How to Import a car to Thailand?

Importing a vehicle in Thailand is anything except an easy task to accomplish. You will have to achieve a sizable paperwork, no matter of the type of vehicle and purpose of this import. Depending on the time you need your vehicle to stay in the territory of Thailand, you can be dutiable to pay zero to 200% of the value of your vehicle.

Also, because of the import taxes policy, you must know that the prices of foreign new cars in the Thai dealership are almost doubled comparing to their place of origin. For example, a new Mercedes E Class costs 46 850 € in Germany, while in Thailand it costs 92 691 €.

Now that you have a global idea of the Thai legislation in terms of vehicle importation, let’s study your personal case precisely, to see what is needed to be done.


Temporary Import of Personal Vehicle

If your vehicle (motor vehicle, motorcycle, yacht, sports boat, fishing boat…) is aiming to stay for a period of 1-2 months, but not exceeding 6 months, you will not have to pay any duty.

The necessary documents are the following:

  • A Special Goods Declaration and 5 copies of it
  • A Vehicle Registration Certificate
  • The international driving license, the passport and the ID card of the pilot of the vehicle
  • If the pilot and the owner of the vehicle are two different persons, a Letter of Attorney should be provided
  • The well-completed application form
  • A proforma invoice to testify the purchase of the vehicle
  • A Certificate of Legal Entity
  • A re-export Contract
  • Any other applicable documents


Clearance process 

  • Your agent / The importer transmits all the record to the Customs office at the port of entry. Furthermore, passengers, luggage, vehicle’s accessories must be declared simultaneously at the Customs.
  • Customs checks the record, assigns a Declaration number, and then implements a bank guarantee or a cash deposit that covers the duties and responsibilities.
  • Your agent / The importer positions the money or bank guarantee in a cashier desk.


Deposit of Guarantee

There are two forms of deposit of guarantee, a bank guarantee or a cash deposit. The amount of money evaluated by Customs is based on all duties and taxes to be paid to Customs. The agent/importer should provide Customs with a document testifying that the guarantee is deposited.

An exception is made for motorcycles imported via the Suvarnabhumi International Airport Cargo Clearance Customs Office or the Bangkok Port Customs Office. In that situation, the importer can position himself as a guarantee. In this objective, the importer must ask his Embassy to provide Customs with a letter approving its self-guarantee.

Procedures for exporting back the vehicles

  • The agent/exporter returns the duplicate of the Simplified Goods Declaration to the Customs desk at the port of exit.
  • The belongings and vehicle are inspected again and recorded for the exportation.
  • The import registration is suppressed, and the bank guarantee/cash deposit is given back to the agent/exporter.
  • If the exportation within the deadline established in the bond and security paper is failed, the total amount of bank guarantee/cash deposit will be fully imposed by Customs.


Imposition of Guarantee

The full amount of guarantee deposited will be imposed by customs if the time-limit is exceeded, or if the importer testifies that he doesn’t wish to export back the vehicle.

If the importer is wanting to extend the staying of his vehicle, Customs may allow an up to six months-time-limit extensions. For all exceptional occurrence, like engine accident or breakage… an extension of 6 to 8 months from the date of importation may be attributed. All this should be made at a Customs office.

import your car in thailand

Permanent Import of Personal Vehicle

All categories of new vehicles that aren’t yet registered overseas can be imported without an import permit issued by the Ministry of Commerce. If the vehicle is weighing less than 3500 Kgs, an import permit from the Industrial Standard Institute is required. 

Requirements for a Used/Second hand Vehicle Permanent Import

  • Only one second hand/used vehicle can be imported by the importer for personal purpose.
  • If he or she is a non-resident, the importer must stay in Thailand for one year minimum, and present work-permit and a non-immigrant visa.
  • If he or she is a Thai resident marrying a foreigner, the importer must provide documents testifying of marriage and change of residence to Thailand. He also must possess the imported vehicle for minimum one year and a half before the arrival date in Thailand.
  • If he or she is a Thai resident, the importer can import a vehicle only at the same time of the change of residence. He also must own the vehicle for a year and a half at minimum, before moving to Thailand.


Documents required

General documentation:

  • An Import Goods Declaration and 3 copies;
  • An Airway Bill or Bill of Lading
  • An evidence of the vehicle purchase
  • A Release Order (Kor Sor Kor 100/1)
  • An insurance premium invoice
  • Any other valuable documents


Further documentation for second hand/used personal vehicles:

  • ID Card and Certificate of residence
  • If it’s a change of residence, a Passport
  • A Vehicle Registration Certificate
  • An Import Permit


Import Clearance Procedures

  1. The agent/importer provides to the Customs desk at the port of entry the Import Goods Declaration with all the necessary documents
  2. All the documents are checked, a Goods Declaration number is given, the Customs evaluates the applying duties and taxes
  3. The agent/importer pays the taxes and duties at a Cashier Office
  4. The agent/importer provides the receipt of the deposit to a Customs office
  5. The vehicle is freed from the Customs warehouse


