Shipping from Thailand to Sri Lanka? Don't let your goods get seasick! Businesses often face hurdles in comprehending freight rates, transit times, and the complexities of customs regulations. When transporting goods between the lush landscapes of Thailand and the picturesque shores of Sri Lanka, different factors require careful consideration.

This guide is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of all these elements, from exploring the various types of freight and transportation options, interpreting customs clearance procedures, uncovering the associated duties and taxes, to offering valuable advice to businesses for hassle-free shipping between these two countries.

If the process still feels overwhelming, let DocShipper handle it for you! As a reputable international freight forwarder, we demystify each step of the shipping process, transforming challenges into triumphs for businesses worldwide.

Table of Contents

Which are the different modes of transportation between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

Weighing your transport options between Thailand and Sri Lanka? Let's break it down. Imagine these countries as neighbors, just separated by a narrow street called the Indian Ocean.

Now, if you had to carry a heavy package across, walking isn't ideal, right? Same goes for road or rail freight. Too cumbersome. On the flip side, air freight is like a speedy bicycle – fast but might strain the wallet.

The sweet spot? Ocean freight. It's a reliable van - not too fast, not too slow, but cost-effective. Just remember, choosing wisely could make all the difference in your shipping journey.

How can Siam Shipping help?

Relocating your goods from Thailand to Sri Lanka? Keep those logistical troubles at bay! DocShipper’s robust network and expertise takes the reins, confidently handling your shipment, customs clearance, and more. Unwrap a hassle-free experience when you choose us. Got a question or need an estimate? Contact our consultants for free, anytime.


Ocean shipping from and to Thailand

Sea freight from and to Thailand

Sea freight between Thailand and Sri Lanka

Welcome aboard as we unfurl the sails on the sea route between Thailand and Sri Lanka, two nations stitched together by a vibrant trade network. Cargo travels from Bangkok's bustling port to the scenic harbor of Colombo, bridging key industrial centers amid the slow, rhythmic dance of ocean freight. Despite its unhurried pace, this is your golden ticket for transporting high-volume goods without breaking the bank.

But let's not sugarcoat it – this voyage has its share of thunderstorms. Businesses often encounter choppy waters, making errors that cause delays and ramp up costs. It's like missing a lighthouse in the fog. Fear not, we're here to guide you safely, revealing the best practices and specifications for shipping between these two nations. With our compass in hand, you'll be navigating this journey like a seasoned mariner, sidestepping common pitfalls and charting a course for smooth sailing in the sea of international trade.

Main shipping ports in Thailand

Port of Laem Chabang

Location and Volume: The Port of Laem Chabang, located in the Bang Lamung District of Chon Buri, Thailand, is an important worldwide shipping hub and Southeast Asia's third-largest gateway port. It provides easy access to essential industries such as automotive, electronics, petrochemicals, and food processing as a significant player in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). With a cargo capacity of 18 million TEUs in 2022, the port assures efficient operations for shippers through low pricing and strong accessibility via road, rail, air, and ocean, making it a cornerstone of Thailand's international trade.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: This port serves as a central shipping node for Thailand's trade with China, the United States, and Japan. Laem Chabang is also of strategic importance to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) trade, providing vital market access to this regional bloc.

Context for Businesses: If you're looking to expand your business within the Asia-Pacific region, the Laem Chabang Port could be an integral part of your shipping strategy due to its high-volume capacity and proximity to key Asian economies.

Bangkok Port

Location and Volume: This port, located in Bangkok's lively Khlong Toei District, encompasses around 1,473 acres and handles an amazing 8.7 million TEUs yearly. It is well-known for its strategic location and efficient operations, and it acts as a vital hub for international trade, connecting enterprises all over the world.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port's key trading partners include China, Japan, and the United States. Its strategic location enables a significant part of Thailand's domestic trade and contributes substantially to its GDP.

Context for Businesses: If your business deals in non-containerized goods or if your logistics require close proximity to Bangkok's urban market, the Port of Bangkok could be a strong logistical choice.

Map Ta Phut Port

Location and Volume: Map Ta Phut, situated in the Gulf of Thailand, is a pivotal port managing 16 million tons of bulk and liquid cargo annually, offering seamless connections for businesses and contributing significantly to the region's economic vitality. Its strategic location and advanced infrastructure make it a preferred choice for international trade.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: A crucial hub in Thailand's trade with Japan, South Korea, and China, Map Ta Phut is vital for Thailand's petrochemical, automotive, and electronics industries due to its specialized handling of bulk and liquid cargo.

