Overview of Thailand's Trade Regime

Thailand does not have special laws, judicial decisions or administrative orders regarding non-preferential rules of origin.

The preferential rules are described in the annexes to the Global System of Trade Preferences. Imports from the ASEAN countries are subject to the rules in accordance with the ASEAN Preferential Tariff Scheme (Agreement on the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme for the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)).

For a product to be regulated under the ASEAN Scheme, it must be at least 40% ASEAN-produced material. This issue is regulated by the Thai Customs (Customs Department).

Thailand continues to reduce tariff rates on the selected goods in accordance with the requirements of the WTO and the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), primarily on the goods not produced in the country.

The number of duty-free tariff lines in the list of customs tariffs is currently about 20%.

Goods can be imported into the territory of the customs warehouse without paying import duties if they are intended for re-export or will be used for the production of the export products.

Thailand is taking active steps to simplify and increase the transparency of its customs procedures. An electronic “on-line” payment system between customs and banks, as well as an electronic system for payment of duties and taxes, has been introduced. The Customs Clearance Center was opened.

The customs value is based on the CIF price when calculating the import duty. If the Customs Department doubts the veracity of the invoiced value, then the customs officers may use other calculation methods accepted by the WTO.

In recent years, Thailand has been moving towards liberalization of its trade terms by eliminating of customs duties under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and several other bilateral free trade agreements. Within the framework of such Agreements, duties on 90-95% of the goods are canceled.

Thailand's use of technical standards and tightening of the control have an impact on imports into the country of a wide range of goods, including: electronics and telecommunications equipment, food and beverages, chemical products. Thailand's technical regulation system is very complex and includes several government agencies responsible for various aspects of technical regulation.

For products classified as “required to obtain certificates,” test reports from laboratories located outside Thailand will not be accepted.

EU products such as electronic products, telecommunications equipment, automobiles and car spare parts must be tested in Thailand by one of the few accredited test laboratories, and in addition, inspections of manufacturing plants in Europe must be organized.

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