Importing into Thailand

Importation in Thailand

We should be aware of the importing restrictions, taxes and added duties for each item that we will import. For example, USA has a quota on clothing imports. The duty and the fees imposed by countries depend on the type of items, whether they are restricted, etc. Also, it is best to arrange a meeting with a local government in your city or state as well as to contact a lawyer in your area who specializes in import-export business dealings.

Prepare a bond with the Customs dept so that they can easily identify your packages accordingly.

For faster clearance, do the following:

  1. Prepare invoices clearly
  2. Have a well prepared packing list with the items
  3. Mark each package with identifying numbers and labels
  4. Make sure that the country of Origin and detailed description are documented clearly.
  5. All packages should follow the CBP(Customs and Border Patrol of USA) packing standards

It is good to use brokers who are used to dealing with the customs and who are aware of the changes in the tariffs and duties for each commodity.

Thailand has many companies that will ship goods once you fill in the orders online and pay for it by credit card. So an import-export person does not have to visit Thailand to start this business. If they do need to go to Thailand occasionally, it is good to get the 3 year business visa or a one year re-entrant capability visa. To get a business visa, you will have to apply to the local Thai Embassy (if you are in your country) with the following paperwork:

  1. An application that may be downloaded from the Thai Embassy site.
  2. A valid passport that has at least a year to expire
  3. Two recently taken passport size photos
  4. ID card such as Driver’s license
  5. A letter from the employer or business partner or details on your business plan in Thailand. The more detailed the plan is, the better. Include phone numbers, contact emails and addresses and a balance sheet or proof of business profitability if possible.
  6. A letter of invitation from Thailand
  7. Any correspondence with business partners in Thailand and any information available to you about these partners or companies including business license, list of shareholders, Statement of Income, Tax papers, etc. The more information you have on the companies in Thailand that you wish to do business with, the more chance you have to get the Visa quickly.
  8. Visa fees of 10,000 Baht – $300 (at time of writing)

The advantage of starting a business selling imported Thai goods is that we can start it as a side business and expand it to full time when it turns lucrative. See the links for business registration in Thailand. One of the problems with an import business is dealing with the government and the rules and regulations. Also, if there is no demand for a particular item, it may reduce the profits of the company.