Context for Businesses: If you’re in the petrochemical or similar industries that require specialized bulk liquid cargo transports, Map Ta Phut Port is well-positioned to meet your business needs.

Port of Sattahip

Location and Volume: The port, located in Sattahip District, Chon Buri Province, encompasses 436 acres and handles 1.1 million TEU annually. Its strategic location and cutting-edge facilities make it an important worldwide trade hub, promoting economic growth and seamless logistics. The port, with its unwavering efficiency and commitment to quality, continues to play a critical role in facilitating international trade and improving regional connectivity.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Supporting trade primarily with ASEAN countries, China, and Japan, the port enhances Thailand's automobile industry by facilitating the import and export of vehicles.

Context for Businesses: If you're in the automotive sector looking to facilitate efficient import/export with the Asia-Pacific region, Sattahip Port's specialized handling of auto-carriers might be of significant advantage to your logistics chain.

Port of Songkhla

Location and Volume: The port, which is located in Songkhla Province, serves as an important hub for regional trade and commerce. This 740-acre maritime facility plays an important role in the transportation business, supporting the smooth transit of products and commodities. The port manages a significant yearly volume with an exceptional capacity, carrying around 3 million tons of cargo each year. Its strategic location and excellent infrastructure make it a cornerstone of the local economy, ensuring efficient goods exchange and supporting regional development.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: It serves as a strategic hub for Thailand's trade with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, making it crucial for the country's barter trade.

Context for Businesses: If you're focusing on regional or barter trade opportunities within the ASEAN region, especially with Malaysia and Singapore, Songkhla port can support your shipping requirements with its strong regional connectivity.

Phuket Port

Location and Volume: Phuket Port is located off the Andaman Sea. As Thailand's main gateway to the west, it primarily handles cruise ships but also serves cargo vessels, carrying approximately 50,000 tons of goods annually. Additionally, the port boasts an impressive container handling capacity, with over 150 000 TEUs processed each year, further emphasizing its vital role in the region's trade and logistics operations.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: This port fosters trade with Malaysia, Singapore, and India as well neighboring countries like Myanmar. The port's primary strategic importance lies in promoting tourism, but it also supports Thailand's trade connectivity to the west.

Context for Businesses: If your shipping needs incorporate both goods and passenger transport, or if you're keen on westward expansion of your trade, Phuket Port can offer comprehensive support.

Main shipping ports in Sri Lanka

Port of Colombo

Location and Volume: Nestled in the bustling heart of Colombo, this strategically positioned port stands as a central hub for container traffic in the Indian Ocean region. With an extraordinary shipping volume that consistently surpasses 7 million TEU annually, it not only facilitates global trade but also serves as a vital catalyst for economic growth and development in the area. Its efficient operations and seamless connectivity contribute significantly to the thriving commerce, making it an indispensable asset in the dynamic landscape of international trade and transportation.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The Port of Colombo's key trading partners include India, China, and countries in the Middle East. It also serves as a major transshipment hub, due to its location along the busiest East-West shipping lanes.

Context for Businesses: Are you trying to leverage rapid access to the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East markets? The Port of Colombo’s strategic location and ample capacity make it a preferred choice for businesses navigating these trade routes.

Galle Harbour

Location and Volume: Situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, Galle Harbour does not have the container volume of Colombo but rather serves as an active port for yachts, smaller vessels, and provides services like bunkering with shipping volumes peaking during the northeast monsoon. The TEU numbers for Galle Harbour fluctuate based on seasonal demands and specific maritime activities, with an average annual handling capacity of approximately 20 000 TEUs.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Sailors from countries like China, India, and Indonesia often use this port. Galle Harbour holds a strategic standpoint not for its shipping volume, but for the essential facilities and services it provides to vessels en route to other destinations.

Context for Businesses: If your business deals with the yacht service industry or bunkering, Galle Harbour provides potentially beneficial logistical opportunities.

Port of Hambantota

Location and Volume: Found on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, the Port of Hambantota, also known as Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port, is primarily a bulk and breakbulk port, dealing with goods like vehicles and industrial cargo. With an impressive handling capacity of over 500 000 TEUs annually, this port significantly contributes to the country's trade activities. The port's strategic location and modern facilities make it a vital component of Sri Lanka's infrastructure, facilitating seamless international trade and fostering economic growth in the region.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The Port of Hambantota's critical partnerships include China. The port serves as a strategic point along the Maritime Silk Road.

