Importing a car to Thailand is a complicated and often very expensive proposition. There is a lot of documentation required and duties on the vehicle can be upwards of 200% of the value of the car, boat, motorcycle etc.
That said, don’t throw up your hands in despair. Depending on your specific vehicle, how long you will need to keep it in the Kingdom of Thailand and some other factors, we can estimate the total cost and time required to get your vehicle imported.
Importing a vehicle on a temporary basis
If you aren’t planning on keeping your vehicle in Thailand for an extended period, you may be able to avoid duties. If your plan is to export the vehicle anytime up to 6 months upon arrival, then you will be excluded from the duty.
The list of documents required for importation include:
- Multiple copies of a special goods declaration
- Registration documents for the vehicle
- Your driver’s license, passport and Identification card
- A Proforma invoice showing when and where the vehicle was purchased
- A contract detailing when and how you will be re-exporting the vehicle
You will need to provide a deposit of guarantee to customs in case you do not re-export the vehicle within the 6 month time frame. This needs to be in the form of a bank guarantee or a cash deposit.
There can be some extensions of the 6 month time limit in the case of an accident or needing repairs, but in general, to get your guarantee deposit back, you will need to export the vehicle out of Thailand within the 6 month limit.
Importing a car or boat on a permanent basis:
If you vehicle is used or second hand, the foreign Trade department of the Ministry of commerce will require you to purchase an import permit issued by them.
Other requirements you need to know ahead of time:
- You can only import 1 vehicle if it is for personal use
- If you are an expatriate, you will need to show a work permit and visa and you will need to stay in Thailand at least one year.
- Need to show proof of insurance
- A bill of lading
- An import Goods Declaration
- Proof that you purchased the vehicle
- Import permit
Calculating taxes and duties:
Taxes and duties are calculated off of the CIF value of the vehicle. You can expect to pay the following taxes and duties –
- Import duty
- Excise Tax
- Domestic Tax
As you can see, the process to import a vehicle into Thailand can be a bit daunting. If you are considering importing a vehicle into Thailand, the professionals at Eagles Air & Sea can help you understand the process and advise you of your options.
Frequent Asked Questions
If I import my car to Thailand, how much tax and duty will I have to pay?
If you are an expat who wants to import your car into Thailand, the procedure is quite complicated and the duties and tax can often amount to 200% of the value of the vehicle.
However, as long as you don’t keep it in the Kingdom of Thailand for over 6 months, there will be no duties imposed.
Why are duties so high on imported cars in Thailand?
The short answer is to protect the domestic auto industry in Thailand. You will note that Malaysia and Singapore also have similar tax structures in place to keep their auto industries competitive.
What are the costs associated with registering my car in Thailand?
Expats have to renew their vehicle registration annually at the Department of Land Transport. Cost is 1,200 to 8,000 baht, depending on the value of the car.