Duty and Tax Calculation

  • The considered value of the vehicles imported are their CIF value
  • In case that the purchase price remains undetermined, a 25% devaluation on the “Parkers Car Price Guide and Japanese Car” prices are occurred as a FOB value
  • Any enhancement or modification on the vehicle is well-noted to calculate its value
  • If any occurrence has damaged the vehicle, it will be considered in the vehicle’s value calculation

For second hand/used vehicles the value is devaluated according to this method shown below:


Discount Rates for Second Hand/Used Vehicles
1Registration PeriodNot exceeding2 monthsBut not exceeding2.5 % Discount
2Registration PeriodExceeding2 monthsBut not exceeding4 months5 % Discount
3Registration PeriodExceeding4 monthsBut not exceeding6 months7.5 % Discount
4Registration PeriodExceeding6 monthsBut not exceeding8 months10 % Discount
5Registration PeriodExceeding8 monthsBut not exceeding10 months
12.50 % Discount
6Registration PeriodExceeding10 monthsBut not exceeding1 year
15.00 % Discount
7Registration PeriodExceeding1 yearBut not exceeding1 year2 months
16.67 % Discount
8Registration PeriodExceeding1 year2 monthsBut not exceeding1 year4 months
18.33 % Discount
9Registration PeriodExceeding1 year4 monthsBut not exceeding1 year6 months
20.00 % Discount
10Registration PeriodExceeding1 year6 monthsBut not exceeding1 year8 months
21.67 % Discount
11Registration PeriodExceeding1 year8 monthsBut not exceeding1 year10 months
23.33 % Discount
12Registration PeriodExceeding1 year10 monthsBut not exceeding2 years
25.00 % Discount
13Registration PeriodExceeding2 yearsBut not exceeding2 years2 months
26.67 % Discount
14Registration PeriodExceeding2 years2 monthsBut not exceeding2 years4 months
28.33 % Discount
15Registration PeriodExceeding2 years4 monthsBut not exceeding2 years6 months
30.00 % Discount
16Registration PeriodExceeding2 years6 monthsBut not exceeding2 years8 months
31.67 % Discount
17Registration PeriodExceeding2 years8 monthsBut not exceeding2 years10 months
33.33 % Discount
18Registration PeriodExceeding2 years10 monthsBut not exceeding3 years
35.00 % Discount
19Registration PeriodExceeding3 yearsBut not exceeding3 years2 months
36.67 % Discount
20Registration PeriodExceeding3 years2 monthsBut not exceeding3 years4 months
38.33 % Discount
21Registration PeriodExceeding3 years4 monthsBut not exceeding3 years6 months
40.00 % Discount
22Registration PeriodExceeding3 years6 monthsBut not exceeding3 years8 months
41.67 % Discount
23Registration PeriodExceeding3 years8 monthsBut not exceeding3 years10 months
43.33 % Discount
24Registration PeriodExceeding3 years10 monthsBut not exceeding4 years
45.00 % Discount
25Registration PeriodExceeding4 yearsBut not exceeding4 years2 months
46.67 % Discount
26Registration PeriodExceeding4 years2 monthsBut not exceeding4 years4 months
48.33 % Discount
27Registration PeriodExceeding4 years4 monthsBut not exceeding4 years6 months
50.00 % Discount
28Registration PeriodExceeding4 years6 monthsBut not exceeding4 years8 months
51.67 % Discount
29Registration PeriodExceeding4 years8 monthsBut not exceeding4 years10 months
53.33 % Discount
30Registration PeriodExceeding4 years10 monthsBut not exceeding5 years
55.00 % Discount
31Registration PeriodExceeding5 yearsBut not exceeding5 years2 months
55.83 % Discount
32Registration PeriodExceeding5 years2 monthsBut not exceeding5 years4 months
56.67 % Discount
33Registration PeriodExceeding5 years4 monthsBut not exceeding5 years6 months
57.50 % Discount
34Registration PeriodExceeding5 years6 monthsBut not exceeding5 years8 months
58.33 % Discount
35Registration PeriodExceeding5 years8 monthsBut not exceeding5 years10 months
59.17 % Discount
36Registration PeriodExceeding5 years10 monthsBut not exceeding6 years
60.00 % Discount
37Registration PeriodExceeding6 yearsBut not exceeding6 years2 months
60.50 % Discount
38Registration PeriodExceeding6 years2 monthsBut not exceeding6 years4 months
61.00 % Discount
39Registration PeriodExceeding6 years4 monthsBut not exceeding6 years6 months
61.50 % Discount
40Registration PeriodExceeding6 years6 monthsBut not exceeding6 years8 months
62.00 % Discount
41Registration PeriodExceeding6 years8 monthsBut not exceeding6 years10 months
62.50 % Discount
42Registration PeriodExceeding6 years10 monthsBut not exceeding7 years
63.00 % Discount
43Registration PeriodExceeding7 yearsBut not exceeding7 years2 months
63.50 % Discount
44Registration PeriodExceeding7 years2 monthsBut not exceeding7 years4 months
64.00 % Discount
45Registration PeriodExceeding7 years4 monthsBut not exceeding7 years6 months
64.50 % Discount
46Registration PeriodExceeding7 years6 monthsBut not exceeding7 years8 months
65.00 % Discount
47Registration PeriodExceeding7 years8 monthsBut not exceeding7 years10 months
65.50 % Discount
48Registration PeriodExceeding7 years10 monthsBut not exceeding8 years
66.00 % Discount
49Registration PeriodExceeding8 yearsBut not exceeding8 years2 months
66.33 % Discount
50Registration PeriodExceeding8 years2 monthsBut not exceeding8 years4 months
66.67 % Discount
51Registration PeriodExceeding8 years4 monthsBut not exceeding8 years6 months
67.00 % Discount
52Registration PeriodExceeding8 years6 monthsBut not exceeding8 years8 months
67.33 % Discount
53Registration PeriodExceeding8 years8 monthsBut not exceeding8 years10 months
67.67 % Discount
54Registration PeriodExceeding8 years10 monthsBut not exceeding9 years
68.00 % Discount
55Registration PeriodExceeding9 yearsBut not exceeding9 years2 months
68.33 % Discount
56Registration PeriodExceeding9 years2 monthsBut not exceeding9 years4 months
68.67 % Discount
57Registration PeriodExceeding9 years4 monthsBut not exceeding9 years6 months
69.00 % Discount
58Registration PeriodExceeding9 years6 monthsBut not exceeding9 years8 months
69.33 % Discount
59Registration PeriodExceeding9 years8 monthsBut not exceeding9 years10 months
69.67 % Discount
60Registration PeriodExceeding9 years10 monthsBut not exceeding10 years
70.00 % Discount
61Registration PeriodExceeding10 years
According to a condition of vehicle

