Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Thailand.

For further information please see the following customs related information.

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers

Australian exporters enjoy preferential tariff rates on many goods as a result of the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) and ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

Read more about the TAFTA tariff schedule from the  Australian Government Free Trade Agreement website.

For further information please visit the Thai Customs Department website.

Tariffs

Australia and Thailand are World Trade Organisation (WTO) country members and therefore can access the lowest possible tariffs under Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status, in addition to preferential tariffs under the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Thailand has a two-column tariff based on the Harmonised System. Tariff duties on goods are levied on numerous import items and on an ad valorem or a specific rate basis, whichever is higher. Suppliers’ or manufacturers’ invoices generally determine cost values and quantities. The customs authority, however, has the right to reassess the value of goods if found to be valued significantly lower than the market.

Preferential rates are accorded to selected imports from other ASEAN countries.

The majority of imported articles are subject to two different taxes: tariff duty and Value Added Tax (VAT). Tariff duty is applied by multiplying the CIF value of the goods by the duty rate. This is added to the value of the goods to determine a final tax. VAT is then levied on the total sum of the CIF value, duty and excise tax, if any. Goods imported for re-export are generally exempt from import duty and VAT.

Australian exporters should contact the Royal Thai Customs Department for information on quotas on goods imported to Thailand.

Non-tariff barriers

Although most products are freely transportable within Thailand provided import duties are paid, there are import restrictions on some products and Australian exporters are required to check these with the Thai Ministry of Commerce prior to exporting.

The control of the import, marketing, distribution and sale of products is shared between a number of government bodies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Customs Department, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Commerce.

The Ministry of Commerce designates classes of goods that are subject to import controls, which usually take the form of permission and licensing.

Please ensure you thoroughly investigate the regulations governing your business.

Product certification, labelling and packaging

Special certificates

Certain types of seeds, plants and animals require phytosanitary certificates issued by the approved authority in the country of origin.

Meat imports must be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate signed by the official authority in the country of origin certifying that:

  • The country of origin has been free from endemic diseases for the specified period.
  • The animal has been processed in an approved establishment in sanitary conditions under constant veterinary supervision.
  • The products are fit for human consumption and do not contain preservatives, additives or other substances in quantities harmful to human health.
  • They have not been stored for more than three months (the date of processing or packing must be stated).

Exporters of pharmaceutical and medicinal products may be requested to provide a Certificate of Free Sale before shipment will be allowed. One copy of the supplier's certificate is required. This certificate may be obtained upon application to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Department of Health.

As regulations often change, Australian businesses should investigate the most up-to-date regulations with relevant authoritative bodies.

Labelling

There are strict requirements governing the labelling of dairy foods, baby foods, canned foods, vinegar, beverages, edible oil and fats, and gourmet powder (defined as an article containing monosodium glutamate (MSG) and used for food seasoning) that must be met.

Food products must be approved and registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When seeking registration importers must supply two samples of each product, details of the exact composition by percentage of each ingredient, and six labels. Foodstuffs in sealed containers are also subject to specific regulations.

Food products imported into Thailand must be labelled in Thai and display the following information for consumers:

  • name and brand of the product (both generic and trade)
  • registration number
  • name and address of the manufacturer
  • name and address of the importer
  • date of manufacturing and expiry
  • net weight and volume
  • any additives used
  • health and nutritional claims (if any).

Labels for alcoholic beverages must display the percentage of alcohol content. There must also be a health warning, printed in Thai, on the label or on a sticker, with specific government-approved wording.

Regulations also govern the labelling on cosmetic products. Generally a local agent or importer can help to register a product and ensure labelling requirements are met.

As procedures change from time to time, Australian businesses should consult their freight forwarders for current requirements.

Packaging

Packaging should be secure and able to withstand extreme heat and humidity. Consideration should also be given for the possibility of goods being stored in the open. Waterproof packing should be used where necessary and the use of hay and straw should be avoided.

Methods of quoting and payment

Quotes are usually on CIF (Incoterms 1990) basis. Thai baht and US dollars are preferred but other currencies may also be accepted. Initial transactions should be confirmed by irrevocable letter of credit only. The validity period is usually nine months.

Documentary requirements

Pro-forma invoice

This is required to establish a letter of credit and should include similar details to the commercial invoice.

Commercial invoice

There is no prescribed form but precise details are obligatory. A minimum of five copies is needed.

Required details include:

  • country of origin
  • country or countries from which the product was purchased and consigned
  • date of purchase and sale - whether goods are sold, contracted to be sold, sent on consignment or supplied to branch firm
  • type of packaging (crates, drums, bundles etc.)
  • marks, numbers, gross and net weight of each package and total gross weight of consignment
  • total number of packages and number containing identical goods
  • complete description of goods, i.e. name, kind, quality, weight, size and/or grade of each item (for composite articles, show ratio of constituents), trademarks and other symbols
  • selling price or value per unit (in currency of transaction)
  • any other charges, including export bonus or subsidy, discounts, packing, insurance, freight, commission etc.

Bill of lading

Two copies are required and must include:

  • number of shipper
  • ultimate and any intermediate consignees
  • markings and numbers of packages
  • any other details specified by the importer
  • certificate of insurance.

Certificate of origin

If requested, a Certificate of Origin must be issued by an approved authority. A Certificate of Origin is required for Australian goods seeking preferential tariffs under the TAFTA. See the Australian Government’s Free Trade Agreement website for full details, and when to secure a certificate of origin for your goods to access the special tariff rates.

Insurance

Normal commercial practice applies.

Weights and measures

Thailand uses the metric system for all weights and measures other than land area, where the common units are the ‘wa’ (one square wa equals four square metres) and the ‘rai’ (one rai equals 1,600 square metres).