Context for Businesses: If your business involves bulk goods or automobile shipping, the Port of Hambantota might be an ideal logistic spot for your strategy, considering its dedicated facilities.

Port of Trincomalee

Location and Volume: Nestled on the east coast of Sri Lanka, the Port of Trincomalee is one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Its shipping volume is more modest than Colombo's, but it still offers a range of services, including handling grain and cement. In addition to its picturesque setting, the port boasts an impressive TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) handling capacity, accommodating approximately 300 000 TEUs annually, making it a vital maritime gateway for the region.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port serves not just common trade partners like India and China but also plays a role in smaller regional routes.

Context for Businesses: If your business involves the grain industry or regional shipping needs within the Indian Ocean region, the Port of Trincomalee's unique location and services may be advantageous to your strategy.

Port of Kankesanthurai

Location and Volume: The northernmost Port of Kankesanthurai, also known as the KKS Harbour, offers critical connectivity to the northern part of Sri Lanka, although it operates with a smaller shipping volume compared to main ports like Colombo. Additionally, the port handles approximately 500 000 TEUs annually, contributing significantly to the regional transportation network.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Kankesanthurai serves primarily local needs and holds importance for its role in connecting northern Sri Lanka to the island's broader commerce system.

Context for Businesses: If your company is looking to tap into the northern Sri Lankan market, utilizing the Port of Kankesanthurai could prove advantageous, given its critical location.

Port of Oluvil

Location and Volume: Located along Sri Lanka's southeastern coast, the Port of Oluvil provides commercial, industrial, and passenger traffic facilities. It is not a major container port but does provide important logistical services, handling a substantial number of TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually, supporting the region's trade activities with a capacity of approximately 50 000 TEUs.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Oluvil's key trading partners include nations around the Indian Ocean. The port is crucial for facilitating local fishing operations and regional trade.

Context for Businesses: If your strategy involves fishery-related goods or regional trading within the Indian Ocean environment, the operations and facilities available at the Port of Oluvil may align well with your needs.

Unlock hassle-free shipping

Make cargo shipping from Thailand to Sri Lanka a breeze with DocShipper. Our ocean freight professionals streamline the process, considering crucial factors such as time, cost, and shipment size, to recommend the ideal choice between consolidation or full container shipping options. Ensure your business thrives with our expert guidance in freight forwarding. To tailor a perfect logistic solution for your business, take the first step - request a free estimate from DocShipper today.


How long does sea freight take between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

The transit time for sea freight from Thailand to Sri Lanka typically averages around 8 days. However, this is an estimate and actual times can be influenced by several factors including the specific ports of origin and destination, the weight and nature of the cargo, and various customs or operational delays. For an accurate and tailored transit time, it's highly recommended to reach out to a freight forwarder like DocShipper.

Here's a text-only table showing estimated transit times between major ports in Thailand and Sri Lanka:

Origin Port (Thailand) Destination Port (Sri Lanka) Average Transit Time (days)
Port of Laem Chabang Port of Colombo 7-8
Port of Bangkok Port of Colombo 8-9
Port of Laem Chabang Port of Galle 8-9
Port of Bangkok Port of Galle 9-10

*Please note that these values are placeholders and actual transit times may vary. To get precise transit times, get in touch with our team.

How much does it cost to ship a container between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

Shipping a container from Thailand to Sri Lanka? Ocean freight rates vary widely so pinning down a specific cost is tricky. Influencing factors include the Point of Loading, Point of Destination, the carrier involved, the nature of goods, and even monthly market fluctuations. Given this, typical shipping rates might range from $100 to $500 per cubic meter (CBM). But don't be overwhelmed by these variables. Our diligent shipping specialists are at hand to help you navigate this maze and provide you with the best rates, quoting on a case-by-case basis. Our commitment? Making your shipping cost-effective and hassle-free!

Special transportation services

Out of Gauge (OOG) Container

Definition: An OOG container is a shipping container specially designed to transport out of gauge cargo that exceeds the standard dimensions of regular shipping containers.
Suitable for: Oversized items or goods with non-standard dimensions, such as heavy machinery, equipment, or project cargo.
Examples: This method is commonly used for shipping equipment like wind turbines, large engines, and heavier machinery between Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your business deals with oversized or irregularly shaped items, an OOG container can provide a secure, protected environment for transport, saving you from potential damages.

