A Guide to Relocating to Thailand
Want to move to Bangkok? Considering moving to Chiang Mai? Or thinking about an international removal to Nonthaburi. Here’s the moving advice you’ll need for any international removal to Thailand…
Moving Household Goods And Personal Effects To Thailand
Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning an international removal to Thailand:
- Original Passport (Of the individual moving/importing the goods) (with one-year visa issued by immigration in Thailand required for free duty and tax import)
- Removal packing list – We will complete this if you want us to undertake a full packing service for your removal
- Original bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB) – We will take care of this if completing the entire international removal to Thailand for you.
- ID card (returning citizens)
- 90 day business class visa (non Thai immigrants)
- Diplomatic privileges approval issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand
- Work permit
We recommend providing these as soon as possible to reduce delays with your removal to Thailand. Late receipt of documentation can lead to missed shipments, additional charges and penalties at Thai Customs. For your own protection, we will almost never ship your goods without the above in place.
Additional Removal Advice
- The shipment must arrive within 6 months after the owner of the goods’ first arrival on their non – immigrant visa or arrival stamp on a passport.
- For returning citizens it must be on last arrival.
- Must contain only used household and personal effect items (not new items).
- Customs allow one of each kind of electrical appliances.
- Double items will be dutiable.
- Household goods must come from the country where the owner of the goods has been staying / working before moving to Thailand.
- Customs allow one air and sea shipment.
- The owner of the goods should enter Thailand with a 90 days “class B” (business) non-immigrant visa (non – citizens).
- The owner of the goods has a 12 month work permit (without any condition), and 12 month visa which has been stamped by immigration in Thailand.
- Normal process for issuing work permit may take 4-8 weeks (non – citizens).
- The owner of the goods has never imported goods into Thailand (returning citizens)
- The owner of the goods must be in the origin country at least 365 days (returning citizens)
- If the owner of the goods visits Thailand while staying overseas, it must be only 3 months maximum each time (returning citizens)
- If the owner of the goods visits Thailand many times while staying overseas, the owner of the goods must have good reason and explanation for Thai customs (returning citizens).
- Returning citizens must be overseas for 1 year in order to be considered for tax and duty free re-entry; travel to and from Thailand during the owner of the goods’ overseas stay is likely to disqualify them from the exemption.
- A physical stamp in passport and a copy of his/her Thai ID card is required.
- Diplomatic shipments are exempt from tax and duty, but processing takes approximately 14 business days by the respective Embassy; therefore, documentation must arrive prior to shipment to avoid additional port charges.
- Retirement / tourist / non – immigrant O visa holders must pay duties.
- Retirement visa holders must pay duties for household goods except used personal effects (e.g. books, clothes, shoes).
Everything you need to help you plan your move.
We always recommend speaking directly to the relevant embassy for the most accurate and up to date moving advice:
Popular Destinations in Thailand
Global Moving Services is vastly experience in international removals to cities all over the globe. Their long history and detailed knowledge of different countries makes them the perfect choice for your move. Here are some of the most popular destinations we are asked to move people to in Thailand:
Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Udon Thani. Get a quote to one of these places
If you are unsure about what you need, one of our international move managers is always willing to help. Just call us on +44 121 392 1720, or fill out an international removal enquiry, and we’ll ease you through the process.
Moving Your Money
If you’re moving to Thailand, it’s very likely you’ll have to exchange a large amount of currency. Many people waste thousands doing this through their bank as they think there is no alternative; but we partner with Global Reach who specialise in doing just this. Global Reach will offer all Global Moving Services customers preferential rates when exchanging currency and guarantee to beat other rates you’re receiving. Ask one of our move managers about this, to find out more click here or give us a call: +44 121 392 1720.
We always advise taking out an insurance policy with us on every move. Although we like to think we’re the best in the industry, the odd accident can occasionally happen. For added peace of mind, make sure to speak to one of our move managers about this.
If you have already contracted us for your international removal to Thailand, then you can download the insurance form and email the completed form back to your international relocation manager.
Moving Your Car Or Motorcycle
Below is a list of the documents you will need when planning to move your vehicle to Thailand:
- Original Passport (Of the individual moving/importing the goods)
- Original driving license
- Original car registration
- DP1 document (from respective Embassy)
- Diplomatic exemption certificate (applicable only to diplomatic relocations / diplomats moving)
- One set of certified copy of all documents mentioned and certified by the owner of the goods
- Import license (from Ministry of Commerce in Thailand)
- Original bill of lading
Additional Import Advice
- Shipments containing more than one of any electrical appliance will be subject to Customs taxes and duties.
