The Thai Government controls the import and export of certain goods into/out of Thailand. The controls either take the form of:
- an absolute prohibition, which means that you are not allowed to import the goods in any circumstances; or
- a restriction, where you need to have written permission in order to import the goods.
Samples OF Prohibited and Restricted Goods
The following information broadly outlines what goods are prohibited or restricted, where you can obtain more information about the control and, in the case of restricted goods, to apply for permission to import.
1. Prohibited Goods are goods for which either the import into or export out of Thailand are prohibited. Any person imports or exports prohibited goods is considered as committing offences and subject to penalties indicated in the relevant national legislation. In addition, such activity is also considered as an offence under Articles 27 and 27 bis of the Customs Act B.E. 2469. It is prohibited by law to bring the following items into Thailand.
- Obscene objects/literature/pictures
- Pornographic materials
- Goods with Thai national flag
- Narcotics e.g., marijuana, hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine, heroin
- Fake currency, bonds, or coins
- Fake Royal Seals/official seals
- IPR infringing goods e.g. musical tape, CD, VDO, computer software, etc.
- Counterfeit trademark goods
2. Restricted Goods are goods of which the imports and exports are restricted by law and therefore require a permit from the related government agencies. Any person imports or exports restricted goods is considered as committing offences and subject to penalties indicated in the relevant national legislation. In addition, such activity is also subjected to the offence under Articles 27 and 27 bis of the Customs Act B.E. 2469.
The Ministry of Commerce designates classes of goods that are subject to import controls, which usually take the form of permission and licensing. Although these controls are being liberalized, at present more than 50 classes of goods require import licenses from the Ministry of Commerce. These categories are frequently changed through notifications of the Ministry of Commerce. A license to import any of the restricted items must be obtained from the Ministry of Commerce prior to importation. Application for the license must be accompanied by a supplier’s order, confirmation, invoice, and other pertinent documents.
In addition to the Act imposing the above controls, a number of goods are also subject to import controls under or other relevant agencies. These include:
• The import of drugs, foods, and supplementary products requires prior licensing from the Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Health.
• The import or export of antiques or objects of art, whether registered or not, requires permission from the Fine Arts Department.
• The imports of weapons and ammunition, explosives, fireworks and real and replica firearms requires appropriate license from the Ministry of Interior. Other weapons such as electric shock devices must also be declared. Some of these items may require a permit, before importation.
• The Cosmetic Act stipulates that for the purpose of protection of public health, any importer of controlled cosmetics must provide the name and location of the office and the place of manufacture or storage of the cosmetics, the category, or kind of cosmetics to be imported, and the major components of the cosmetics.
- The import of wild fauna, flora, fish and other aquatic fauna requires permission from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, the Department of Agriculture, or the Department of Fishery as the case may be.
Thai Customs is charged to stop the importation and exportation of prohibited goods. In addition, it is also designated to intercept the importation and exportation of restricted goods, ensuring that all relevant laws and regulations are followed properly. The comprehensive list of prohibited and restricted goods as well as information about the control and, in the case of restricted goods, to permission to import, may be obtained from the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce.