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Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai

Shipping personal items to Thailand, is it worth it?

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Hi all,

I have just joined, been contacting removal companies and shipping companies and already I am worried about the costs v selling as much as I can and just buying new in Thailand.

I would love to hear your experiences, I have read a couple of the threads and some seem to be just winging it and hoping they don't get caught out, that's fine I guess but I will have a lot of electrical items which I understand they tax high as regarded as luxury items. I have had a quote of around £750 for about 20 boxes although I might be able to get this down when I do it for real if it comes to that.

I am mostly worried about the taxes as if it starts going over 1k its not worth it, most of it is Hi-Fi electricals, computers and tools. When I go next I will take as many of the smaller electricals in my suitcase but as I say really not sure what to do?

Many thanks all.

Tony

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when i up sticks and came here i was going to flog stuff on ebay then realised it was a part of my life.  i packed it all myself, booked a 20ft container door to door and am so glad i did.  i ts a lot cheaper to find a freight forwarder, then get some pals to help with the loading.  i m surrounded by memories here and  "my shit"  which suits me well

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When we (with he ex) moved back from France to LOS in 2009, the whole thing (a 20 ft container) was declared in her name. As an Thai expat repatriating her personal belongings after having lived overseas, it passed custom without problem and no tax paid.

 

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5 hours ago, Stillearly said:

This might be useful , this guy's experience, costs etc

 

Thanks for this Stillearly, I will have a look at this later today, as its late here still being in the UK.  Where abouts are you in Thailand?  My partner is in Bua Yai district.

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1 hour ago, tommy dee said:

when i up sticks and came here i was going to flog stuff on ebay then realised it was a part of my life.  i packed it all myself, booked a 20ft container door to door and am so glad i did.  i ts a lot cheaper to find a freight forwarder, then get some pals to help with the loading.  i m surrounded by memories here and  "my shit"  which suits me well

Hi Tommy Dee,

I know what you mean, I have lots of CD's, I mean its all digital now but I would still use them and my CD player....but these are classed as luxury items, of course I want to get my things over but if its going to cost more than buying new I really have to think twice about it.  How much did it cost you in the end and how much did you ship?  I have a nice guitar, I can't play but wanted to try to learn, never got around to it as never had the time, but when I eventually get over I hope I will have nothing better to do! LOL

Where abouts are you in Thailand?  We are in Bua Yai as the name suggests lol.

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21 minutes ago, Thai Spice said:

When we (with he ex) moved back from France to LOS in 2009, the whole thing (a 20 ft container) was declared in her name. As an Thai expat repatriating her personal belongings after having lived overseas, it passed custom without problem and no tax paid.

 

Thanks Thai Spice, great name btw!

I can't do what you did because Chanpen has never lived with me in the UK, I read about it all what the removal and shipping agents send out with all the rules, apparently everything is subject to tax, because I only have a non immigrant O-A visa, and putting it into her name won't work unless they don't check the paperwork properly.  I am just thinking of reducing the value of everything to about £30 per box and pay the tax, although I don't know what that might be, I have read that they can make things up and guess what an item might be worth and there is no arguing you just have to pay what ever they say, hence my hesitation as to whether its all worth it.  I don't want the stress at the other end if I am unlucky but I also hear they only check a few, also if it's with a reputable company being door to door might help.  I will be asking some questions of these companies but doubt they will tell me the truth if its likely to put me off.

Anyway thanks for your help.

Tony

 

 

 

 

 

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@Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai,

Yes, for tax purpose it is the custom who will decide the valuation of the goods and calculate the tax on that. In nearly every country. They aint dumb and know the low valuation packing list or fake invoice thing !

But with luck it can go through sometimes !

Cheers.

 

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Welcome to the board, i live in Korat so not a million miles away from you. Interesting topic you've started, here's my experience....

