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Customs to scrap order requiring Thai travelers to declare valuable items

Written by Thailand News

The Customs Department will scrap an order that requires Thai travelers leaving the country to declare their personal belongings that they intend to bring out of the country so that they will not be taxed upon arrival.

The requirement has come under heavy criticism by travelers because the procedure of declaration at the departure points of the international airports are complicated and time consuming.

For instance, a traveler must present two sets of photos of the valuables that he/she wants to bring out of the country and to bring them back such as cameras, video recorders and laptop computers.  The customs officials will issue him/her a receipt which will be shown upon arrival of the traveler to customs officials in order that the items will be exempted from taxation.

Personal assets which are normally used such as ornaments need not be declared with customs officials.

Customs department director-general Kulit Sombatsiri said that the scrapping of the order 60/2560 was meant to make Thai travelers feel comfortable when they travel during the Songkran festival.

To avoid misunderstanding among Thai travelers, he said that customs officials at Suvarnabhumi and Don Meuang international airports would be given a short-course training on the use of proper language to be used with the travelers and on manners.

However, he noted that checking of items brought back by travelers upon their return would be randomly checked as usual, with some travelers suspected to be traders to be given special attention.

Personal items which are brought back that are exempted for tax must altogether cost less than 20,000 baht, for instance 200 cigarettes and one litre of liquor.

If a traveler brings back an item which costs more than 200,000 baht, the customs official on duty has the discretion to tax the traveler.

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