Insurance Cost

  • If the insurance cost is paid before that the vehicle arrives, the same cost is applied
  • If the cost of insurance isn’t available, it is evaluated at 1% of the FOB value (maybe different according to type of vehicles)


Transport cost

  • The most expensive cost of the same model and brand of vehicle imported in the last six months will serve as a value
  • The most expensive cost of the different model of vehicle imported in the last six months, considering the vehicle category, weight and provenance, will serve as a value
  • The higher cost is retained
  • If it’s an air import, the actual transport cost is retained
  • If the transport costs detailed above are not findable, the cost is evaluated at 10% of the FOB value
  • The interior tax is evaluated at 10% of the Excise tax


Table of Tax and Duty Rates:

Category of VehicleCylinder CapacityDuty (%)Excise Tax (%) (Multiplier)Interior Tax (%)*VAT (%)Total (%)
Personal Vehicle including passenger vehicle with no more than 10 seats
Not exceeding 2000 cc. and not more than 220 horse power8030 (0.4477612)107187.47
2001 cc. but not exceeding 2500 cc. and not more than 220 horse power8035 (0.5691057)107213.171
2501 cc. or but not exceeding 3000 cc. with not more than 220 horse power8040 (0.7142857)107243.94
Exceeding 3000 cc. or more than 220 horse power8050 (1.1111111)107328

The total import duties and taxes imposed on this import are calculated as the following examples:

1. Import duty = (CIF value * Import duty rate)

= (100 * 0.8)

= 80 Thai Baht

2. Excise tax = (CIF value + import duty) * {Excise tax rate / 1- (1.1 * Excise tax rate)}

= (100 + 80) * {0.35 / 1- (1.1 * 0.35)} = 180 * 0.5691057

= 102,439 Thai Baht

3. Domestic Tax = Excise Tax * Domestic Tax Rate

= 102.439 * 0.1

= 10.2439 Thai baht

4. Basic VAT = (CIF value + import duty + excise tax + domestic tax)

= (100 + 80 + 102.439 + 10.2439)

= 292.6829 Thai baht

5. VAT = basic VAT * VAT rate

= 292.6829 * 0.07

= 20.4878 Thai baht

Total customs duties = 1 + 2 + 3 + 5 = 213.171 THB

Additional Information

Category of VehicleCylinder CapacityDuty (%)Total (%)
Motor Vehicle (Tariff Heading 87.03)
Not exceeding 2000 cc.80188
2001 cc. but not exceeding 2500 cc.80213
2501 cc. or but not exceeding 3000 cc.80244
More than 3001 cc.80328
Motorbike (Tariff Heading 87.11)
Electric Motorbike
Electric Bicycle6072


SIAM shipping by Docshipper group is probably your best partner for importing car in Thailand. Please note that a huge number of cars are stuck in customs waiting to be sold (Bid), because the importer didn’t realize how Thai customs are strict regarding cars and vehicles. Please ask us before loading your car!

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