When i moved here in 2007 i left everything behind in the UK and started afresh, everything that was saleable was sold on ebay or to friends/family or given away, the only things i brought here were personal items. Is there not a problem with some electrical items (music systems/tv's etc) and the voltage/amps here ?  

A word of caution, don't f*** with customs here in Thailand, they're probaly more corrupt than the BIB. My mate who exports fishing gear all over the world said he'd send out my fishing gear and CD/DVD collection FOC by Cathy Pacific air freight. It duly arrived at customs and the declaration only stated fishing gear, BOOM, i got contacted by them and informed of the error and was told if i wanted the CD/DVD collection (over 300) i would have to pay 20K baht fine. I contacted them again and agreed to pay it, i really wanted my collection here to enjoy, in the three days that had elapsed between me agreeing to pay and their next contact the fine had increased to 35K.

I paid reluctantly, beware.......  

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4 hours ago, Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai said:

Hi Tommy Dee,

I know what you mean, I have lots of CD's, I mean its all digital now but I would still use them and my CD player....but these are classed as luxury items, of course I want to get my things over but if its going to cost more than buying new I really have to think twice about it.  How much did it cost you in the end and how much did you ship?  I have a nice guitar, I can't play but wanted to try to learn, never got around to it as never had the time, but when I eventually get over I hope I will have nothing better to do! LOL

Where abouts are you in Thailand?  We are in Bua Yai as the name suggests lol.

you have to keep an inventory.  i did a spread sheet.   item No, description, new /used, value  and did that for everything from a broom to a welsh dresser.  the valuye i put was what i thought it would make in an auction.. which of course is squit.

on arrival, the agent here said they wanted 18K  tax, which she probably kept, but who the f cares..  the container then arrived at my door,  3 pals helped unlload.. done in 2 hrs.

 

it was worth it.  at the time the cost door to door was about 1300 quid all in.    and a refrigerator with ice maker, plumbed in, was selling for the same price as that here.  and I had one, nearly new in the UK.  that alone covered the cost.  get to sleep in a proper bed, have all my junk around me, going back all my life, and memories too.  for some, they are happy to arrive with a suitcase, I guess I am just sentimental

 

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52 minutes ago, tommy dee said:

  for some, they are happy to arrive with a suitcase,

That was me, 2 suitcases in fact and when i checked in at Qatar Airways desk they weighed in at 32 kilos when my allowance was 20, it was time for me to use my undoubted charm on the check in lady lol, i explained to her that i was moving to Thailand to live with my new found Thai wife and how excited i was and could she possibly find some way to overlook the matter, she smiled wished me good luck and off went the suitcases, nothing to pay lol

 

Edited by Pumpuynarak
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If you've a few trips planned anyway before your move, pay a bit extra for each to get an increased checked baggage allowance.  3 trips x 30kgs, plus hand baggage could bring a lot of stuff over.

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4 hours ago, KWA said:

If you've a few trips planned anyway before your move, pay a bit extra for each to get an increased checked baggage allowance.  3 trips x 30kgs, plus hand baggage could bring a lot of stuff over.

Thanks KWA for the tip, unfortunately my next trip will hopefully be only one way and my last...have no plans to return to the UK any time soon once I go!  But good advice for anyone who is not at my stage.  I actually wish I had done this on previous trips, I had no idea about Thai customs the only thing I thought might be prohibitive was the cost of freight!

I have made a decision which I will post separately.

Best wishes

Tony

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Hi all,

I have made a decision which I will come to shortly.

Pumpuynarak....thanks for your message and good wishes.  Thanks also for your good advice re Thai customs, what is BIB?  That's shocking about the CD/DVD's...by today's rates about £900 disgraceful!

Tommy Dee, I understand you wanting your things, me too...but at what cost?

