VAT on postal imports sent starts in May

The Customs Department will start collecting of value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods sent through postal services, regardless of the value of the goods, starting in May.

Imported goods currently sent via postal services are exempt from import duties and VAT if the importers declare the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of each item as less than 1,500 baht apiece.

However, low-priced goods from China are flooding the market, creating an unfair advantage as domestic producers are subject to taxes.

To ensure fair trade practices, the Finance Ministry plans to collect VAT for imported goods sent via postal services regardless of their value, while maintaining the exemption from import duties.

Every year, more than 30 million parcel imports enter Thailand, with more than half claiming to be items with a CIF value not more than 1,500 baht.

Online platforms selling goods from China import a large quantity of low-priced goods in container loads, each containing tens of thousands of items.

This poses a significant challenge and requires a considerable amount of time if each box needs to be opened to assess taxes, as proposed by the Finance Ministry.

Customs officials are considering methods for tax collection on low-priced goods.


  • assess (verb): to carefully consider a situation, person, or problem in order to make a judgment - ประเมิณ, ประเมิณสถานการณ์
  • container: a large metal or wooden box of a standard size in which goods are packed so that they can easily be lifted onto a ship, train, etc. to be transported - ตู้บรรจุสินค้า
  • customs: the place at a port, airport or border where travellers' bags are looked at to find out if any goods are being carried illegally - ด่านศุลกากร
  • duty: a tax -
  • exempt: not affected by something - ได้รับการยกเว้น
  • flood: to go in large numbers - เข้ามาอย่างท่วมท้น
  • import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า
  • imports (noun): products or services that are brought into one country from another - สินค้าขาเข้า
  • postal service: the government organization that runs post offices and sends letters and parcels from one to another through the mail - ไปรษณียภัณฑ์
  • practice: a way of doing something - การปฏิบัติ
  • regardless: despite; not being affected by something - โดยไม่คำนึงถึง
  • VAT (noun): a tax that is added to the price of many goods and services - ภาษีมูลค่าเพิ่ม
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