Import of Vehicle into Thailand through the Malaysian Border


Import of Vehicle into Thailand through the Malaysian Border


  •  Bringing in a National vehicle
  •  The Journey to the Border
  •  At the Bukit Kayu Hitam Malaysian Border
  •  Compulsory Vehicle Insurance Cover
  •  Third Party Vehicle Insurance Cover
  •  At the Sadao Thailand Border
  •  Petrol in Thailand
  •  Journey to Bangkok
  •  Extension of the Temporary Permit
  •  Further extension of the Temporary Permit
  •  Overstay of the Vehicle
  •  Obtaining a Fresh Permit
  •  In the event of an accident

Before you start If the vehicle is registered to a company, is a rented one, or one belonging to another person, a letter of authorisation must be obtained from the rightful owner, stating that the driver has permission to bring the vehicle into Thailand. Such letters of authorisation need Malaysian police endorsement, obtainable at any police station. Alternatively, JPJ endosement will do.A Visa for the owner of the vehicle or driver.An International passport valid for at least six months from the intended date of entry.An International driving license if you do not have a license from any of the following countries.Singapore.Malaysia.Laos. Bringing in a National Vehicle Parts for localy manufactured cars of Malaysia are easily available in thailand as their technology is based on the japanese model. Only body parts such as head lamps, tail lamps, bonnet, boot that have been cosmaticaly changed cannot be obtained. For the National Car Proton Saga, parts can be obtained from Mitsubishi Dealer or any ordinary spare part shop. The Journey to the Border Wang Kelian.Padang Besar in Perlis.Bukit Kayu Hitam.Pengkalan Hulu in Perak.Sungei Golok. For the motorist originating from towns and cities located along the recently completed Malaysian North-South Expressway, the best entry point is Bukit Kayu Hitam. This is also the fastest route because the motorist does not need to get off the North-South Expressway, where the speed limit is 110 kph for most of the way. Taking Kuala Lumpur as the starting point, it is best that you start your journey before mid-morning so that you can reach the Bukit Kayu Hitam Malaysian immigration and customs checkpoint well before its present closing time of 9.00 p.m. This also gives enough time to complete entry formalities on the Thailand side. The journey, along the North-South High-way exclusively, will bypass the towns of Tanjung Malim, Bidor, Kampar, Ipoh, Taiping, Butterworth, Sungei Petani and Alor Setar, Drving time, with stopover for meals or rest, should take no more than six hours. From Johor Bharu, allow for and additional three to four hours. For motorists using the North-South High-way for access into Thailand, immigration and customs formalities begin at Bukit Kayu Hitam. For your convenience, it is a good idea to have your travel documents completed before you reach the checkpoint. Thai Immigration arrival/departure cards as well as passenger entry/exit maifests for your car can be completed by petition writers in the coffee shops at bukit Kayu Hitam or further inside Malaysia at Changlun. The fee is RM 1 for each person and free for the car.You drive into lanes that have immigration booths on the right. Vehicles queue in these lanes and it takes no more than 5 minutes to drive to the booth. If you happen to be there during peak hours, it may take as much as 15 minutes.You hand over your passport for recording and stamping.Head out of the immigration and on your left you will find the Bukit Kayu Hitam shopping center. You may want to spend at least 30 minutes here doing your last minute shopping. Many of the items here are cheaper than in the Malaysian cities and most of the customers are Thais. The shopping center consist of:A well stocked supermarket containing mostly imported items.A well stocked liquor shop at duty free price.A chocolate shop.Perfumes.Electrical items.Imported clothing.A currency exchange booth.Payment by credit card is accepted and both Malayian and Thai currencies are accepted. Ensure that you keep your shopping in the booth. Immigration officers rarely open to check.

Compulsory Vehicle Insurance Cover

Compulsory Cover

Type of Vehicle
9 days
19 days
29 days
59 days
89 days
1 year

Motor cycle 75 cc.
Motor cycle 125 cc.
Motor cycle 150 cc.
Motor cycle over 150 cc.
Sedan upto 3,000 cc.
Van 15 seats.
Bus 40 seats.
Truck over 12 tons.

The compulsory insurance purchased at this booth covers only human lives in an accident involved with your vehicle. Your vehicle is not covered. The driver and passengers are not covered.

Third Party Insurance Cover

Compulsory Cover plus Third Party

Type of Vehicle
9 days
19 days
29 days
59 days
89 days
1 year

Motor cycle 75 cc.
Motor cycle 125 cc.
Motor cycle 150 cc.
Motor cycle over 150 cc.
Sedan upto 1,500 cc.
Sedan 1,501 to 2,000 cc.
Sedan 2,001 to 3,000 cc.
Van 15 seats.
Bus 40 seats.
Truck over 12 tons.