So thanks to everyone who has answered and helped with my decision, it's much appreciated.  I asked my girlfriend Chanpen to ask around, and one of her relatives and her sister are both married to English guys who advised that they have not brought things over 'because of the taxes'.  I also did a bit of digging around and posted same question elsewhere and also spoke to a removals company after getting a reasonable quote this morning.  Long and short of it the guy I spoke to agreed with everything I was saying about the horror stories I was hearing and confirmed he has also heard many and basically said there was no way around the taxes confirming what I thought that you WILL get caught and have to pay high taxes.  The fact this is completely down to their made up values and discretion is too worrying, I have therefore decided that in my case I should sell up everything I can and put the money raised and the saved shipping costs (ignoring any stitch up taxes) together to buy new in Thailand.  Its sad and a great shame as I have some lovely kit, amazing surround sound system for example, at least I won't annoy my new neighbours now!

I am to be quite honest, apart from being sad that I cannot take my things raving mad about it!  I really question the wisdom of Thai customs not allowing us farangs (just learned that the other day lol) bringing in our home goods when we are intending a life in Thailand and marrying a Thai national, as it enhances their lives too!  I cannot put into words the things we collect, most of not real 2nd hand value other than we know we brought it somewhen and for what ever reason like it...me I am a hoarder to have lots of crap....I even have the full set of Band of Brothers on blue ray still in the cellophane wrapping!  Oh well 🙁  

What I discovered in a very short time is that Thai customs just want to stitch us up and rob us, I guess they think we are all rich which of course is not the case.  I suppose by some of their standards we are...but we know our own value at home, for me not great means but OK, certainly not wealthy by any means.  Yes I am sad but annoyed and angry too, but I suppose there are more important things in life.  I have newspaper reports dating back to 1976 the year our local team (Southampton) won the FA cup for the only time in the clubs history, I kept every report that year and just by chance we won the damn thing!  I will have to find a good home for many things like that, so will be contacting some of my Saints friends.  Obviously what I can sell I will but you know how hard it can be selling 2nd hard things, especially as people want to pay you virtually nothing these days.  I know some things I probably won't bother replacing, things like CD's because what is the point when you can build up digital music collections.  I will pay for an extra 30KG luggage and take a 2nd case when I go and try to ram as many electricals in as I can, on this point does anyone know if it might be a problem? 

So, there you have it, I will try to keep in touch but until I am in Thailand hopefully by mid Jan I have a lot to do, especially trying to sell all my things, I suppose with Christmas coming up I might get some luck.

Once again, thanks to all for your help, even if I don't come back for a while I will be back again at some point.  On btw Stillearly I watched the video which was very good, luckily for him his wife had been living with him in the UK and he had all the evidence, my situation unfortunately is different so I cannot do as he did.  That said thank you great video, he says about also getting health insurance which I would like to watch, have you a link to his You Tube channel please?

All the best,

Tony and Chanpen

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Oh I forgot, found this on another site interesting reading, confirms what everyone is saying:

'Despite what you claim the item’s value to be, Thai customs can and often does value the item at a higher rate.

You may claim a pair of shoes you’re shipping to Thailand only costs $50, but Thai customs may value the shoes at $100 or even $150.

This is standard practice with Thai customs, and you have little recourse in preventing it from happening. Some people have claimed success by bringing in receipts and documents that show the items true value.

The other issue with duty rates is the inconsistency between the percentages. Like so many other things in Thailand, there is little standardization when it comes to policies and procedures.

What duty rate you end up paying often comes down to the given postal or customs agent on any given day. It’s common to pay differing duty rates when shipping the exact same item.

Without much effort, you’ll find horror stories when dealing with Thai customs. People report items going missing or getting seized or delayed in customs for months.

You’ll also find stories of customs holding packages for ransom as a means to collect more duty. I experienced this when receiving some banking info through the mail.

People report bribes to pay half of the duty rate under the table without invoices or paperwork.

These events vary and depend on your location in Thailand. It’s wise to save all shipping documents and receipts for later verification.'

