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WaveHunter

Thai Customs When Travelling On Long-Stay Visa

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So, I will be travelling to USA for a cycling event next month, and plan to bring my racing bike (valued about 180,000 baht).  I've never travelled outside of Thailand with the bike before.  I'm concerned about the possibility of getting hit with customs duty upon re-entry at the airport (CNX), one week later.

 

I have no paperwork that proves origin of purchase like a receipt since bike was purchased back in 2015 in the USA.  I entered Thailand with the bike a couple of years ago with no problems but I was coming in with a 60 day tourist visa. 

 

I'm now here on a long-stay visa.  Since my trip will only be for one week, I'm concerned that it will appear that the bike was purchased on this trip when I go through airport Customs upon my return to CNX.

 

Even though the bike looks used (scuff marks, scratches, dirt, has my name etched in various places on bike, etc ), it still looks very nice (and valuable).  Further, I plan to get a cardboard bike box from a bike dealer to transport the bike (common practice by travelling cyclists).  The box will make it seem like I'm travelling with a newly purchased bike.

 

Will the box be a red-flag resulting in inspection?  Should I be concerned that I may be subject to duty tax even though the bike is obviously my own bike and not intended for resale ?  How can I prevent this? 

 

Mainly concerned with re-entry to Thailand, but actually I'm a little concerned about Customs coming into USA as well, now that I think of it.  Is there cause for concern at that end?

 

Anyone have some educated advice for me?  I'd appreciate it.

 

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22 hours ago, Crossy said:

An interesting question, are you a member of a local cycling club who may be able to assist?

 

You should probably look into getting a Carnet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATA_Carnet which ought to allow you to travel in and out of both Thailand and the US without issues. The Thai Customs website has the procedure (Thai language only that I can find) 

http://www.customs.go.th/cont_strc_simple.php?ini_content=business_160426_03_160909_02&lang=th&left_menu=menu_business_160421_03_160725_04

 

I may be over-thinking this, but 6 grand's worth of bike is not something you'll want to lose. Hopefully others with actual experience with bicycles will chime in.

 

Thanks Crossy.  I looked into Carnet based on your suggestion (and found an English translation of requirements and procedures for applying for a Carnet here in Thailand).  I am hoping there is an alternative to this for a couple of reasons. 

 

Firstly, it seems that this is mostly for professional / businesses use, not for individuals:  From FAQ:  Who can apply for a Carnet:  

 

"Technicians, Fair exhibitors, Traveling business/sales executives, Professional individuals and teams: Producers of motion Pictures/T.V. Films Crews / Surgeons Architects / Artists / Engineers / Educationalists / Entertainers / Freight forwarder / ETC"

 

Also, it seems that a security deposit (in the amount of payable duties if carnet is violated) must be made.  There seems to be a lot of "gray area" about what could constitute a violation (wiggle room to get hassled by a corrupt Customs officer.)

 

Thanks for the idea of contacting a cycling club (and others who travel internationally for cycling events).  I'm going to look into this.  There must be a straightforward way of doing this.

 

For those wanting to see the English translation regarding Carnets in Thailand, I am attaching it below.

 

ATA Carnet English Version.pdf

Edited by WaveHunter
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"There seems to be a lot of "gray area" about what could constitute a violation (wiggle room to get hassled by a corrupt Customs officer.)"

 

I find it ironic that you point to the possibility of being hassled by a "corrupt" customs officer when in reality, it is you who are trying to circumvent the paying of legitimate duty you circumvented in the past.

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12 hours ago, dddave said:

"There seems to be a lot of "gray area" about what could constitute a violation (wiggle room to get hassled by a corrupt Customs officer.)"

 

I find it ironic that you point to the possibility of being hassled by a "corrupt" customs officer when in reality, it is you who are trying to circumvent the paying of legitimate duty you circumvented in the past.

You find it ironic?  Well, I find it insulting and/or dull-witted that you interpret my concern over being unfairly taxed on my racing bike which is personal property, simply because I wish to travel out of Thailand with it and then return, as trying to circumvent the law!  Save your mean-spirited and inflammatory comments for somebody else!

 

Edited by WaveHunter
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One ‘simple option’ is to take photos of the bike in Thailand (with obvious identification marks etc in front of a Thai landmark). Proof, if you will, that the bike was already in Thailand.