The above policy covers both humans that you might kill in an accident and also the victims vehicle. It does not cover your vehicle and the passengers. If you need to cover your vehicle fully, purchase the compulsory insurance only. The compulsory insurance and other insurance are sold seperately. Obtain the full First Party insurance from Virayah Insurance located in a city. Your Passport/s with at least 6 months validity. Identification Card (If Malaysian). [ The Malaysian border and Immigration closes at 22.00 hrs Malaysian Time ] Sadao Thailand Border Proceed to drive towards the Thailand Immigration. If you do not have your documents ready for Thai immigration, turn left immediately on entering the Big Gate. You will find parking space here and park your vehicle on the left most side. A booth is located on the Left side. Here you should obtain an arrival card for each passenger and fill them up. Also obtain an entry/exit manifests form from this booth. The form must be completed in duplicate and carbon papers are not provided. Here you complete your vehicle information and the list of passengers travelling in the vehicle. If you have not purchased the compulsory insurance, you will find a small booth about 3 meters from the immigration. You can obtain your insurance cover here with your car registration document. No inoculations or vaccinations are required unless the traveller is coming from or passing through contaminated areas. Passport/s.Arrival card/s There are not many foreigners travelling through the boarder with a Visa and the officers stamp 2 weeks stay as default. Ensure to open the page containing the Visa to bring to the attention of the officer. Ensure that the date stamped is correct. The vehicle ownership document. The vehicle's particulars
will be recorded in a stand alone computer. You will be given a printout of the document called SIMPLIFIED CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM. The exit date for the vehicle appearing on the form should be 30 days from the entry. (Not one month). Also check that all information is keyed in properly to avoid any problem. If there are mistakes, request the clerk to rekey and reprint the document. Proceed to the officers seated next to this booth. Make sure that your vehicle is in view as the officers will require to see the physical vehicle. If required, they may inspect your vehicle. Especialy if you have a lot of luggage. The officer will then sign on this printed document. You will also need to sign at the bottom to guarantee to export the vehicle out of Thailand. The following will be given to you on completion. The duplicate copy of the SIMPLIFIED CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM stamped and signed at the bottom. The small box on the top left corner with the words "Please stamp here" is not required. Those who enter Thailand through Bukit Kayu Hitam but wish to exit through any other border point must first inform the Thai authorities of that Intention. Permission depends on how quickly your car's particulars can be sent to the intended point of exit. Drive a couple of kilometers down the road and you will need to turn right into the customs post at Sadao. Here you park your car on the left side and hand over The stamped document. Keep the copy of the SIMPLIFIED CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM for handing in when you leave the Kingdom. A nominal surcharge may be levied for document processing outside the Thai government working hours, during weekends and on public holidays. After you have handed in the stamped document at Sadao, you and your car are free to travel anywhere in Thailand. Keep the registration card and computer printout with you at all times in case there are further customs checks. [ The Thailand Border and Immigration closes at 21.00 hrs Thailand Time ]Driving in Thailand

Malaysian and Singaporean drivers must have a valid driving licence of the country of origin. An international driving permit applies only to other nationalities.

After this you may proceed to Hat Yai using Highway 4. The city is 55 km from Bukit Kayu Hitam and less than an hours's drive in normal traffic. Remember that the speed limit on main roads in Thailand is 90 kph, and 50 kph through populated areas.

You are encouraged to take personal travel insurance Likewise, vehicle owners are advised to buy additional comprehensive insurance for their vehicles for the duration of their stay in Thailand. Insurance can be purchased from Viraya Insurance who are experienced in handling imported vehicles.

Currency Exchange

While in Thai towns adjacent to the border with Malaysia (Betong, Padang Besar, Sungei Golok, Tak Bai), the Ringgit is accepted as legal tender, only the Thai Baht is negotiable currency further inland. However, there are many places where the Ringgit can be changed for Baht.

The official exchange rate is offered by the banks and their money changing outlets. The banking hours are between 8.30 am to 3.30 pm, Monday through Friday, except public and bank holidays. In tourist centres like Hat Yai, however, major banks operate currency exchange centres from 7.00 am to 9.00 pm, seven days a week, including holidays.

Apart from the banks and their money exchange outlets, there are authorised money changers in shops and small hotels.

Many hotels provide money exhange services as well, but generally hotel exchange rates are lower than those offered by the banks and authorised money changers.

Credit cards are widely accepted by the major hotels, shops and restaurants in the towns of Southern Thailand, as are traveller's cheques.

