When a shipment arrives in Thailand, importers are required to file a Goods Declaration and supporting documents for the imports with a Customs officer at the port of entry. Imported cargo are not legally entered Thailand until after the shipment has arrived within the port of entry, delivery of the merchandise has been authorized by Customs, and applicable taxes and duties have been paid. It is the responsibility of an importer to arrange for examination and release of the imported cargo.

In addition, depending on the nature of the imports, and regardless of value, the importers may need to obtain a permit to facilitate clearance of the imports. Some, not all, of the goods requiring permit, and the relevant permit issuing agencies, should be contacted prior to the importation.


In case of red line (high risk shipment), the minimum documents required to be submitted to the Customs for the clearance of imports consists of:

  1. Import Declaration
  2. Bill of Lading (B/L) or Air Waybill
  3. Invoice
  4. Packing List
  5. Import License (if applicable)
  6. Certificates of Origin (if applicable)
  7. Other relevant documents such as catalogue, product ingredients, etc.


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 the e-Customs system.

Generally, declaration and clearance process include 4 stages:

1. Submission of a Declaration: The first stage of import clearance process is to complete an Import Declaration and submit it to the e-Customs system. Prior to the arrival of cargo or upon the arrival of cargo, a shipping agent electronically transmits a ship or aircraft arrival report, and manifest information to the e-Customs system. If there is no error, the ship or aircraft arrival report number is automatically generated by the e-Customs system and the response message is transmitted to the shipping agent. When the cargo arrives at the port or place of entry, an importer or a Customs broker submits an Import Declaration to the e-Customs system.

2. Check and Verification of the Declaration: The second stage is the check and verification of the Declaration and all supporting documents (in case of red line) made by an importer. Again, the e-Customs system validates the given data and issues a Declaration and Payment Numbers within a few seconds in conjunction with the e-payment. In addition, the selectivity profile system will validate the transmitted data and specify the Goods Declaration to be the Green Line or Red Line.

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.

a. In case of green line, 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 inspection ) or a Green Line (permission of release). A Green Line Declaration is cleared within a few minutes without Customs intervention. Then, the cargo status is electronically sent to both the Port Authority and the importer/Customs broker.

b. In case of red line, the predetermined selectivity criteria indicates that the cargo is subject to be the Red Line, the Port Authority removes the cargo container for physical inspection by Customs before the release of the cargo.