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Import and Export in Thailand

Import and Export in Thailand

Thailand is listed among the top twenty largest exporters in the world and has a positive trade balance, with the total value of exports surpassing that of the imports. Import and export in Thailand are regulated and companies in this business field need to comply with the applicable requirements, licensing and control.

Our team of Thailand company formation agents can give you complete information if you want to run a business involved in different import/export activities.

We invite you to watch the following video on import/export businesses in Thailand:

What are the products imported and exported by Thailand?

Thailand exports numerous goods, including textiles, footwear, foodstuffs (primarily fish, seafood, and rice), jewelry, computers, and computer parts and petroleum. The automotive industry is developed in the country, making it an exporter of cars and car parts. 

Among the products imported by Thailand, we can mention crude petroleum, integrated circuits, gold, raw materials, and consumer goods. Investors who want to open a company in Thailand that engages in any type of import/export activity need to comply with the local rules and regulations set forth by the Customs department. Import and export licenses are required for many types of products, including raw materials, petroleum, agricultural products or pharmaceuticals. 

Special licenses are required for selected categories of products and they are obtained from the relevant authorities. Examples include licenses from the Ministry of Public Health for pharmaceutical products, licenses from the Ministry of Industry for tungsten oxide or metallic tin and even licenses from the Ministry of Education for art pieces.

One of our Thai company formation agents can give you detailed information about the import and export documentation and the requirements for foreign importers.

What are the top import and export destinations?

Thailand exports its goods to the surrounding Asian countries, however, one of its top export partners is the United States. Other include China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia. Top import partners include China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and the United States.

Import and export companies in Thailand need to observe the general rules for company formation, including opening a bank account and registering for tax and VAT purposes.

Our agents who specialize in company formation in Thailand can provide investors with detailed information on the ongoing compliance requirements for these types of companies. We can also provide adequate assistance to foreign investors who wish to open a company or set up a branch office in Thailand. Understanding the applicable restrictions that exist in selected business sectors is important and our agents can offer in-depth details on the conditions for foreign shareholding for companies.

What are some general conditions for companies in Thailand?

Investors who open a company will need to remember the following general rules regarding company formation in Thailand:

  • Corporate registration: all companies must be registered with the Department of Business Development of the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Tax registration: once they are registered with the Department, they need to register for tax purposes such as value-added tax.
  • Capital: there are no minimum registered capital requirements, nevertheless, the value of each share for a private company may not be less than 5 THB.
  • Founders: at least three founders and shareholders are required to form a private limited company; 15 are required for opening a public limited company.
  • Directors: they can be nationals or foreigners, however, the latter will require a work permit if they fulfill this role.

Thailand has a developed trade sector, with the following statistics: 

  • in 2018, the approximate total value of exports was 252.486 billion USD;
  • the most important types of exported products for 2018 were vehicle accessories and parts, computer parts, rubber and rubber products and foodstuffs. 
  • in 2017, the approximated exports value was 236.69 billion USD.

Exports to China increased both in 2017 and 2018, making it one of the top export partners. 

Investors who open a company in Thailand in the import and export business can have a variety of business opportunities as the country is an important exporter, especially for some types of products such as raw sugar, rubber or vehicle parts to name a few.

Bangkok is an important financial and business center, however, investors can choose to set up their business in other cities as well. The choice may very well depend on the transport and logistics set up for the company. For example, when the exported goods are shipped via sea, basing the company in the capital city in order to have access to the Bangkok Port can be a suitable option. Nevertheless, there can be other criteria used when choosing the location of the company headquarters in the country.

Contact us for complete services related to company registration in Thailand.