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Thailand forum

Import Duties to Thailand

Posted by DonH on 19/10/2019 at 07:57

This situation may not apply to many readers/subscribers here, but is currently proving a real headache and timewaster for me.

My main activity is cycle touring.

For my last trip I brought my bike from Australia, never a problem duty-wise crossing borders.

This time I ordered a new high-end bike from the Netherlands to be sent to my Bangkok hotel, with me arriving from Tasmania to meet it.

Two weeks on it is stuck in Customs with them demanding over 70000 Baht import duty. The bike is my retirement present to myself, expensive but ultra-reliable. I have stressed that the bike will NOT remain in Thailand, I will take it back to Australia on completion of my planned six month trip. No bikes of that sort are available here so it doesn't compete with local products.

When I went to the official Customs Office I was immediately referred to a character with no badges. His "office" was a seat outside under the palms. He claimed to be able to fix everything for a bartered cost; he suggested 30-40 000. I said no way as I didn't have his bona fides and I don't do ransom. I emphasise that this was the ONLY avenue offered by official Thai Customs office in the way of advice or assistance.

I do not dispute the formula they use, but as a transient tourist don't believe it should apply. Had it been accompanied baggage I am assured no problems and no Duty.

While I can pay their Duty I am disinclined to. Even if I do, the claimed recipient is a local courier company NOT the multinational courier who sent it from Europe, nor Customs directly, so I don't know how much would actually get to Customs/Revenue.

On the advice of contacts in Europe I am looking to hire a new logistics agent to re-export it to Myanmar or Singapore, both of where I have cycling connections, but at considerable expense, disruption etc. A Carnet may have succeeded but must be pre-arranged.

Be warned.

#1 DonH has been a member since 2/1/2019. Posts: 1

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