Importer of Record

In most of the ASEAN countries in SE Asia, the governments scrupulously regulate the importation of goods into their country. In this example we will use Thailand for the basis of our discussion.  For foreign companies or startups planning to establish an operation in Thailand,  they would need to apply for and receive an import license. This process in itself can take up to six months to finalize.

Many companies planning to set up operations in Thailand have chosen to outsource the function of importer of record to logistics companies that are willing to provide this service. These IOR service providers take care of importing the products for their clients.

An easy way to think about an IOR service provider is that they take temporary ownership of the product from the time it enters the country until it is delivered to the customer or supplier, allowing the client to avoid the complexities of importing goods in a foreign country.

Eagles Air & Sea is an experienced importer of record, providing services that include:

  • Insuring the imported goods are in compliance with Thai law
  • Taking care of the actual customs clearance process
  • Paying of applicable tariffs and duties.
  • Delivering goods to their final destination.

For many foreign based companies operating in Thailand, this solution has multiple benefits, including:

  • Importer of record thailandSpeed – Often, a company may need to import a single product into a country, such as Thailand, and cannot wait for the lengthy process of obtaining an import license. Using an IOR service provider simplifies.
  • Compliance – As with many ASEAN countries, Thailand has its own set of laws that are applied to the importation of products into the country. Many foreign entities operating in Thailand have found that maintaining the necessary in house expertise to manage and comply with all legal requirements is onerous and costly. The cheaper and simpler way is to secure an outside IOR service provider, often times incorporating this service with their freight handling and warehousing needs.
  • Ease of Use – Consolidating the IOR, freight handling, customs clearance and warehousing with one service provider allows you to focus on your core business and avoid the myriad of distractions that can consume valuable time and human resources when importing goods into a foreign country.  If your business model does not include maintaining a legal identity in a foreign country, this approach is a simple way to satisfy the requirement.

For over 25 years, Eagles Air & Sea has been providing logistics, warehousing and IOR services to many internationally based companies with operations in Thailand. We regularly consult, advise, and offer a wide range of services in this sector of the service market. We maintain an experienced and professional staff that specialize in the areas of importation of goods, customs regulations and Thai tax law. They are standing by, waiting to serve you and your organization. For an initial cost free consultation, contact us by e-mail at 0r by calling +66 (02)790 4599.

Frequent Asked Questions

When would I need an IOR, or importer of record?

If you do not have a legal presence in a country, then you can’t complete a transaction unless you have designated an IOR for that specific importation.

Do I need an IOR if I have an office in the country I am importing to?

Since there is significant complexity involved, you might wish to engage the services of a fiscal IOR to avoid the hassle of running everything through what may be just a sales office in a particular country.

Do all freight forwarders provide IOR services?

Not all freight forwarders choose to provide this service as it does involve financial and tax exposure in certain situations. 

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