Break Bulk

Definition: Break bulk is a shipping method where goods are loaded individually onto the ship without the use of a container, also known as loose cargo load.
Suitable for: Larger individual items that cannot fit in containers or require special handling, including timber, steel or oversized machinery.
Examples: If your business involves shipping items like helicopters, yachts, or timber logs, these can be loaded onto a break bulk vessel.
Why it might be the best choice for you: This method allows you to ship your goods without the constraint of container dimensions, making it ideal for larger, non-containerized cargo.

Dry Bulk

Definition: Dry bulk shipping is the transport of large quantities of unpackaged raw material, such as grains, coal, or minerals.
Suitable for: Goods that can be loaded and transported in bulk, typically commodities.
Examples: Grains, coal, construction sand, or raw minerals are the types of goods that would be suitable for this shipping method.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your business involves bulk trade of raw materials, Dry Bulk offers a cost-effective solution for transporting large quantities at once.

Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro)

Definition: Ro-Ro involves vehicles or machinery being driven directly onto a ro-ro vessel, which is specifically designed with ramps to facilitate this type of movement.
Suitable for: Operational vehicles, trailers, trucks, or machinery that can move on/ off the vessel under their own power.
Examples: Automotive industries often ship cars, trucks, or tractors using this method.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your goods are self-propelled and require minimal handling during loading and unloading, the Ro-Ro service is a secure, efficient, and economical shipping option.

Reefer Containers

Definition: Reefer containers are refrigerated containers used to transport temperature-sensitive goods.
Suitable for: Products requiring a specific or constant temperature, including perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, or medicinal products.
Examples: Seafood from Thailand or medicinal goods being shipped to Sri Lanka would require this type of shipping.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your business deals with perishable or temperature-sensitive products, reefer containers ensure your goods reach their destination in optimum condition.

Remember, choosing the right method of transport depends on the nature, size, and requirements of your goods. At DocShipper, we're here to help guide these outcomes. Contact us now for a free shipping quote in less than 24 hours. After all, shipping is our world!

Air freight from and to Thailand

Air freight from and to Thailand

Air freight between Thailand and Sri Lanka

When shipping goods from Thailand to Sri Lanka, air freight emerges as an unbeatable champion in terms of speed and reliability. Particularly for smaller, high-value items, say a pallet of high-end electronics or fragile ceramics, air freight could be your magic carpet ride. It's like sending a high-priority email—it's fast, reliable, and perfect for sending something valuable.

But like lithium in your smartphone, there's a potential for explosion. Many shippers find themselves on a slippery slope when they overlook key factors like the correct weight formula in estimating shipment costs. It's akin to judging an iceberg by what you see above the water. Remember, losing sight of best shipping practices could pump up your costs faster than a soufflé in a hot oven!

Air Cargo vs Express Air Freight: How should I ship?

Picture this: you're in the bustling heart of Thailand, with goods that need to be in Sri Lanka pronto. Two solid options stand before you - Air Cargo, where your shipment snuggly fits into an airline's belly and Express Air Freight, the VIP route on a dedicated plane with your name on it. We're diving into the ins and outs of these two choices, helping you figure out which is your best ticket to Sri Lanka. So, buckle up and let's explore the skies together!

Should I choose Air Cargo between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

Considering air cargo between Thailand and Sri Lanka? Renowned airlines like Thai Airways and SriLankan Airlines frequently manage such shipments. While this method may promise longer transit times due to set schedules, its reliability and cost-effectiveness particularly for cargo ranging 100-150 kg (220-330 lbs) can't be underestimated. This choice might be the ideal solution to balance your budgetary demands with efficient delivery. Whether you're exporting textiles from Thailand or importing electronic parts to Sri Lanka, air transport could be the right fit for your business.

top global air freight companies in Thailand

Should I choose Express Air Freight between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

Express Air Freight is a fast, specialized service that uses cargo-only planes to swiftly deliver parcels worldwide. It's ideally suited to shipments below 1 cubic meter (CBM) or 100-150 kg (220-330 lbs), making it a great fit for urgent, lightweight cargo. Top-tier international courier firms like FedEx, UPS, and DHL provide these services. If speed is critical and your shipment fits these parameters, this solution between Thailand and Sri Lanka could be perfect for your business. Expediting through Express Air Freight helps you gain a competitive edge by shortening delivery times dramatically.

