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Clearing Customs in Thailand

What is the A.T.A. Carnet Agreement?


Jointly administered by the International Chamber of Commerce (through its World Chambers Federation) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), the ATA Carnet Agreement can be defined as a globally accepted customs document that grants its holder the duty-free and tax-free temporary import and export of goods for a duration of up to one year. The ATA Carnet Agreement does away with the need for its holder to acquire temporary import bonds. As long as goods imported are re-exported within the prescribed time frame, no taxes or duties are levied. In the event that one fails to re-export some or all of the goods mentioned in the ATA Carnet Agreement, one must pay taxes and duties applicable. Failure to pay such taxes and duties result in the foreign customs service registering a claim in the importer’s home country.


The ATA Carnet Agreement and Thailand


Filming crews bringing filming equipment into the Kingdom of Thailand that are to be utilised for filming purposes or as mere samples and then re-exported must, under the A.T.A. Carnet Agreement, be passed by the Customs Officer present at the Red Channel – Customs Clearance located at the Passenger Control section of Suwarnabhumi International Airport Customs Bureau or alternatively, at any other place that may have been designated by the Regional Customs Bureau for this purpose.

On the scheduled departure date, the filming crew must bring forward the filming equipment together with the A.T.A. Carnet document for inspection. If this is not done, this filming equipment would be considered as having not been re-exported out of Thailand and will be charged with the appropriate taxes and custom duties.


Restricted goods


Restricted goods are defined as goods that are restricted from being exported and/or imported to and/or from a country as per law and that therefore require its exporter and/or importer to be granted a permit from the designated government agencies in order to transport these goods.

The below listed restricted goods require a special permit from their related Thai government agencies (listed alongside them) in order to lodge the required customs formalities and import them into the Kingdom of Thailand: –


Goods TypeFirearms, explosive objects and ammunition

Concerned Department – The Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of Interior

Goods TypeArtifacts, antiques and Buddha images

Concerned Department – The Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture

Goods TypeTelecommunications equipment and Radio transceivers

Concerned Department – Ministry of Information and Communication Technology

Goods TypePlants and planting paraphernalia

Concerned Department – Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and cooperatives

Goods TypeLive animals and their by-products

Concerned Department – Department of Live Stock Development, Ministry of Agriculture and cooperatives

Goods TypeMedicines and other chemical products


Concerned Department – The Office of Food and Drugs Administration, Ministry of public Health.


There are 58 countries on the restricted list of A.T.A. Carnet i.e. the countries that cannot make use of the ATA Carnet Agreement. These countries are as follows: -Algeria Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Australia,Morocco, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom, Canada, Czech Republic, Austria,Denmark, Gibraltar, Iceland, India, Japan, Macedonia, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia,Switzerland, United States, Belgium, China, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Republic Of Korea,Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Yugoslavia, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia,Finland, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Norway, Poland, Senegal,Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Turkey.

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