- Duties range from 213% to 308% for cars and 94% for motorcycles not shipped under diplomatic status.
- Motorcycles cannot be imported unless qualifying under diplomatic status or the owner of the goods has an import license.
- Before the shipment of motor vehicles, the owner of the goods must obtain approval from the Ministry of Commerce and the import permit must be granted.
- Import licenses are rarely granted to non – citizens.
- Individuals must have owned the vehicle at least one and a half years prior to import and must have correct documentation supporting the claim.
- Must have a work permit and a visa of at least one year old from immigration in Thailand.
- If a spouse wants to import a vehicle, and is not working but following the working spouse to Thailand, then documentation must be shown as proof.
- If the permit is approved and the automobile has been imported, the owner of the goods cannot sell it for at least three years from the date of the approval.
Relocating Your Pets to Thailand
These documents will be required when planning to relocate your pet to Thailand:
- Vaccination record
- Import permit for cargo shipment
- Pet export license (if applicable)
- Pet’s container
- Copy of the owner of the goods’ passport
- Government health certificate
Additional Import Advice
- Cats and dogs only
- Owner of the goods is not allowed to be present.
- There is no quarantine period.
- Pet must be at least 4 months old.
- Baggage pets are not subject to Customs clearance.
- Cargo Pets are subject to Customs clearance.
- Document processing takes 3-4 business days.
- Pet(s) must be vaccinated against rabies, Leptospirosis, Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus, wherever possible, a period of 21 days before the departure is recommended.
- Other vaccination is voluntary.
- Pet(s) will be dutiable at a rate of 30% based on cost , insurance, freight (CIF) value which will be calculated by customs assessment division.
- Prior to import, send photo copies of:
- Health certificate from the veterinarian (not the Official Health Certificate which is needed when the pet has arrived)
- Rabies vaccination certificate
- Passport or other identification of the owner
- Picture of pet(s)
- Flight details
- All documents must be in English
Think very carefully before moving these items to Thailand. Items on this list will be taxed and/or require specific permission to import. In all cases they must be declared prior to you relocating to Thailand:
- Wine, spirits, foodstuffs (must not be included in the shipment without prior consultation) – taxes and duties apply to quantities in excess of 180%
- Baby items, including toys
- Antiques and objects of art (permission from the Fine Arts Department is required)
- Office items and equipment
- Sports equipment, including golf sets
- Musical instruments, including pianos
- Only one of each electrical item is allowed duty and tax free; subsequent items will be assessed on the most expensive items.
- Firearms, ammunition, fireworks (permission from the Ministry of Interior)
- Wild flora, fauna, fish, and other aquatic fauna (permission from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department / Department of Agriculture / or Department of Fishery is required)
- Toys, baby items, office items including files, bicycles, exercise equipment, sport equipment, golf sets, and certain luxury items including crystal glasses and porcelain vases, and fax machines are all dutiable and are not considered by Customs for duty exemption especially coming in via air freight.
- Luxury items, including crystal and porcelain
Do not move any of these items to Thailand:
- Pornographic or obscene objects, literature, pictures, etc.
- Counterfeit currency, bonds, coins or other counterfeit objects
- Medical equipment without a license
- Buddha heads / non full figure Buddha article or religious items
- Firearms, ammunition
- Shortwave radios
- Gold and silver
- The following additional items are prohibited in GMS Baggage/Courier Consignments:
- Aerosols (all kinds, Hairspray, Deodorant etc)
- Aftershaves / Perfumes / Fragrances
- Alcoholic Drinks or Bottles
- Ammunition of any kind
- Animals of any kind (Dead or Alive)
- Any items containing Petrol (Liquid, Gas or Fumes)
- Biological Samples
- Car Batteries
- Cash & Cards (Credit / Debit)
- Cheques (Bank)
- Christmas Crackers
- Counterfeit Currency
- Dangerous Goods
- Driving Licence
- Drugs (Including Prescription)
- Excrement / Filth
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fish (Dead or Live)
- Foodstuffs (all kinds)
- Hazardous Goods
- Human Remains (including ashes)
- Infectious Substances
- Laptop Computers, Mobile/Smart Phones or Tablets
- Lottery Tickets
- Nail Varnish / Nail Varnish Remover
- Perishable Goods (All)
- Plants / Seeds etc
- Printer Toner
- Seatbelt Tensioners and Steering Wheels
- Weapons (all kinds, including replicas)
Disclaimer: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This information is provided as a guide only. While Global Moving Services has exercised reasonable care in publishing this information, Global Moving Services makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.