Migrating to Thailand

Foreigners who are changing their residence to Thailand would definitely like to bring household items from their home country (same country as owner’s last residence or place of work) which would be necessary in their everyday living in Thailand. It is often a concern for expats whether or not importing the household effects is subjected to payment of import tax duties.

Household effects include all goods which are normally necessary to equip a self-contained home. For example, furniture, electronic items such as stereos, carpets, books and DVD’s, musical instruments, paintings, kitchen or bathroom equipment such as tableware and linens, ornaments and household accessories, and other household furnishings.

Is importing household items in Thailand tax-free?

If you’re just moving in Thailand and will be setting up a household, in most cases any household items you bring will not be subjected for tax and duty free allowance upon meeting the following conditions and requirements:

  1. The importer must have a Non-immigrant visa stamped in passport;

    OR a letter from the Thai Immigration Department saying you have been given at least one year’s temporary stay in the country

  2. The household items you bring must be used for at least 6 months old and not new, and clearly identifiable for person’s use. This is to make sure that items brought here are not new and not for the intent of selling illegally.

  3. For electronic and electrical items such as TV, refrigerator, radio, microwave- only ONE unit will be tax-free. It means that if you bring more than one, you will be charged full duty tax on the rest of the units.

  4. If you import household items to Thailand less than one month prior to your arrival, or more than six months after your arrival to Thailand, you will be charged on everything you bring.

    Or simply, the shipment must arrive in Thailand not earlier than the owner’s arrival/return to Thailand, or not later than 6 months after owner’s arrival/return to Thailand

If you did not meet the above conditions, as per Customs regulations on household effects, you will be charged of Import Duty Tax and VAT of 7%.

High duties apply to to electrical goods, carpets, pianos and luxury goods such as cars.

Alcoholic beverages and foodstuffs require import license.

Prohibited items include firearms, ammunition, pornographic literature, shortwave radios, medical equipment, gold and silver.

How to bring Household Items to Thailand

You have to submit the required documents such as passport, Visa (residence or non-immigrant) which is valid for a minimum of 1 year, permission from Thai Police Department for owner to establish residence, original bill of lading or air waybill which should state “Used Personal Effects Only”, 2 copies of Itemized Inventory w/Value of items written in English (this must be submitted prior to arrival for assessment of Tax and Duties by Thai Customs officials.

Foreign individuals who seek to retire and seek residency in Thailand MAY NOT be granted any duty free privileges.