 

A further point, you’ll have the departure baggage tag which should prove that you excited with the bike. 

 

Theoretically this should appease all but the most difficult of customs officers. 

 

I’ve travelled in with a bike, ski’s, car seats, pushchairs etc.... loads of stuff, I’ve never been stopped. 

 

Theoretically, a very difficult customs officer could charge you duty on your laptop, tablet, phone, watch etc... but this would be daft... even the bag I carry stuff in is above the declaration limit !

 

Perhaps the sanctimonious poster above declares every single item he is travelling with which cost above 20,000 baht.

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One ‘simple option’ is to take photos of the bike in Thailand (with obvious identification marks etc in front of a Thai landmark). Proof, if you will, that the bike was already in Thailand.
 
A further point, you’ll have the departure baggage tag which should prove that you excited with the bike. 
 
Theoretically this should appease all but the most difficult of customs officers. 
 
I’ve travelled in with a bike, ski’s, car seats, pushchairs etc.... loads of stuff, I’ve never been stopped. 
 
Theoretically, a very difficult customs officer could charge you duty on your laptop, tablet, phone, watch etc... but this would be daft... even the bag I carry stuff in is above the declaration limit !
 
Perhaps the sanctimonious poster above declares every single item he is travelling with which cost above 20,000 baht.

I was just going to say the same thing


Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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10 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

One ‘simple option’ is to take photos of the bike in Thailand (with obvious identification marks etc in front of a Thai landmark). Proof, if you will, that the bike was already in Thailand.

 

A further point, you’ll have the departure baggage tag which should prove that you excited with the bike. 

 

Theoretically this should appease all but the most difficult of customs officers. 

 

I’ve travelled in with a bike, ski’s, car seats, pushchairs etc.... loads of stuff, I’ve never been stopped. 

 

Theoretically, a very difficult customs officer could charge you duty on your laptop, tablet, phone, watch etc... but this would be daft... even the bag I carry stuff in is above the declaration limit !

 

Perhaps the sanctimonious poster above declares every single item he is travelling with which cost above 20,000 baht.

That sounds like a smart idea!  Thanks for that.  I also have never been hassled at airport customs ANYWHERE I've ever travelled, including when I first travelled to Thailand with my bike as a tourist a couple of years ago. 

 

My concern though is that I think Customs may view somebody with a Tourist visa in a different light than somebody with a long-stay visa since it is obvious they are here for a short period.  Furthermore, considering my trip will only be for a week, I think that's another red flag for Customs.  I'm not sure what the duty tax would be on a 180,000 baht bike...but I certainly do not want to find out!

 

Sanctimonious...THAT'S the word I was trying to think of when I replied to that poster LOL!  There seems to be a lot of those types on this forum Hahaha! 

Edited by WaveHunter

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No price tag,or wrapping,no problem
Arriving -maybe some questions asked
Departure- cant see you having any trouble
Show them some photos


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

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8 minutes ago, WaveHunter said:

That sounds like a smart idea!  Thanks for that.  I also have never been hassled at airport customs ANYWHERE I've ever travelled, including when I first travelled to Thailand with my bike as a tourist a couple of years ago. 

 

My concern though is that I think Customs may view somebody with a Tourist visa in a different light than somebody with a long-stay visa since it is obvious they are here for a short period.  Furthermore, considering my trip will only be for a week, I think that's another red flag for Customs.  I'm not sure what the duty tax would be on a 180,000 baht bike...but I certainly do not want to find out!

 

Sanctimonious...THAT'S the word I was trying to think of when I replied to that poster LOL!  There seems to be a lot of those types on this forum Hahaha! 

They would only know the bike originally cost zillions of baht if you tell them.....especially if it is scuffed etc. As for Mr. Sanctimonious, how does he know you avoided paying customs when you originally came in? I brought mine in when I shipped a lot of stuff here.