Top global courier express companies in Thailand

How long does air freight take between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

The average transit time for air freight between Thailand and Sri Lanka is usually around 2-3 days. However, this timing can fluctuate based on various factors. These include the specific airports of origin and destination, the weight of your cargo, and the nature of your goods. Remember, hazardous or delicate items may require special handling, which can impact delivery times. Therefore, for the most accurate transit times, it's best to consult a freight forwarding expert like DocShipper.

What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?

Gross weight refers to the actual physical weight of your shipment, including goods, packaging materials, and any other items present in the package. Volumetric weight, on the other hand, is calculated based on the physical dimensions of your shipment rather than its net weight.

To calculate Gross Weight in Air Freight services, simply determine the total weight of your shipment, including all contents and packaging materials, in kilograms (kg).

Volumetric Weight is calculated differently in both Air Cargo and Express Air Freight services.

For Air Cargo, volumetric weight (kg) is calculated by multiplying the dimensions of the shipment (length, width, and height in centimeters) and dividing by 6000.

For Express Air Freight, the formula is length (cm) width (cm) height (cm) / 5000.

Let's consider an example. Suppose a shipment measures 40cm x 30cm x 20cm and weighs 15kg. The volumetric weight for Air cargo would be (40x30x20)/6000, amounting to 4kg, and for Express Air Freight would be (40x30x20)/5000, resulting to 4.8kg. In the same shipment with a gross weight of 15kg (which is roughly 33 lbs for those more comfortable with the imperial system), the actual weight is higher than the volumetric weight; hence the shipment is charged on actual weight.

These measurements are vital because freight costs are computed based on whichever is higher between gross weight and volumetric weight. So for savvy businesses, understanding these calculations can potentially save on shipping costs.

Door to Door Transport Thailand

Door to door transport from and to Thailand

Door to door between Thailand and Sri Lanka

International Door to Door shipping is your one-step solution, taking your cargo from Thailand all the way to Sri Lanka, handling every logistics detail in between. With potential benefits like reduced overall time, streamlined process, and less hassle, this service offers ease and efficiency. So, what are we waiting for? Let's dive in!

Overview – Door to Door

Struggling with complex shipping logistics between Thailand and Sri Lanka? Investing in door-to-door service can relieve much of your stress. It simplifies the logistics, handling all pick-ups, deliveries, and customs clearances. While it might cost a bit more than other methods, the freedom from administrative hassles is priceless. And you're in good company - it's a top choice for thousands of DocShipper's customers. Remember, shipping shouldn't pull you away from your business, let door-to-door service help the continuity of your work. Wise words to ponder as you decide your shipping strategy - simplification and stress reduction could be just a choice away.

Why should I use a Door to Door service between Thailand and Sri Lanka?

Ever feel like shipping goods internationally is like navigating a confusing maze? Dispel that chaos with a Door to Door service between Thailand and Sri Lanka. Here's why this might be your peace-bringer:

1. Stress Reliever: This service manages the whole shipping process, from pickup to delivery. You'll say goodbye to coordinating with multiple shipping agencies and hello to headache-free logistics.

2. Full Control: It provides end-to-end visibility of your cargo at every step. Sleep easy knowing exactly where your goods are and when they'll reach their destination.

3. Guaranteed Timeliness: Have a critical shipment that can't be late? With Door to Door service, urgent deliveries are prioritized and handled with attention to ensuring your shipment’s timely arrival.

4. Specialized Care: Every cargo is unique, and some require extra love and care. This service ensures your complex cargo, such as fragile items or temperature-controlled goods, get the specialized handling they need.

5. All-inclusive Convenience: Forget about arranging trucking services for your shipment at the final port - this is already included! Sit back and relax while your goods are delivered right at the doorstep of your destination.

Navigating the world of international shipping doesn't have to be daunting. With Door to Door service, it's almost as easy as a stroll on a Sri Lankan beach, minus the sand in your shoes!

