All goods exported from Thailand are required to be reported to the Customs Department and are subject to customs controls.
The steps for exporting goods from Thailand are as follows:
Step 1 – E-Customs system registration
Since 2007, Thailand's export procedures have been centralized into the online E-Customs system. To register for the E-Customs system, the exporter must first obtain a "digital certificate". A digital certificate is an electronic signature file used to confirm the identity of the sender of and the authenticity of electronic documents.
Once a digital certificate is obtained, the exporter may then register for the E-Customs system. A Company may choose to either register with the system directly (i.e. at their own office) or by using an agent. For the latter option, the agent will handle the entire registration process.
When registering to use the E-Customs system directly, the following steps are required:
- the E-Customs system software must be installed on the company's IT system, and the digital certificates must be verified;
- the exporter must register with Thai Customs at one of the following places: The Registration and Customs Privileges Sub-Division; Customs Procedures and Valuation Standard Bureau; or the General Administration Division at each Customs office;
- the readiness and accuracy of message exchange with the E-Customs system must be tested;
- once tests have been completed, the Communication and IT Bureau will issue E-Customs registration ID, and the process is complete. If a company is both importing to and exporting from Thailand, only one registration on the E-Customs system is needed.
Step 2 – Review controlled goods
As with imports, checks must be made for goods requiring an export permit and potential red line shipments.
Currently, around 50 categories of goods require an export permit.
For red line goods, extra documentation is required before the shipment is permitted to leave Thailand. The E-Customs system will flag red line goods in Step 3. The exporter should prepare the following:
- Export License (if required)
- Other relevant documents (e.g. Food and Drug Administration approval, proof of origin, etc.)
Step 3 – Declaration Submission and verification
The exporter must submit an Export Declaration, along with an invoice and cargo data to the E-Customs system. Provided no errors arise, the system will issue declaration and payment numbers and define whether the shipment is considered green line or red line.
Step 4 – Payment of duties and taxes
There are three ways export duties may be paid: payment at the Customs Department of the port of exit; E-Payment via the E-Customs system; and payment made from banks.
Step 5 – Inspection and release of cargo
The freight forwarder must send a cargo control report to the E-Customs system. The system will then automatically generate a report and alert the customs officials whether the goods are a green or red line. Green line goods are clear to proceed without a physical inspection, while redline goods, as with imports, require physical inspections and extra document checks before they can be cleared.
Finally, once the shipment arrives, it is the shipping company or agent's responsibility to submit the manifest information to the E-Customs system.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.