Updated by Sunbelt Asia on May, 2011
If you have a valid work permit (maximum 6 months old in some cases) you can ship your personal belongings and household effects into Thailand without paying customs duty.
Please note that the customer must be in the country when the shipment arrives to clear the shipment through customs.
All shipments are subject to inspection
Anyone with a one year Work Permit (or one year Visa) and returning Thai residents who have lived more than one year abroad (frequent traveling back and forth can cause problems) will be considered for duty-free exemption. Retirees with a one year permission to stay non-O-A ar4e still required to pay customs duty.
A person is allowed duty-free import of one air and one sea shipment from the country of last residence
Shipment must not arrive before the customer
Goods must arrive no later than six months after the date on the Work Permit
Goods must originate from the same country as the customer
DUTIABLE RESTRICTED ITEMS
New items (over six months old) require invoices
Works of art and antiquities
Please note that only one type each of electrical appliance is allowed, additional duplicate appliances will be charged the full customs duty. Especially high duties apply to stereo and video equipment, all appliances, luxury items, carpets, foodstuff, and office equipment. Computers, faxes and phones my not be considered as household or personal effects but as dutiable office equipment.
Narcotics and drugs
Gold and silver
Plants (Health Certificate required)
Several plant and fruits are prohibited (inquire before importing)
Firearms, weapons, ammunition and dangerous objects (subject to taxes and licensing, which take very long; goods of this type MUST NOT BE INCLUDED in household goods shipment)
Radio equipment and transmitters of any kind
IMPORTING MOTOR VEHICLES
Automobiles and motorcycles are heavily taxed and require approval from the Ministry of Commerce prior to forwarding of vehicle from origin.
Customs duty and taxes are as such for personal vehicles less than 10 seats:
Motorcycles can see a total duty and taxes of 87% of the value of the vehicle while electric motorcycles and electric bicycles pay 72%.
Water vehicles (must prove legal ownership)
Although a tourist or traveler may import a motor vehicle into Thailand without payment of Customs taxes and duties provided they intend to take the vehicle from Thailand at the conclusion of the visit. This is considered a temporary vehicle import; a vehicle (including motorcycles) brought into Thailand by a resident of another country, usually for a maximum of six months, while remaining registered in its country of origin.
Animals may be subject to duties and quarantine may be required.
Information such as sex, name, age and breed should be provided to Destination Agent well in advance of importation of animal
Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and American Staffordshire Bull Terrier are prohibited for importation into the Kingdom of Thailand.
Requirements for importation of animals:
1. A health certificate in English, signed or further endorsed by a full-time authorized veterinary official of the government of the exporting country, if it is previously acknowledged by a veterinary surgeon, stating:-
2. The animals must come from an area where animal diseases are under control. They are found to be healthy, free from signs of any infectious and contagious diseases including ectoparasitism at the time of export and fit to travel.
3. The country has been free from Rabies for at least 12 (twelve) months OR the animals are vaccinated against Rabies with an official approved vaccine not less than 21 (twenty one) days prior to the departure.
4. EITHER a) The dog is vaccinated against Leptospirosis at least 21 (twenty one) day preceding the departure. OR b) The dog is subjected to a test of Leptospirosis with negative result during the 30 (thirty) days prior to the departure.
5. The animals shall be vaccinated against other significant infectious or contagious disease (i.e. Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus, with an official approved vaccine at least 21 (twenty one) days prior to the departure.
6. The animals must be conveyed in nose-and-paw proof crates designed to avoid any risk of injury or unnecessary suffering.
7. The animals are not allowed to be exposed to other animals if they have to be landed in transit at any approved intermediate port. They shall not be allowed to leave precinct of the port except to an officially approved transit quarantine area.
8. The animals are subjected to quarantine at approved premises for a period of at least 30 (thirty) days upon arrival during which they shall be submitted to tests/treatments deemed necessary. The importer/owner shall be fully charge for the incurred expenses.
9. Failure to follow the import procedures may result in returning the animals to the country of origin or destroyed without compensation.
Sunbelt Asia attorneys have liaised with shipping companies and Thai import authorities for hundreds of foreigners
who have moved to Thailand. Sunbelt’s staff can help make the move less strenuous for you and your family.