When a shipment arrives or leaves Thailand, importers or exporters are required to file a goods Declaration with supporting documents to the Customs for cargo clearance.
To speed up and facilitate the flow and movement of legitimate cargo, most applications for an Import & Export Declaration are submitted electronically via the e-Import and e-Export system.
Import Declaration & Clearance Process
Under the e-Import system, there is no need for relevant parties to submit paper documents as all data is transmitted electronically from an importer computer system to a Customs computer system via a Gateway Provider.
Generally, declaration and clearance process include 4 stages:
1. Transmission and/or Submission of a Declaration: The first stage of import clearance process is to complete an Import Declaration and transmit it to Customs. Prior to the arrival of cargo or upon the arrival of cargo, a shipping company/agent forwards a ship arrival report, and manifest to the Customs’ computer system. If there is no error, the ship arrival report number is automatically generated by the system and the response message is forwarded to the shipping company/agent. When the cargo arrives at the port or place of entry, an importer or a Customs broker forwards an Import Declaration to the Customs computer system.
2. Check and Verification of the Declaration: The second stage is the check and verification of the Declaration and all supporting documents made by an importer. Again, the Customs computer system validates the given data and issues a Declaration and Payment Numbers within a minute in conjunction with the e-payment. In addition, the selectivity profile system will validate the transmitted data and classify the Goods Declaration into two categories: Green and Red Lines.
3. Payment of Import Duties and Taxes: The third stage is payment of applicable duties and taxes and/or guarantee. There are currently 2 options for the payment of import duties and taxes: payment at the Customs Department, and payment via e-Payment system.
4. Inspection and Release of Cargo: The last stage is to inspect and finally release cargo from Customs custody. An importer submits the verified Declaration together with the payment receipt at appropriate warehouses for the release of goods. At this stage, cargo data is screened against predetermined selectivity criteria in order to indicate whether the Declaration is under a Red Line (requiring thorough physical checking) or a Green Line (permission of release). A Green Line Declaration is cleared within a minute. Then, the cargo status is electronically forwarded to both the Port Authority and the importer/Customs broker. However, in cases where the predetermined selectivity criteria indicates that the cargo is subject to the Red Line, the Port Authority removes the cargo container for physical inspection by Customs before the release of the cargo.
The minimum documents required for the clearance of imports consists of:
(1) Import Declaration (Electronic Document)
(2) Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Waybill
(3) Invoice (Electronic Document)
(4) Packing List
(5) Import License (if applicable)
(6) Certificates of Origin (if applicable)
(7) Other relevant documents such as catalogue, product ingredients, etc.
Export Declaration & Clearance Process
Similar to the e-Import system, once the Export Declaration data has been entered into the Customs computer system, it will be subjected to automatic processing, for example, such as data validation, data matching, release status, etc. and the cargo is released. Generally, the export clearance process includes 4 stages:
1. Transmission and/or Submission of a Declaration: The export procedures start when an exporter/broker transmits an Export Declaration using ebXML via the Gateway Provider or the Internet to the Customs computer system.
2. Check and Verification of a Declaration: The second stage is the check and verification of the Declaration made by an exporter. As soon as the Customs computer system receives the Export Declaration data, such data is preliminary validated. In cases where the validated data contains no error, the Goods Declaration number is generated in conjunction with the e-Payment system (if export taxes and duties are applicable.). The response message, then, is transmitted to the exporter/broker. In addition, the selectivity profile system will validate the transmitted data and classify the Goods Declaration into two categories: Green Line and Red Line.
3. Payment of Duties and Taxes: The third stage is payment of applicable duties and taxes and/or guarantee. There are currently 3 means for payment of export duties and taxes: payment at the Customs Department, payment via e-Payment system, and payment at banks.
4. Inspection and Release of Cargo: The last stage is to inspect and finally release cargo from Customs custody. At this stage, a freight forwarder loads cargo into containers and forwards a cargo control report to the Customs computer system. The Customs system validates the data, and reports any error for immediate online correction. If no error is found, the cargo control report number is automatically generated by the system and the response message is forwarded to the freight forwarder and the exporter/broker. The freight forwarder then prints out the cargo control report with its number and removes the cargo to the port of exit. At this stage, the Customs officer at a sub-gate checks whether the declaration is a Red Line (requiring thorough physical checking) or a Green Line. The Green Line Declaration is cleared within a minute while the Red Line cargo is removed for physical inspection. After the cargo is exported, a ship agent is required to forward, the manifest to the Customs computer system. The system then automatically loads the Goods Declaration and transmits the response message back to the exporter/broker.
The minimum documents required to be submitted with the Export Declaration data consists of:
(1) Export Declaration data
(3) Export License (if applicable)
(4) Certificates of Origin (if applicable)
(5) Other relevant documents such as catalogue, product ingredients, etc.