Understanding the Import-Export License in Thailand
Should your company be involved in cross-border shipment operations in Thailand, having an import-export license is mandatory. With the necessary licenses, you can export or import goods.
This article will provide an in-depth understanding of the import-export license in Thailand, including the regulations, steps involved in the process, and important considerations.
- Import-export license is mandatory for cross-border shipment operations in Thailand.
- Thailand has specific import rules and regulations, with some products being prohibited.
- Import licenses are required for certain goods and are subject to controls imposed by other legislation.
- Importing pharmaceutical products, mineral commerce, antiques, weapons, ammunition, explosives, and restricted guns have specific regulations.
- Importing cosmetic products requires compliance with health and safety specifications.
- Certain items such as seeds, tobacco leaves, and trees require export permissions.
What is an Import and Export License in Thailand?
To engage in any import or export activity in Thailand, it is mandatory to obtain an import-export license. You can also obtain a customs card valid for three years, which can be used as a smart card. Different types of cards are issued based on the role and responsibilities of individuals involved in import-export activities. Online brokers receive a golden card, while owners or managers receive a yellow card. Lawyers are issued a green card, and the clearance card is pink.
What are the Import Rules and Regulations in Thailand?
Thailand has specific rules and regulations for all shipments entering or leaving the country. However, some products are prohibited from being exported due to legal restrictions. For instance, the export of rice outside of Thailand is strictly prohibited. On the other hand, certain commodities like lumber, rubber, animal skins, scrap, and silk may be allowed for export but are subject to significant taxes. Importing items such as gold, animals, or sugar also requires a government license.
Import License and Controls
The Thai Ministry of Commerce categorizes goods into different categories, each subject to import controls and often requiring a license. The list of goods requiring an import license is subject to change, and it currently includes approximately 50 categories.
Linking the licensing application with the supplier’s order, confirmation, and invoice is essential. Additionally, specific products are subject to additional regulations imposed by other legislation. These include pharmaceutical products, mineral commerce, antiques, weapons, ammunition, explosives, restricted guns, and cosmetic products.
Importing Pharmaceutical Products
Importing pharmaceutical products, such as medicines, requires permission from the Ministry of Health’s Food and Drug Administration. This ensures that the imported medicines meet the necessary safety and quality standards.
Importing Minerals to Thailand
Stringent rules govern mineral commerce in Thailand. Importing more than two kilograms of tungsten oxide, tin ores, or metallic tin without prior authorization is illegal. These restrictions are in place to regulate and control the country’s minerals trade.
Importing Antiques and Works of Art
To export antiques, works of art, museum pieces, and historical displays, one must obtain permission from the Director-General of Fine Arts. This ensures the protection and preservation of Thailand’s cultural heritage.
Weapons, Ammunition, Explosives, and Restricted Guns
The manufacturing, purchase, use, or import of weapons, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, and restricted guns is strictly regulated in Thailand. A Ministry of the Interior license is required for involvement with these items.
Importing Cosmetic Products
Importing cosmetic products into Thailand requires certain specifications. The products must be accompanied by information such as the name and location of the office and place of manufacture, as well as the name and composition of the products. This is done to ensure public health and safety.
Export License and Controls
Certain items, such as seeds, tobacco leaves, and trees, require export permissions in Thailand. The Export Standards Act mandates export licenses for foodstuffs like rice and sugar. This allows for quality control of products intended for export. It is also important to note that agricultural exporters are often required to be members of business associations, which have their own membership rules.
What are the Steps to Process Imported and Exported goods in Thailand?
Processing import and export activities in Thailand involves several steps. It is crucial to follow these steps carefully to avoid any mistakes in the paperwork. Please note that, in most cases, licenses must be obtained under the name of a corporation rather than an individual.
Step 1: Official Declaration Filing
The first step is to fill out Customs Form 99 or 99/1, either manually or using an EDI system. Once completed, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Attach Official Documents
Attach the necessary documents required for the import or export process. These documents include cargo reports or air waybills (for air freight) or bills of lading (for sea freight), three copies of the invoice, a packing list, insurance documents, release forms, foreign transaction forms (if applicable), import license (if required), certificates of origin (if applicable), and any other relevant documents.
Step 3: Declaration and Document Submission
Upon arrival at the port of entry, the Declaration of Importation must be provided, along with the supporting documentation for customs inspection. The customs authorities will verify the documents’ completeness and ensure no supporting documents are missing. They will also calculate charges, taxes, and the value of the imported or exported goods.
Step 4: Import Duties and Tax Payment
The applicable import duties and taxes can be paid through various methods, including payment to the Customs Department, electronic funds transfer via BOT’s BAHTNET, electronic payment to Krung Thai Bank, or electronic funds transfer (EFT) via EDI.
Step 5: Inspection and Release of Customs Cargo
Customs inspectors will inspect the imported or exported products to ensure they match the importer’s or exporter’s declaration. Once the inspection is complete and everything is in order, the items can be released to the importer or exporter.
Navigating the import-export process in Thailand requires a thorough understanding of the rules, regulations, and licensing requirements. Obtaining the necessary import-export licenses and adhering to the specific controls for different categories of goods is essential.
How can Belaws help?
For more information about importing and exporting goods in Thailand, why not talk to one of our experts now?
Please note that this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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Frequently asked questions
What is the Treaty of Amity between US and Thailand?
The Treaty of Amity between the United States and Thailand is a special economic bond that grants certain privileges to American citizens and businesses operating in Thailand.
What did the Treaty of Amity do?
The Treaty of Amity allows American citizens and companies to enjoy benefits and rights when establishing and operating businesses in Thailand. It grants national treatment and exemption from many restrictions on foreign investment.
What was the Treaty of Amity and Commerce Thailand 1833?
The Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed in 1833 between the United States and Thailand established a special economic relationship. It provided favorable treatment to American citizens and companies operating in Thailand.
Can Americans own 100% of a Thai company?
Yes, under the Treaty of Amity, American citizens and companies are allowed to hold the majority of shares or wholly own a Thai company. This provides them with greater control and flexibility in managing their business operations.
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