Regards,

Tony and Chanpen

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34 minutes ago, Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai said:

Hi all,

I have made a decision which I will come to shortly.

Pumpuynarak....thanks for your message and good wishes.  Thanks also for your good advice re Thai customs, what is BIB?  That's shocking about the CD/DVD's...by today's rates about £900 disgraceful!

Tommy Dee, I understand you wanting your things, me too...but at what cost?

So thanks to everyone who has answered and helped with my decision, it's much appreciated.  I asked my girlfriend Chanpen to ask around, and one of her relatives and her sister are both married to English guys who advised that they have not brought things over 'because of the taxes'.  I also did a bit of digging around and posted same question elsewhere and also spoke to a removals company after getting a reasonable quote this morning.  Long and short of it the guy I spoke to agreed with everything I was saying about the horror stories I was hearing and confirmed he has also heard many and basically said there was no way around the taxes confirming what I thought that you WILL get caught and have to pay high taxes.  The fact this is completely down to their made up values and discretion is too worrying, I have therefore decided that in my case I should sell up everything I can and put the money raised and the saved shipping costs (ignoring any stitch up taxes) together to buy new in Thailand.  Its sad and a great shame as I have some lovely kit, amazing surround sound system for example, at least I won't annoy my new neighbours now!

I am to be quite honest, apart from being sad that I cannot take my things raving mad about it!  I really question the wisdom of Thai customs not allowing us farangs (just learned that the other day lol) bringing in our home goods when we are intending a life in Thailand and marrying a Thai national, as it enhances their lives too!  I cannot put into words the things we collect, most of not real 2nd hand value other than we know we brought it somewhen and for what ever reason like it...me I am a hoarder to have lots of crap....I even have the full set of Band of Brothers on blue ray still in the cellophane wrapping!  Oh well 🙁  

What I discovered in a very short time is that Thai customs just want to stitch us up and rob us, I guess they think we are all rich which of course is not the case.  I suppose by some of their standards we are...but we know our own value at home, for me not great means but OK, certainly not wealthy by any means.  Yes I am sad but annoyed and angry too, but I suppose there are more important things in life.  I have newspaper reports dating back to 1976 the year our local team (Southampton) won the FA cup for the only time in the clubs history, I kept every report that year and just by chance we won the damn thing!  I will have to find a good home for many things like that, so will be contacting some of my Saints friends.  Obviously what I can sell I will but you know how hard it can be selling 2nd hard things, especially as people want to pay you virtually nothing these days.  I know some things I probably won't bother replacing, things like CD's because what is the point when you can build up digital music collections.  I will pay for an extra 30KG luggage and take a 2nd case when I go and try to ram as many electricals in as I can, on this point does anyone know if it might be a problem? 

So, there you have it, I will try to keep in touch but until I am in Thailand hopefully by mid Jan I have a lot to do, especially trying to sell all my things, I suppose with Christmas coming up I might get some luck.

Once again, thanks to all for your help, even if I don't come back for a while I will be back again at some point.  On btw Stillearly I watched the video which was very good, luckily for him his wife had been living with him in the UK and he had all the evidence, my situation unfortunately is different so I cannot do as he did.  That said thank you great video, he says about also getting health insurance which I would like to watch, have you a link to his You Tube channel please?

All the best,

Tony and Chanpen

If you are getting angry at this , do you think Thailand is the place for you .... I'm sure you will encounter much more corruption and bureaucracy when you actually move over , TM30 , Visas , etc etc - don't think it will do much for your blood pressure 😉 

if double click on the video , it should take you straight to his YouTube channel 

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31 minutes ago, Stillearly said:

If you are getting angry at this , do you think Thailand is the place for you .... I'm sure you will encounter much more corruption and bureaucracy when you actually move over , TM30 , Visas , etc etc - don't think it will do much for your blood pressure 😉 

if double click on the video , it should take you straight to his YouTube channel 

Yes, not even living in the country yet, it doesn't get any better when dealing with Thai bureaucracy once in the country.