Petrol in Thailand

Petrol, both the leaded and unleaded variety, is easily available in all petrol stations except those in the very small towns. Petrol of both international and national brands are sold in Thailand. But make it a point to top up your tank before starting the day's drive, in case the brand of petrol you want cannot be obtained easily. Petrol stations are abundend along the Highway and cities and most of the petrol stations located along the Highways are open 24 hours.

Petrol cost less than in Malaysia and Leaded petrol is cheaper than Leaded in Thailand. The unleaded petrol can be identified by the green color of the hose. In Thai unleaded petrol is called "Lai Sun". The normal petrol is usually refered to as "Super".

Journey to Bangkok.

The distance from the border to Bangkok is about 1,000 km and takes about 12 hours to drive without any diversion. The Highway at the South of Thailand is still under construction and you will face traffic coming from the opposit side. And also slow moving trucks can cause frustrations. Further up North after Surat Thani, the highways are completed.

Accomodation at Hat Yai can be expensive if you do not plan to holiday there. More cheaper accomodations can be found along the highway. These are called bungalows in Thai and if you cannot read Thai they are only visible at night when they are brightly lit. If you happen to spot one, do not stop your vehicle immediately as you might cause an accident. Continue ahead and make a U turn. These bungalows cost around B 150/- to B 250/-. Air conditioned bungalows can cost up to B 350/-. Some of them can accomodate up to 4 persons on a large bed. Hot shower is not available.

Entering Bangkok is the biggest frustration you will face in your journey.Traffic is very heavy on Sundays after 4.00 pm and gets to its peak around 8.00 pm. when Thais are returning from their home town. Traffic subsides at around 1.00 am next day. Best time to enter on weekends would be between 2 am to 8 am and on weekdays, 9.00 pm to 6 am next day.

Extension of the Temporary Permit

The Temporary Import Permit obtained at the Thailand Border should be valid for 30 days from the date of entry into the country. The Temporary Import Permit can be renewed if you have a visa that is valid upto the date that is required. The permit can be extanded upto the date on your Visa but not exceeding 6 months from the date of entry appearing on the Simplified Customs Declaration Form.Write out a letter addressing to

The Director of Customs Department, Customs House, (Address of the Customs House).

Provide the following information :

    * The permit cannot be extended beyond the date of your Visa. The reason for your extension. Mention that you wish to travel around thailand and need the vehicle for that purpose. Extension of permit for purpose of employment or business will be rejected. Provide the following documents.
          o The original Permit (Simplified Customs Declaration Form).
          o A photocopy of the Simplified Customs Declaration Form. your personal details.The Visa used to enter Thailand.The date stamp of entry into Thailand. The original copy of the SIMPLIFIED CUSTOMS DECLARATION FORM will be retained by the customs. It may take about 2 weeks to a month to process the application but not later than the date requested to be extended to. You will receive back the original with a date of extension, stamp and signature. Correspondance through mail is not entertained. Correspondance through Phone is accepted after your application is submitted. The following are the locations of the Customs House.
                + Legal Affairs Bureau, Klong Thoei, Bangkok.

                + Regional Customs Bureau I, 11th Floor, Klong Thoei, Bangkok. Tel : 2494076

          + Regional Customs Bureau II, Nongkai Province.

                + Regional Customs Bureau III, Chiangmai Province.

                + Regional Customs Bureau IV, Songkla Province.

                + Regional Customs Bureau V, Phuket Province.

            Further extension of the Permit.

            If the total extension of the Permit does not exceed six months, another application can be made to request for an additional extension. The Customs House usually reject such applications unless you have a good reason for multiple extension. It really depends on how you can convince them.

            Overstay of the Vehicle

            In the event that the Permit expires and your vehicle is still in Thailand. You will be required to pay a fine of B 100/- per day but not exceeding B 3,000/-. This fine can be paid either at the customs house or at the border. It is much more convenient to pay at the border.

            Obtaining a fresh Permit

            In the event that the vehicle has reached the six months period or unable to obtain further extension, the vehicle can be driven back to the border at which it entered and re-enter to obtain a new Permit.

            It is not required to exit the country. Once at the Border, return the form at the exit point. You will be required to sign on a register. Park your vehicle just after this point without exiting the country and go for shopping at the Malaysian Shopping Center. The returned form need to be re-fed into the computer indicating that the vehicle has exited and may take about an hour. Drive your vehicle back into the customs lane and go through the same procedure again.

            In the event of an accident

            In the event your vehicle is involved in an accident, the customs department will provide you with a reasonable amount of extension time to return the vehicle to the origin country. The extension of time can exceed the allowed six months. Ensure that you have a police report to proof your claim.

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