DocShipper – Door to Door specialist between Thailand and Sri Lanka

Navigate the complexities of international shipping with ease thanks to DocShipper's door-to-door shipping between Thailand and Sri Lanka. Our expertise lies in handling all aspects of your goods' transportation - from packing to transport, customs clearance, and using the most suitable shipping method. All without you lifting a finger. You'll also be assigned a dedicated Account Executive to ensure smooth coordination. Want a free estimate? We'll have it ready within 24 hours. Have queries? Our consultants are just a call away. With DocShipper, sit back, relax and watch us take charge of your shipping worries.

Customs clearance and broker services Thailand

Customs Clearance Thailand

Customs clearance in Sri Lanka for goods imported from Thailand

Customs clearance is the vital yet complex procedure of transporting goods across borders. It can be a challenging labyrinth filled with surprise fees and a risk of goods getting stranded in customs. For businesses shipping from Thailand to Sri Lanka, understanding customs duties, taxes, quotas, and licenses is crucial - they are the keys to a smooth, hassle-free shipping process.

But rest assured, each of these aspects will be thoroughly explored in the subsequent sections of this guide. If it all feels overwhelming, remember that DocShipper is here for you. With necessary details like your goods' origin, value, and HS Code, we can assist with any goods, anywhere. Don't hesitate to reach out for an estimate to conquer this process with confidence!

How to calculate duties & taxes when importing from Thailand to Sri Lanka?

Unveiling the science of estimating duties and taxes when importing goods from Thailand to Sri Lanka can definitely streamline your shipping experience. The key components in this calculation are the country of origin, the HS Code, the Customs Value, the Applicable Tariff Rate, and any other taxes or fees that may be relevant to your goods. Factoring in these variables provides a fairly accurate estimate of what you're expected to pay at Sri Lankan customs.

An essential first step in this process is identifying the country where your goods were manufactured or produced. This might sound simple, but it's a crucial aspect as it greatly impacts the duties you are liable for. So ensure you take the time to get this detail right before moving onto the next steps of your calculation.

Step 1 - Identify the Country of Origin

Knowing the country of origin is not as straightforward as it sounds. Here are 5 reasons why this step cannot be skipped before diving into getting your HS code.

First, it determines if your goods qualify under the Thailand-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, which can significantly cut down your duty cost. Second, certain goods may be subject to preferential duties, and it all depends on where they came from. Third, some goods have special import regulations or are even banned based on their origin. Fourth, certain countries enjoy Most Favored Nation (MFN) status, which affects the duty rate, and Sri Lanka grants Thailand this privilege. Last but not least, you may need special documentation depending on the country of origin.

Even if there are no direct trade deals between the two countries at this point, your goods could be wholly or partly exempt from import duties based on their origin. Check all the restrictions before you make a move. Play it safe to avoid any unexpected costs, and don't overlook this crucial step.

Step 2 - Find the HS Code of your product

The Harmonized System Code, also known as an HS Code, is used across the globe for categorizing products intended for import or export. This numerical label, created by the World Customs Organization, plays a pivotal role in determining the tariff rates and regulations associated to a specific product.

If you're wondering, how can I find the HS code for my product? your supplier can often help. Since suppliers are deeply familiar with their merchandise and corresponding regulations, they're typically a good first port of call if you're unsure about the HS code.

When direct communication with the supplier isn't an option, you're not out of luck. We've outlined simple steps you can follow to find the HS Code yourself.

Firstly, you can use an HS lookup tool. One example is the U.S. International Trade Commission's Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

Simply input the name of your product into the search bar on this website. Subsequently, check the Heading/Subheading column – you'll find the HS code listed there.

A their word of caution though: Ensuring accuracy when choosing the HS code is essential. An incorrect code could not only result in delivery delays but may also expose your business to potential fines. Always double-check and confirm your HS code to avoid such hassles.

To further simplify things for you, here's an infographic showing you how to read an HS code.

How to read an HS code

Step 3 - Calculate the Customs Value

You might've come across this term 'customs value.' This isn't synonymous with the price of your goods. When we talk customs value, we're referring to the CIF value - the total of goods price, international shipping, and insurance costs. Bring all these numbers in USD.

For example, let's imagine a TTC scooter that costs $100 to purchase. Shipping from Thailand costs $50, and insurance is $10. Here, the customs value would be $100 (goods) + $50 (shipping) + $10 (insurance) = $160. Confusing, right? It doesn't have to be. Just think of it as your ticket to glide through Sri Lankan customs seamlessly, avoiding any administrative hiccups down the line. Keep this formula handy; it'll become your new best friend in the shipping world. Consider it the puzzle piece that bridges your business to Sri Lanka.

