Thailand - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2021-08-15

Import licenses are required for the importation of many raw materials, petroleum, industrial machinery, textiles, pharmaceuticals, firearms and ammunition, and agricultural items. In some cases, imports of certain items not requiring licenses are subject to extra fees and certificate of origin requirements. Additionally, a number of products are subject to import controls under miscellaneous laws. Thailand imposes domestic purchase requirements on importers of several products subject to TRQs, including soybeans and soybean meal. Thailand also imposes a domestic purchase requirement on importers of feed wheat, which is not subject to a TRQ.

Additionally, several products are subjected to import control:

  • Importation of processed foods, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and cosmetics requires licensing from the Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Public Health.
  • Importation of tungsten oxide, tin ores, and metallic tin in quantity exceeding two kilograms requires permission from the Department of Mineral Resources, Ministry of Industry.
  • Importation of arms, ammunition, or explosive devices requires licensing from the Ministry of Interior.
  • Importation of antiques or objects of art, whether registered or not, require permission from the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Education.

General customs clearance procedures for both imports and exports in Thailand require the submission of a Customs’ export entry form or import entry form. The form should be accompanied by standard shipping documents, which include a commercial invoice, packing list, bill of lading/airway bill, and letter of credit. Some products may require an import/export license and/or authorization from relevant agencies. These include food products (processed or unprocessed), pharmaceuticals, medical devices, healthcare products, cosmetics, hazardous substances, animals, and some agricultural products. Thailand has already eliminated its requirement of a certificate of origin for information technology imports pursuant to the WTO Information Technology Agreement. The use of a freight forwarder to deal with import and export customs clearing in Thailand is highly recommended.