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Paying taxes on postal imports, gifts and presents

When my mother informed me that she was popping something small into the post for Christmas, she did warn me not to get too exited.

However, when it arrived I still felt like a little boy on Christmas morning – until I was rudely told that I would have to pay 800 baht import duty.

I argued and stomped, but it was to no avail and so I stumped up the cash. I opened my present (beautifully wrapped in gold paper) and it was a London 2012 t-shirt with the ฃ5 sale sticker still on it!

My point is this: I have no problem paying import duty if I am importing something, but who decided that I should pay 800 baht? How was it decided? Why can I not contest the amount? And perhaps more importantly, does Thailand really need to raise import duty off Christmas presents?

Nick Robinson, Phuket Town. Friday, January 18, 2013  2:25:41 PM
“The Customs Department determines the rate of import duty to be imposed on each item imported to Thailand – and every item imported is subject to import duty. This is especially so for popular brand-name items that are not available in Thailand.

However, we only deliver the parcels. You can pay the import duty at the post office, but that duty will only be transferred to the Customs House at a later date.”
Friday, January 18, 2013  2:25:41 PM Pacharatida Sukjit, an officer at the central Thai Post office in Phuket Town.


“Each item imported is charged a different rate of tax according to what type of good it is and its condition. In your case of importing a shirt, the import duty alone is 60 percent of the value deemed by the officer reviewing the article for importation.

However, other fees and surcharges, some of them set amounts, are levied in determining the value of the goods as landed in Thailand. Then Excise Tax and Value-Added Tax (VAT) are calculated based on the value as landed.

All these taxes, duties and surcharges are added together to determine the full rate of import duty that you have to pay.”
Friday, January 18, 2013  2:25:41 PM Passara Soontavareerit, an officer at Phuket Customs House.


“For a full example visit Customs.go.th (click here) and click “Sample of Duty Assessment” in the left-hand sidebar (click here).”
Friday, January 18, 2013  2:25:41 PM The Phuket Gazette

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