Once a Thai company is established, registered for VAT, and has a corporate bank account, one can apply for an Import/Export Card (Paperless License).
This card will have a number that will be required when importing or exporting goods to/from Thailand.
The applicant must fill out an application form and prepare documents for submission to the Customs Department.
The application process takes only one day, after which the company receives a license number to import and / or export goods.
Step 1. Register to use the electronic customs system
Import and export of goods to Thailand are carried out through the online system of electronic customs.
Companies must use a digital certificate, which acts as an electronic signature, to verify the identity of the individual or entity using the system.
Online transactions in Thailand usually require a digital certificate, and import/export registration is no exception.
Companies can register in the e-customs system directly through their office or with the help of an agent. When registering directly, a company must:
✓ Install e-customs software in the company's IT system
✓ Register at Thai Customs
✓ Test and verify the readiness of messaging with the e-client system
After completing these steps, the Bureau of Communications and Information Technology issues an identification number for electronic customs, with which the registration process is carried out.
Step 2. Checking Controlled Goods
Since not all goods require an import or export permit, companies should check with the Customs Department if a permit is required. Export requires a permit for about 50 categories of goods, including trees and seeds.
Import red-line products
Companies must also ensure that the goods belong to the red-line goods. Thai regulations classify "red line" goods as high risk or requiring additional testing and certification.
There is currently no definitive list of products under the red line. When applying, the company will be informed if its products fall into this category. However, the usual red-line items include food, drinks, and plants.
Several supporting documents are required to import goods with a red line, including:
✓ Bill of lading or air waybill
✓ Packing list
✓ Import license
✓ Certificates of origin
✓ Other relevant documents (e.g., list of ingredients, technical standard certificates, etc.)
Export of red-line goods
To export goods with a red line, companies must provide additional documents before shipment from Thailand. The documents to be included are the following:
✓ Export license
✓ Other relevant documents (e.g., FDA approval, destination information, etc.)
Step 3. Submitting and verifying the declaration
Companies will be required to submit an import or export declaration along with the following supporting documents:
✓ Appendix K1 (pages 1 and 2)
✓ Copy of company affidavit (updated within six months)
✓ Two copies of the value-added tax certificate (Phor Phor 20)
✓ Copy of the first page of the bank account and bank statement
✓ Copy of print registration (BAJ 3)
✓ Passport copy
✓ Power of Attorney (page 3 of application K1)
All documents are checked for completeness by customs. The submission will indicate whether the shipment belongs to the red or green line and will also determine the calculation of duties, customs tariff, and valuation of goods.
Step 4. Payment of duties and taxes
Any import/export duties and taxes must be paid by wire transfer via BAHTNET Bank of Thailand, Krung Thai Bank, and EDI. Alternatively, payment can be made at customs.
Generally, goods imported or exported from Thailand are subject to duties. However, several goods are not taxed. Companies should check with the customs department to determine if the goods they import/export are subject to duty.
Step 5. Inspection and release of cargo
Customs requires the importer/exporter to provide a verified declaration with a receipt for payment to the warehouse. After that, the cargo is inspected before release. For Green Line products, all that is required is a simple online check.
For red-line goods, accompanying documents will be checked, and customs officers will check the cargo. The checked cargo must comply with the declaration. Once this is confirmed, the shipment can be released.
Typically, the application process is fairly quick, and companies can expect a response one day after the application is submitted. Applicants will then receive a company license number that will allow them to import or export goods. The import-export license is valid for three years.