be required by Customs (Thai Customs may extend the six month period to the extent considered necessary). The refund or release of such security given will be carried out after all the obligations so contracted have been fulfilled. The aforementioned articles include:
  • Vehicles, boats, and aircraft accompanied with the owner;
  • Articles, temporarily imported, intended for exhibition of a public character;
  • Apparatus and articles used for experiments or demonstrations, scientific ir educational, and imported by persons temporarily visiting Thailand for the purpose of conducting such experiments or demonstrations;
  • Articles for use in theatrical or other performances, imported bu itinerant performers visiting Thailand;
  • Articles, imported for repair, subject to the conditions as specified by Customs;
  • Photographic and cinematographic apparatus and sound recording equipment, imported by persons temporarily visiting Thailand for the purpose of taking photographs or recording sound;
  • Samples of merchandise accompanied with persons temporarily visiting Thailand, subject to conditions as prescribed by the Customs tariff law;
  • Tools and equipment for buildings and construction, development work and other temporarily activities as allowed by Customs, subject to specific conditions.
Note: the word "accompanied" applies to articles arriving not earlier than one month before or not later than six months after the arrival of the importer. In exeptional circumstances, the said period may be extended.

Dealing with the Thai customs department can be quite complicated and frustrating but we have over time built up a thorough understanding of the procedures and we have good industry connections that helps to ensure an expedient, efficient service.

Our services includes:
  • Custom Formalities
  • Tax evaluation
  • Freight forwarding
  • Secure warehousing
  • Quarantine advice
  • Domestic pick-n-pack
  • Cargo inspection
  • Cargo release

Contact us for your free initial consultation
Contact hotline: 096 165 1936

ATA Carnet

Thai Customs is contemplating the introduction of the ATA Carnet System in the near future in order to align our practices with respect to duty free temporary importation in line with international practices. The ATA procedures would be applied to goods temporarily imported under the following four International Conventions: the Professional Equipment Convention; the Exhibition and Fairs Convention; the Commercial Sample Convention and the Scientific Equipment Convention.


Refund of Duty

In the case where the Director-General deems fit, he may, without any claim, refund the duty paid in excess solely on account of calculation error, provided that such refund shall not be made after two years from the date of importation or exportation.

The right to claim a refund of the duty paid in excess shall lapse by prescription of the expiration of two years after the date of importation or exportation, as the case may be.


Two types of drawback are specified in the Customs Act of 1939:
  • Drawback paid in goods that are exported in the same state that they were imported when the duties and taxes were levied (re-exportation); and
  • Drawback paid in raw materials imported for the production of export (drawback under Article 19 bis of the Customs Act).
In case of drawback for re-exportation, nine-tenths or the excess of one thousand baht of the import duty already paid, calculated according to each export entry, whichever is higher, would be repaid as drawback, subject to specific conditions.

In the other case, the import duty, excise tax, municipal tax and other levies already paid on such imported materials in the form of cash or security, would be repaid as drawback after the goods produced from these materials have already been exported; and the time lapsed from the date of material importation must not be over one year. Thai Customs determines the amount of import duties and taxes repaid under the drawback procedure by using the approved production formulas filed with the Thai Customs.

A claim for drawback must be made within six months from the date of exportation of the goods. In case of drawback paid on raw materials imported for the production of export, Thai Customs may extend this time limit if necessary.


A bonded warehouse is a place where imported goods are stored and examined, establish with Thai Customs’ approval and controlled by Thai Customs. The owners of a bonded warehouse may be required to give a guarantee by bond and/or other means to Thai Customs in order to secure the payment of duties or other dues which may be claimed by Thai Customs under the laws or agreements.

A manufacturing bonded warehouse is a type of bonded warehouse where imported goods stored therein are allowed to be used in the production of other goods in that bonded warehouse. Duties, both import and export, and taxes will be exempted for goods removed from a manufacturing bonded warehouse for exportation, regardless of being exported in the same nature as imported or in the nature having been produced, mixed or assembled as other goods.

Generally, at the time of importation, imported raw materials brought into production in a manufacturing bonded warehouse will be granted duty and tax exemption, but a bank guarantee amounting to 25% of the maximum amount duties and taxes calculated on such imported raw materials will be required. After the goods have been produced and exported, such security will be released.

The time period allowed for the retention of the raw materials in the bonded warehouse of this type is one year, but this period can be waived as needed and agreed by the authorities.


To facilitate the bona fide travellers, who come into Thailand accompanied with non-dutiable, non-prohibited and non-restricted goods, the Customs Administration established the Green Lane channel for them. By passing through the Customs counter on the Green Channel, the travellers’ belonging will not be checked only if they declare to the Customs that there are no dutiable prohibited and restricted goods accompanied with them. The Green Channel can be noticed by having the green label with words "NOTHING TO DECLARE" on it.

Travellers or passengers who accompanied dutiable goods with them have to go into the Red Channel and pay duties. The Red Channel is noticed by having the red label with words "GOODS TO DECLARE" on it.

Travellers or passengers accompanied by dutiable, restricted and prohibited goods, and found using the Green Channel shall be imposed a penalty and/or fined.

Personal effects regarded as non-dutiable goods when accompanied by the owner are:
  • 200 sticks of cigarettes or 250 grams for cigars or smoking tobacco or altogether weighing not more than 250 grams; cigarettes must not exceed 200 sticks;
  • one litre spirituous liquor;
  • samples of merchandise, are only to be used as such and of no commercial value;
  • Goods, covered by privileges according to agreement with international organisation or treaties or by reciprocity through diplomatic channel;
  • Other personal belongings in reasonable amount.

Upon receiving the tariff appeal application from the importer/exporter, the officer in charge must go through the following procedures:
  • verify signatures of the person submitting the application, or if the person submitting the application is an attorney for the applicant, the power of attorney must be in order;
  • verify all documents required; any incomplete documents must be completed and submitted to the officer in charge within 30 days. If documents are not submitted within this period, the application will be deemed void, and will no longer be processed;
  • verify that the application was made within 30 days after the date of receiving the tariff notice by checking the date against the post office receipt. If the submission of the application exceeds 30 days, the application will be deemed invalid and the applicant will be informed accordingly;

Upon verifying that the applicant and all enclosures adhere to the above conditions, the application will be accepted and registered. The applicant will then be notified of the acceptance of the application in writing. The notification/confirmation letter must be sent to the applicant by post only.

After receiving the notification/confirmation letter, the applicant should acknowledge and return the confirmation letter to the Tariff Classification Standard Division within 15 days from the date of receipt of the letter. However, if the applicant fails to return the letter within this period, the application will still be valid and continue to be processed. 

A customs officer will be appointed to consider the case and rule on the tariff classification under the General Rules for Interpretation, together with the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonised System.

The case will be submitted to the chief of the Sub-Division and to the Director of the Tariff Classification Standard Division for approval. In case the Director of the Tariff Classification Standard Division disapproves or disagrees with the ruling, the appeal may be submitted to the Director General of the Customs Department or to the Customs Tariff Commission for the final decision.
Information Source: http://www.asean.org/14302.htm 
Thai Customs Website: http://www.customs.go.th