Import Business in Thailand

Import business in Thailand: 6 things to know

Starting an import or export business in Thailand seems lucrative to foreign investors. This is because this particular business is not governed by the Foreign Business Act, 1999. In other words, you can easily start an import or export business without a 51% Thai shareholding. In case you too were thinking about starting such a business in Thailand, then take a look at these points before taking any decision:

Import Business in Thailand

  1. Before you start an import or export business in Thailand, you must obtain an import license or an export license from the relevant government office.
  1. Overall, you can import goods in Thailand without any restrictions. But, there are a few items that you cannot import without an import license. The Department Of Foreign Trade issues an import license for a number of goods but for many other goods, import license is issued by other departments of the government. This is because there are different government policies involved in controlling the import of one or the other type of goods.
  1. Goods that require an import license from the Department of Foreign Trade includes used motor vehicles (such as car, motorcycle or any other vehicle), unfinished cloth parts, color printing machines (for preventing the production of colored banknotes) or intaglio printing machines etc.
  1. To import chemicals and any pharmaceutical product or drugs, you must obtain an import license from the Food and Drug Administration. This is done in order to protect public health and ensure safety and also for ensuring the economic safety of the country.
  1. If you want to import gold, you must get a license from the Thai Ministry of Finance. This is for protecting the financial security of the country. For importing antique idols, an import license is to be obtained from the Fine Arts Department, Thailand. The Department of Intellectual Property issues an import license for importing machines for copying CDs and DVDs.
  1. Familiarize yourself with the customs processes in Thailand. Find out the tariffs, incentive programs (if any) for exporters and importers.

Hopefully, these points will help you get an idea about the export/import scenario in Thailand. It is best to consult a legal service provider or agency (like us) to ensure that you do not violate any law. If you want to know the ways to obtain a Thai import license, then connect with our legal experts at +66 26260277 or write to us at

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