Step 4 - Figure out the applicable Import Tariff

The import tariff, also commonly known as a duty is a tax imposed on goods when they are transported across international borders. The specific duty applied is subject to the Harmonized System (HS) code classification attributed to each commodity that's being imported.

Sri Lanka applies mainly a tariff system known as Specific Tariffs. In order to identify the applicable duty rate for your product:

  1. Verify your product's HS code, assuming it's 94—furniture, bedding and mattresses imported from Thailand.
  2. Navigate to Sri Lanka Custom's website to use their duty calculator.

For instance, let's say the CIF (Cost, Insurance, & Freight) value is USD 10000. Assuming the duty rate provided by Sri Lanka Custom's tool is 15%, the import tariff will then be calculated as 15% of $10000, translating to $1500. This is a crucial step as this amount would be factored into the total cost of importing your goods, affecting your bottom-line pricing strategy. Having a clear understanding of these costs could save your business from unforeseen expenses and assist in maintaining competitive pricing. The import tariff data should be regularly monitored due to potential updates or changes by customs authorities.

Here's an illustration:

Sri Lanka Custom's website

*Your HS code

Sri Lanka Custom's website 2


Step 5 - Consider other Import Duties and Taxes

When importing goods from Thailand to Sri Lanka, in addition to the standard tariff rate, you might encounter different types of import duties. These vary based on country of origin and product nature.

For instance, certain products might be subject to excise duty. This is a form of tax imposed on specific goods and services which varies based on the product. Let's say our example product is a luxury car, for which the excise duty might be significantly high.

Next, anti-dumping taxes apply if a product is sold at less than its normal price – this typically protects local industries.

Most importantly, you must account for the Value Added Tax (VAT). As an example, if the VAT rate is 15%, and your product costs $100, you'll pay an extra $15 on top of the other duties. Keep in mind, real-world rates might differ; these examples serve only to illustrate how the process works.

Remember, understanding these additional costs can help prevent any unexpected expenses and ensure a smooth customs clearance process. Understanding each element is key to calculating your total landed cost accurately.

Step 6 - Calculate the Customs Duties

In the process of transporting goods from Thailand to Sri Lanka, gauging customs duties is crucial. The formula is straightforward: Customs Duty = Customs Value x Duty Rate.

First, consider a scenario with no VAT. For goods worth $10,000 with a duty rate of 15%, the customs duty equals $1,500.

Second, let's add VAT. Assume the same goods value and duty rate, with an additional 8% VAT on the total value ($10,000) which equals $800; the total now amounts to $2,300 ($1,500 + $800).

Third, for the full scenario, incorporate anti-dumping taxes and Excise Duty. If the anti-dumping tax sits at 5% ($500) and the Excise Duty at 10% ($1000), the total custom cost amounts to $3,800 - inclusive of customs duty, VAT, anti-dumping tax and Excise Duty.

Remember, however, that every case varies. As part of the DocShipper family, we excel in corresponding with global customs offices, ensuring no overcharge. With customs, there's no room for error; let us display our prowess in shielding you from unwanted fees, guiding you throughout. Procure a free quotation within 24 hours—think globally, pick DocShipper.

Does DocShipper charge customs fees?

Customs duties can be a murky area. In our role as a custom broker in Thailand and Sri Lanka, DocShipper doesn’t charge these. What we do handle are the customs clearance fees. It's key to distinguish between the two: clearance fees are service charges by us or any customs broker, while customs duties and taxes are government territory. Don't worry about hidden costs; we provide all customs documents to verify you're only paying direct government charges. Let's uncover this shipping jigsaw, piece by piece.

Contact Details for Customs Authorities

Required documents for customs clearance

Sifting through the sea of paperwork for customs clearance? Let’s demystify it. Our guide takes you through the Bill of Lading, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, and Documents of Conformity - illuminating your path through this labyrinthine process. A must-read for hustle-free shipping.

Bill of Lading

When it comes to moving your goods from Thailand to Sri Lanka, don't overlook the importance of the Bill of Lading. It's not just another piece of paper; it's essentially your proof of ownership, a transfer ticket for your freight. Picture it like a deed to a house! Regarding forms of these bills, the electronic version (aka telex release) can be a game changer. It fast-tracks the whole process, eliminating the time and cost involved in handling physical documents. For air cargo? It's the AWB (Air Waybill) that plays a similar key role. The bottom line: keep these documents handy, they're your tickets to a smoother customs clearance experience.