I think 'Jai Yen' is very relevant here for Tony (cool heart).... 

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4 hours ago, Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai said:

Oh I forgot, found this on another site interesting reading, confirms what everyone is saying:

'Despite what you claim the item’s value to be, Thai customs can and often does value the item at a higher rate.

You may claim a pair of shoes you’re shipping to Thailand only costs $50, but Thai customs may value the shoes at $100 or even $150.

This is standard practice with Thai customs, and you have little recourse in preventing it from happening. Some people have claimed success by bringing in receipts and documents that show the items true value.

The other issue with duty rates is the inconsistency between the percentages. Like so many other things in Thailand, there is little standardization when it comes to policies and procedures.

What duty rate you end up paying often comes down to the given postal or customs agent on any given day. It’s common to pay differing duty rates when shipping the exact same item.

Without much effort, you’ll find horror stories when dealing with Thai customs. People report items going missing or getting seized or delayed in customs for months.

You’ll also find stories of customs holding packages for ransom as a means to collect more duty. I experienced this when receiving some banking info through the mail.

People report bribes to pay half of the duty rate under the table without invoices or paperwork.

These events vary and depend on your location in Thailand. It’s wise to save all shipping documents and receipts for later verification.'

Regards,

Tony and Chanpen

your info is totally wrong.  if you do the inventory properly you will y very little import tax.  who ever  told you this nonsense  was obviosuly misled themselves.  but up to you.  you and your als are the newbies, we live here and many have done imprts without hassle.  adjust to thailand or you will hate it here.

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@tommy dee,

During my working years in the 90's, as plant and equipment manager I have been involved constantly (monthly for 9 years) with import of machinery, equipment and spare parts. It was never "easy", and required a good agent and good documentation preparation. 

And every now and then they would come up with absolute nonsense reasons to block a shipment, or a part of it.

Was personally involved twice with handcarried parts from SGP, twice a serious donation at the airport customs (you can difficultly go through the green channel with a 50kg wooden crate..)

It is all a bit hit or miss, and a good dose of luck is handy. When out of luck, palabers and envelopes....

 

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4 hours ago, galenkia said:

Reminds me of Matthew and Pukky.😀

Slab Sundays and c**t Mondays 🤣🤣🤣

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14 hours ago, Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai said:

Thanks also for your good advice re Thai customs, what is BIB? 

BIB is boys in brown, the police.

I forgot to say that i had an English couple as friends here who moved from the UK and they not long ago moved back after 10 years they got tired of everything Thai, it just wore them down. They brought their belongings here and shipped them back to the UK on their return, from memory i'm sure they paid 20K to Thai customs effectively as a bribe, no questions were asked and they received their belongings here in Thailand.  

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18 hours ago, Tony and Chanpen Bua Yai said:

I have newspaper reports dating back to 1976 the year our local team (Southampton) won the FA cup for the only time in the clubs history . . . .

Don't mention that around here.  There are some of your fellow fans on board who come on and tell us who beat them every week. 🙂

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4 hours ago, Pumpuynarak said:

BIB is boys in brown, the police.

I forgot to say that i had an English couple as friends here who moved from the UK and they not long ago moved back after 10 years they got tired of everything Thai, it just wore them down. They brought their belongings here and shipped them back to the UK on their return, from memory i'm sure they paid 20K to Thai customs effectively as a bribe, no questions were asked and they received their belongings here in Thailand.  

thats the norm, its easier than trying to negotiate to be fair.  i have brought 3 household here , same rate as that

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On 9/8/2019 at 5:56 PM, Thai Spice said:

When we (with he ex) moved back from France to LOS in 2009, the whole thing (a 20 ft container) was declared in her name. As an Thai expat repatriating her personal belongings after having lived overseas, it passed custom without problem and no tax paid.

 

We did the same.  20ft container.

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