Shipping Personal Stuff To Thailand
I am soon to be moving to Thailand, and have come across a certain dilemma in the final planning stages.
Whats left of my family will take in a certain amount of my soon to be un-needed (is there such a word?) posessions, but that leaves me with still with a rather large amount of stuff. Thinga like powertools, handtools, small kitchen appliances, ovenware, etc, etc. I wont be taking any bulky items, such as furniture etc.
A friend of mine and his Thai wife came over for a visit, and stayed at my home, here in the UK for a few months, while he sorted out a few odds and ends here. During one of the many conversations we all had, the quality/price of goods...Thai Vs UK stuff came up. My mate said its best to buy over there, as prices were cheaper. But his wife said thats because the quality of the stuff offered over here was of a far superior level, like for like. This had always been my theory, too. So it got me thinking about the possibility of shipping some stuff over there. This would serve a number of purposes:
For one thing, i could just shove the stuff in boxes, make a manifest and employ the services of an agent who would handle all the rest....things like customs fees (tea money?) shipping from port to my home in Thailand etc.
For another, the thought of chucking away perfectly good stuff(and good quality stuff it is too!!!) appals me somewhat (No time/inclination for car booties or Ebay, tbh). Especially when i go about replacing the same stuff in Thailand.
All this might total, maybe 10 tea-chest sized boxes. Has anyone got a rough idea about the costs of doing so, and of how to go about it all?
Thinking about it, i could probaly do with chapter and verse on the little "workarounds" when the stuff gets to Thailand, too
I searched on here for any similar threads, but they all seemed rather old, data/info wise.
A Thai national is allowed to bring in personal effects without paying any customs duty. They have to prove they have been living outside of the country but otherwise it is straightforward, just make sure the shipment is in their name. We have done it twice now with no need for any additional outlay whatsoever, although we did use agents.
If you have a modern TV it is probably not problem but older UK TVs will not work in Thailand, (different sound IF frequency).
If you have a decent fridge/washing machine and/or freezer I would bring them; LG/Samsung/Meili is quite expensive here. Things like DVD players etc are cheap for 'Thai' brands but the chipsets they use are the same as the high brand stuff.
We have used these people to bring our stuff here before:
Asian Tigers Transpo International Ltd.
3388/74-77 Sirinrat Building, 21st floor
Rama 4 Road, Klongton, Klongtoey
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 2687 7830 (Direct Line) Tel: +66 2687 7888 Ext. 830 Fax: +66 2687 7999 Email: email@example.com
Web: www.asiantigers-thailand.com www.transpo-property.com www.asiantigersgroup.com
They seem to good but are not the cheapest. Being Thai based they know the customs requirements here and will work with someone in the UK to arrange packing and shipment from there. The person we contact is called Preeya and she speaks excellent English.
It will be expensive to bring the stuff but if you are talking of CDs, DVDs and books plus some personal effects, well you must bring them. I know 'fresh start' and all that, but you don't want to be without your framed and signed photo of Felicity Kendal for the rest of your life do you.
You can easily buy plug boards here that accept every type of plug including the UK ones so you don't even have to change the plugs on the electric stuff.
We used this company:-
As a ball-park figure for 10 tea-chests you might be looking at up to £1k, but that's door-to-door, theoretically all other costs paid. In practice to get the goods released in Bangkok we had to stump up 5500 baht which consisted of such items as "customs inspection fee 2000 baht", "duty 1700baht" (god knows what for, the shipment was in the memsahib's name as a returning resident), Port storage dues for 3 days, and something else which I forget.
Service at the UK end was brilliant - a removals firm turned up from Lincolnshire and packed everything, apart from a bit we'd done ourselves. We had quite a bit of china and glass, and the only thing that was broken on arrival was the glass on one picture. They took the stuff away and it left the UK several weeks later as part of a consolidated container load. Door to door it took a bit over 2 months, and was probably transhipped in somewhere like Singapore.
The agents in Bangkok were pretty dozy and not very helpful, and we actually had to go up to Bangkok a couple of times to get the paperwork sorted. Irritating at the time, but it is nice to have one's personal mementos, book, CDs etc.
Interesting post about shipping.....thanks for the info.
I know that importing a car to Thailand is not a straightforward procedure, but I have heard that on the basis that a Thai has owned the said car for at least 18m & they are returning to Thailand to live, you can import without duty. Has anyone had any experience of this?
Its gone midnight here and I'm too lazy to look for the post I made on the subject of importing a car. I don't think it was actually in a thread I started.
The gist of it was that there appears to be a line or two missing from the official Thai Customs regulations which (from memory) state that a Thai national who has lived abroad for at least 18 months (I think) can import a car into Thailand. That's it, it stops there. There is clearly something missing as that is not giving any concession at all - anyone can import a car, providing they pay the tax.
There are other hoops to jump through I seem to remember - such as, I think the car has to have been registered in the Thai national's name for 18 months prior to import.
I've had a conversation with a customs official on the subject but they couldn't shed any light on it. Its a long time since I looked at the regulations and the mistake (if it is one) could have been rectified by now but I doubt it.
If anyone can shed any (qualified) light on this subject I'm sure many members would benefit.
Following on from our conversation in KK - as you know, I am going to be in a similar position as the OP and would like to move everything over - lock, stock and barrel. Many things have little value but they are the chattels i've collected over my life. The problem I have is I'm the only one moving as my wife has never lived in the UK.
Do you have a link to the allowances and have you heard of anyone doing anything similar? I wouldn't want to get a huge shock when the valuation is carried out. I guess therr are allowances and "allowances" but I wonder how reliable that is?
Off to bed now but here's a link from the horse's mouth:
Importing Used/Secondhand Household Effects
Regarding the 'Documentation' and 'Clearance Procedures' sections on that page, that's where the Thai agent comes into their own. I wouldn't even dream of handling that myself.
Maokaang, one last pick of your brains, if i may:
Did you contact Micro Logistics, or did Mearsk do that on your behalf?
Mearsk will be my (so far) preferred shipper.
We made initial contact, though they were recommended to us by the Mærsk office in Thailand. That may have helped with the transition as they obviously had an existing working relationship. We had no further contact with Mærsk once the container was 'parked' at Laem Chabang. We paid Micro Logistics separately. From memory, and very roughly, I seem to recall the split being around £800 to Mærsk and £400 to ML.