Packing List

Navigating freight between Thailand and Sri Lanka? Remember, your Packing List is indispensable. This detailed inventory of your shipment should describe the contents, weight, dimensions, and any other identifying marks. For instance, a Bangkoker shipping spices might list 25 cartons of dried lemongrass, 10x10x10 cm each, net weight 20 kg.

Sea or air, this document keeps customs on both ends in the loop about what's inside your freight, aiding in smooth clearance. But beware - discrepancies between the physical cargo and the Packing List can result in delays, or worse, fines. So accuracy isn't just recommended, it's non-negotiable. Don’t fly blind in your shipping journey - keep your Packing List sharp and in line!

Commercial Invoice

When shipping between Thailand and Sri Lanka, your Commercial Invoice matters. Intended as an exhaustive record, it should include details such as product descriptions, Harmonized System codes, origin details, and shipment value. Any discrepancies can delay customs clearance, as officials use this document to estimate duties.

A tip for you? Align the invoice data with all your shipping documents, ensuring consistency. For instance, if you're shipping Thai Silk, the description on the Commercial Invoice should align with your Bill of Lading. Remember, accuracy simplifies the clearance process, avoiding those painstaking delays that can disrupt your business flow. So, take extra care when preparing your Commercial Invoice—it's more than just an invoice.

Certificate of Origin

Navigating the sea of logistics between Thailand and Sri Lanka? The Certificate of Origin (CO) can be your lifeline. It veritably screams out the birthplace of your goods, something customs officers are very keen on knowing. Enjoy smoother sailing and potentially lower customs fees if the CO shows your goods hail from a country with preferential rates.

Say you're shipping a batch of Thai silk. When your CO clearly states, Made in Thailand, you might just enjoy lower duty rates at the Sri Lankan port. That's because Thailand's got a fantastic trade relationship with Sri Lanka. So, don't underestimate the power of a well-prepared CO—it could save you time and money. Remember, your cargo wasn't just 'born' - it was born somewhere, and that's what customs want to know.

Get Started with Siam Shipping

Stressed with the Thai-Sri Lanka customs clearance step? At DocShipper, we make sense of complications. Let our expert agents handle each step, handling paperwork to physical checks, ensuring smooth passage. No stress, no mess, just seamless service. Yearning for a hassle-free experience? Get in touch and receive a free quote within 24 hours. Enjoy easier logistics today with DocShipper.


Prohibited and Restricted items when importing into Sri Lanka

Understanding what goods are prohibited or restricted for import to Sri Lanka can save you headaches and hefty fines. Let’s explore regulations to dodge unpleasant surprises and ensure a smooth shipping experience.

Are there any trade agreements between Thailand and Sri Lanka

Yes, there are advantageous trade agreements in place between Thailand and Sri Lanka. The proposed Thailand-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) aims to increase trade of goods and services, fostering beneficial opportunities for businesses like yours. Additionally, both countries are members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMSTEC), promoting multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation. Keep an eye out for any commercial synergies these frameworks might offer your organization.

Thailand - Sri Lanka trade and economic relationship

Thailand and Sri Lanka share an enriched history dating back to the 4th century, marked by cultural and economic exchanges. Over time, this bond has advanced into Trade and Economic Cooperation pacts, promoting mutual cooperation across various sectors. Vital industries span tourism, technology, and agriculture – with textiles, electronics, rubber, and rice being dominant commodities.

Investments have shown ongoing growth, reaching nearly $52 million in mutual direct investments in 2023. In the same year, the trade volume between the two nations topped approximately $346 Million - highlighting an increasing trend in both imports and exports. This budding economic partnership evidences the potential for businesses to explore prosperous opportunities in these vibrant markets.

Your Next Step with Siam Shipping

Frustrated by the complexity of international shipping between Thailand and Sri Lanka? Save time, avoid complications, and eliminate risks with DocShipper. Our team of experts will manage customs duties, paperwork and logistic specifics seamlessly. Let's simplify your cross-border trade today. Reach out to us right now - we're here to make logistics stress-free.


Additional logistics services

Beyond shipping and customs, DocShipper delivers a holistic supply chain solution. Dive in to discover our comprehensive, tailor-made additional logistics services that make your global trade journey smoother.