People bringing their belongings into Thailand from different parts of the world have different stories to tell about their experiences. Most of these stories are positive. It is important to be aware that Thai Customs Offices may not operate in the same way as Customs Offices in other countries. Regulations in Thailand may, and do, change. Consequently it is not possible to give a definitive answer as to the best way to ship goods into Thailand from different countries.
Listed below are a range of stories from KIS staff who have recently brought their belongings into Thailand. An important point to remember is that once you have your Thai work permit, you will not need to pay import tax, which can be quite high. So if you can delay sending your goods until you have a work permit, you will be better off financially.
Attached at the end of this page is a document provided by Asian Tigers moving company that outlines duties and taxes in 2012.
Shipping from Morocco. Family of 4
When we priced shipping from Morocco to Thailand, the cost was going to be in excess of $5,000. We decided not to pursue that option.
When we were purchasing tickets, we looked for airlines that allowed 3 checked bags/person. Because there were four of us, we were allowed 12 bags. We ended up paying for two extra bags in excess, so the price was not too bad. The downside of this option was that we had to buy new TVs, bikes, guitars etc… Airlines are extremely strict with size and weight. If the bag was 0.5 kg too heavy the charge is $100, so it is imperative to buy a scale and weigh everything in advance.
Shipping from Indonesia. Individual
I shipped just over 4 cubic meters from Indonesia with a moving company called Asian Tigers. I paid aprox $1800 at the Indonesian end and everything was door to door and paid no extra tax this end. I ensured that Asian Tigers connected with KIS Staff (Kun Korada and Kun Jum) and then it went very smoothly at the Thai end.
Shipping from Colombia. Individual
I paid a large amount of import tax because had written the actual values of goods. My advice is if you don’t have insurance, underestimate the value to reduce the amount of tax you have to pay. If you have a permit you don’t have to pay as much.
Shipping from the UAE. Individual
I used Emirates Post, the standard postal service. In total I shipped 5 large boxes which contained everything – books, housewares, clothes, bags, shoes etc. Each box weighed up to 30kg. I posted them to KIS between 2-4 weeks before I arrived and I am pleased to say, all my boxes arrived safely and were all waiting for me when I got here. The boxes were a bit battered but everything was all in tact and I didn’t have to pay any taxes or duties. If you choose to use this method, make sure you wrap your breakable items thoroughly (I used a lot of bubble wrap) and reinforce your boxes with lots of tape to prevent any damage.
Thailand makes it pretty easy on pet owners, relatively speaking. There is no quarantine for dogs, so as long as you have the right paperwork, you’re good to go.
Before any of the below, check with your airlines to ensure that they allow pets. Some airlines will allow pets in cabin, as long as they meet certain size requirements.
- Get dog’s rabies shot more than 40 days but less tan 6 month prior to arrival.
- Health certificate verifying dogs health and breed
- Above documents authenticated and endorsed by the USDA, or your home country’s Department of Agriculture.
- Thai import permit.
Any of these steps and procedures are subject to change at any time. Check this website for updates.
Shipping from Kuwait. Including cats
Size of the shipment: 2 trunks and 4 suitcases
Unusual regulations: I had a pack of oat bran in one of my suitcases. For some reason, FedEx couldn’t clear my shipment because of this and another company had to take over the customs clearance. WAY too much drama. I would not recommend using FedEx.
Additional Care/Documentation: Pets (cats). Luckily there is a lady in Kuwait who does all the running around for you for a fee. All I had to do was to make sure my pets had all the proper shots and Karen took care of the rest (she’s good friends with Susan, a teacher who will be joining us from Kuwait next year). I flew with Qatar Airways who was very good with my pets.
- DO NOT put any food items whatsoever in your shipment (even if they’re non-perishable). It’s not worth the drama. Carry them in your suitcase.
- If you can wait until you have your work visa before having your goods shipped to you, then do so. Make sure your full name (including your middle name) is on all documentation. Whatever names are listed in your passport, include them.
Shipping from Singapore
When shipping to Thailand, we used Asian Tigers. It was pretty straight forward and a good company to deal with. We didn’t have to pay tax as we have residency here so we bypassed all that. Just make sure to keep in regular contact with your shippers and have all the personal identification documents needed to them in advance so as to get the process started earlier than later. Don’t wait till the last minute. Better to live the last two weeks with nothing in the house but have everything packed and on its way nice and early in transit than to leave it to the last minute to send. That way there is ample time to deal with any hiccups that may come (and they usually due crop up).
Again rules and regulations vary and are subject to change. we can not give exact details just some examples of staff experiences. Good luck, and research your options.