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13 minutes ago, KC 71 said:

No price tag,or wrapping,no problem
Arriving -maybe some questions asked
Departure- cant see you having any trouble
Show them some photos


Sent from my iPad using Thaivisa Connect

I shouldn't be so concerned.  I mean, anyone who looks at the bike can see that it's well used, I have plenty of Instagram pictures of me riding it here in Thailand during the last two years, and my name is etched on it in several discrete spots for security, but it's also very obvious by looks that it is a very expensive bike.  I have never been hassled by a Customs officer, but considering the value of the bike, I'm worried it might be a tempting target, especially for a less-than-honest Customs officer looking to supplement his retirement fund...I mean, let's be honest; that kind of thing is not unheard of here.

 

EDIT:  I'm thinking maybe the best thing is to just insure it with a Thai Insurance agency!  I don't really need insurance since the bike is never out of my sight when out in public...I mean NEVER!  But still, I think that would be pretty iron-clad proof.  CAN ANYBODY recommend a GOOD INSURANCE AGENCY to contact? 

Edited by WaveHunter

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41 minutes ago, Mansell said:

They would only know the bike originally cost zillions of baht if you tell them.....especially if it is scuffed etc. As for Mr. Sanctimonious, how does he know you avoided paying customs when you originally came in? I brought mine in when I shipped a lot of stuff here.

Well, in fact I did avoid paying duty when I first came into Thailand simply because the Customs officer saw the bike box but just waved me through.  I think one reason might simply be because I was entering with a tourist visa.  Thailand is a mecca for cyclists and I'm sure I'm not the only one who comes here with a very expensive bicycle.  I think tourists are very unlikely to be hassled since its obvious they are here for a short time and will be taking the bike back home when they leave.    I've never even heard of a visiting cyclist being questioned by Customs! 

 

Now, though, I am a little more concerned, especially since I am no longer here on a tourist visa, but am living here on a long-stay visa, and my trip out of the Kingdom will only be for one week.  It could very easily be construed by Customs when I return that my trip out of the Kingdom was for the purpose of buying a new bicycle.  

 

Also, very common practice for cyclists to get a discarded cardboard bike box from a bike dealer to pack the bike in for airline travel.  These very sturdy high-quality boxes have brand name bike logos and English printing, and thus could be construed as containing a newly purchased bicycle from abroad.  Making the box less "new looking" would also make them less protective so I would not want to do that.

Edited by WaveHunter

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I presume that the bike has a serial number. Customs may have a form which records goods that you depart with. This would record the serial number and photos supplied to them. They would check the bike before your departure. You would have a stamped document for your arrival back into Thailand..

Check with the Customs department.

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23 minutes ago, ripstanley said:

I presume that the bike has a serial number. Customs may have a form which records goods that you depart with. This would record the serial number and photos supplied to them. They would check the bike before your departure. You would have a stamped document for your arrival back into Thailand..

Check with the Customs department.

Good idea except that would not be a normal check-in procedure.  It sounds like it might be a major hassle to be honest.  Have you ever heard of someone actually doing that?

 

What you describe sounds like a "carnet" but I don't think you can get one for a "consumer" type item; they're mainly for professional or commercial situations like for professional photographers, motion picture producers or businessmen with expensive samples, etc.

 

After considering my options, I'm thinking of getting an insurance policy on the bike from a Thai-based insurance agent.  I think that might be the easiest solution, perhaps.  Serial # would be on the document, and date of policy would prove I had it before exiting the Kingdom for my trip.  Besides, I probably should insure it anyway, even though it's never out of my sight when I'm using it.

 

Edited by WaveHunter

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11 minutes ago, WaveHunter said:

Good idea except that would not be a normal check-in procedure.  Are you saying I should request it prior to departure?  At the airport, or before?  It sounds like a major hassle to be honest.  Have you ever heard of someone actually doing that?

 

I know about "carnets" but I don't think you can get one for a "consumer" type item; they're mainly for professional or commercial people like for professional photographers, motion picture producers or businessmen with expensive samples, etc.

 

After considering my options, I'm thinking of getting an insurance policy on the bike from a Thai-based insurance agent.  I think that might be the easiest solution, perhaps.  Serial # would be on the document, and date of policy would prove I had it before exiting the Kingdom for my trip.  Besides, I probably should insure it anyway, even though it's never out of my sight when I'm using it.

 

It would be done before check in. You would go to their office at the Airport and have the bike verified before you check it in. 

I have not heard of it in Thailand but it happens  in Australia.   https://www.abf.gov.au/form-listing/forms/b263.pdf

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