How to import a foreign car into Thailand
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How to import a foreign car into Thailand

The Thai roads are not populated by a very diverse range of cars. Therefore importing a foreign car to Thailand is very attractive. Stand out from the crowd in your brand new European sports car. The costs as well as the hassle make the importation of foreign cars less attractive though. To make life easier for whoever plans to import a foreign car this article will present you with tips on how to import your dream car as smooth as possible.

This article will guide you through the procedures of two possible scenarios: temporary and permanent importation.

Temporary Importation:

No taxes or import duties need to be paid in the case a foreign car is imported into Thailand for less than 6 months. You will need to pay a cash deposit or submit a bank guarantee that covers the amount of liable taxes and duties. This will be forfeited if the vehicle is not exported before the date indicated on the temporary import permit. Higher taxes and fines can also be awarded to importers who breach their temporary contract and extend their car’s stay in Thailand without further notice.

You will need the following documents to execute the importation:
1. The temporary import declaration form (6 copies in total)
2. The vehicle’s registration certificate
3. The passport or identification card of the owner of the vehicle.
4. An application form for the temporary import of the vehicle.
5. A proforma invoice or invoice
6. A certificate of legal entity
7. A re-export contract
8. Proof of power of attorney, if somebody other than the owner intends to drive the vehicle

For full details of temporary importation procedures refer to the official website of Thailand’s Customs Department.

Be sure to communicate all the customizations your car has to the Thai customs before the actual importation. Also declare all accessories in the car such as headrest TV screens. Failure to declare these accessories may result in significant financial penalties, delay or in the worst case seizure of the vehicle.

The importation process:

Firstly the importer must submit the temporary import declaration form to the Thai Customs Department. Once the documents have been checked, the importer must pay the cash deposit or submit a bank guarantee to the cashier division of the Thai Customs Department. The vehicle is checked and you will receive a document that needs to be handed back to the Thai Customs Department when you intend to leave the country again with your car. If you wish to have assistance in the entire process of importation, then it is possible to hire an agent to complete the procedure.

If you wish to extend your 6-month temporary import permit, you will need to write the Thai Customs Department. They can grant you an extended permit but only under exceptional circumstances. An exceptional circumstance could be an accident for example.

If you wish to exchange your temporary import permit for a permanent import permit, you will also need to write to the Thai Customs Department. It will then levy the full costs of due taxes and import duties as mentioned in your re-export contract.

Permanent Importation:

A person with a non-immigrant visa and a work permit that is valid for at least one year may import just one vehicle into Thailand. Unfortunately, such vehicles are subject to very high taxes and import duties, often amounting to around 200 percent of the vehicle’s value.
Before you attempt to import a car to Thailand, you must secure an official import permit from the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand. If this has not been granted to you upon the arrival of your car, then this can lead to seizure of your car and high fines. Application forms on the website of the Ministry of Commerce are only available in Thai, therefore it is wise to seek help from a Thai speaking agent when applying for an import permit.

You will need the following documents to execute the importation:
1. A valid non-immigrant visa
2. A work permit valid for at least one year
3. An import declaration form
4. A bill of lading or airway bill
5. Sale documents
6. The delivery order (Customs Form No. 100/1)
7. Foreign Transaction Form 2 in cases where the CIF value of the imported vehicles exceeds 500,000 Baht
8. An insurance premium invoice
For full details of temporary importation procedures refer to the official website of Thailand’s customs.

The importation process:

When your agent submits the relevant documents to the port of entry, the Customs Department will assess the taxes and import duties that need to be fulfilled. Once these have been paid, the receipt needs to be presented to the cashier division of the Thai Customs Department. Subsequently the vehicle is granted permission to enter Thailand.


All cars in Thailand are required to at least have compulsory car insurance. This insurance can be upgraded to five additional car insurance types: Type 1, 2, 2+, 3 and 3+. Find your perfect personal car insurance via an online car insurance brokerage. They can offer up to 50% on your car insurance. See:

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