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Archives for March 2013

Application for Registered Exporter in Thailand

The exporter who wants to become a Registered Exporter and receive certain privileges should submit the Registered Exporter Application Form (SorTor.1) along with the required documents to the following offices:

  1. For a company under supervision of Bureau of Large Business Tax Administration can submit the application at Planning and Evaluation Division of the Bureau of Large Business Tax Administration.
  2. Other companies can submit the application at Area Revenue Branch Office

2.1 For a VAT registered company located in the jurisdiction of Area Revenue Office within Bangkok area, the application must be submitted at Withholding Tax and Refunds Sub-division.

2.2 For a VAT registered company located in the jurisdiction of Area Revenue Office outside Bangkok area, the application must be submitted at Tax Processing and Refunds Sub-division.

Once the application documents are submitted, the following approval process will take place:

  • The Bureau of Large Business Tax Administration or Area Revenue Office (depending on the case), will verify the credibility of the exporter who submitted the Registered Exporter Application Form.
  • Then, the opinion will be sent to the Registered Exporter Classification Committee to review and send to the Director of Bureau of Large Business Tax Administration or the Director of Area Revenue Office for approval.
  • The Bureau of Large Business Tax Administration or Area Revenue Office (depending on the case) will then notify the result to the exporter.

Interested in setting up an exporting company and become a Registered Exporter in Thailand? ThaiLawyers can help you for company registration, visa and work permit application. MSNA’s Thai Tax Advisors can help you coordinate with the Thai Revenue Department for Registered Exporter application.

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How to become a Registered Exporter in Thailand

As a way to support exporters in Thailand, the Thai Revenue Department (TRD) makes every effort to help increase the international competitiveness for local businesses. Hence, the TRD categorize exporters into ordinary exporters, good exporters and registered exporters.

Today, we summarize the criteria set by the TRD for Registered Exporters in Thailand. This is in accordance with the Departmental Instruction No. Tor.597/2545 dated 19 December B.E. 2545.

Qualifications of a Registered Exporter

For exporters who would like to be considered as Registered Exporters, they must have the following qualifications:

  1. The exporter must be a juristic company or partnership or an individual who is a VAT registered.
  2. The exporter must have carried on business of not less than 12 months and have ratio of goods exported abroad not less than 50% of total sales in the last 12 months prior to submitting the Registered Exporter Application form and have proof of bringing foreign currency into Thailand or a proof that shows the transaction has been set-off.
  3. The exporter must have stability and continuity in operations and have ownership rights in immovable property e.g. land, building, factory and etc.
  4. The exporter must have net assets exceed net debt for the last accounting period prior to submitting the Registered Exporter Application Form for a limited company or partnership.
  5. The exporter must have good tax history, have paid taxes according to the real business situation, and have never avoided paying taxes.
  6. The exporter must be a member of commercial association(s) or private organization(s) e.g. Thai Chamber of Commerce, Provincial Chamber of Commerce etc. and such association(s) or organization(s) can verify the credibility and reliability of the company’s financial status.


Exporter who will be approved as Registered Exporter must meet the following conditions:

  1. The exporter has VAT refund directly deposited into the bank account.
  2. If possessing branch office(s), the exporter must be authorized to file tax return and pay VAT in consolidation.
  3. In case an exporter is a juristic company or partnership, the Certified Public Accountant or Tax Auditor who will verify and certify financial statement for the accounting period in which the company submits the Registered Exporter Application Form, must be appointed by consent of the shareholders meeting and must follow the conditions in Section 3 septem of the Thai Revenue Code. The exporter must submit CPA’s name and registration number, CPA office’s name, an accountant’s name and accounting office’s name.

The above information outlines the general conditions and qualifications for a Registered Exporter applicant and is subject to any changes without prior notice. Interested to become a Registered Exporter in Thailand, contact MSNA for Registered Exporter application.

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Prohibited and Restricted Goods in Thailand

Today, we got an interesting question from one of our inquiring clients:

Question: We want to set up a trading company in Thailand. We will import products from overseas but we are not sure if we will be allowed. What are the products that we cannot bring to Thailand and which government agencies should we contact to get the proper permission?


The Thai Customs Department is charged to stop the importation and exportation of prohibited goods in Thailand. It is also designated to intercept the importation and exportation of restricted goods, ensuring that all relevant laws and regulations are followed properly. Moreover, the comprehensive list of prohibited and restricted goods as well as information about the control and in the case of restricted goods to the permission to import/export may be obtained from the Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce.

The following information from the Thai Customs generally outlines the prohibited or restricted goods in Thailand. This will give you the idea where you can obtain more information about the control and, in the case of restricted goods, to apply for permission to import/export.

Prohibited Goods

Prohibited goods are goods for which either the import into or export out of Thailand are prohibited. Any person imports or exports prohibited goods is considered as committing offences and subject to penalties indicated in the relevant national legislation. In addition, such activity is also considered as an offence under Articles 27 and 27 bis of the Customs Act B.E. 2469. It is prohibited by law to bring the following items into our out of Thailand.

  • Narcotics e.g., marijuana, hemp, opium, cocaine, morphine, heroin
  • Goods with Thai national flag
  • Fake Royal Seals/official seals
  • Fake currency, bonds or coins
  • Pirated copyright goods e.g. musical tape, CD, VDO, computer software, etc.
  • Obscene objects/literature/pictures
  • Pornographic materials
  • Counterfeit trademark goods

Restricted Goods

Restricted Goods are goods of which the import and export are restricted by law and therefore require a permit from the related government agencies. Any person imports or exports restricted goods is considered as committing offences and subject to penalties indicated in the relevant national legislation. In addition, such activity is also subjected to the offence under Articles 27 and 27 bis of the Customs Act B.E. 2469.

Although the Thai Customs is charged to stop the trading of prohibited goods and intercept the flow of restricted goods, the Ministry of Commerce in Thailand designates classes of goods that are subject to import controls, which usually take the form of permission and licensing. Although these controls are being liberalized, at present more than 50 classes of goods require import licenses from the Ministry of Commerce. These categories are frequently changed through notifications of the Ministry of Commerce. A license to import any of the restricted items must be obtained from the Ministry of Commerce prior to importation. Application for the license must be accompanied by a supplier’s order, confirmation, invoice, and other pertinent documents.

In addition to the Act imposing the above controls, a number of goods are also subject to import controls under or other relevant agencies. These include:

  • The import of drugs, food and supplementary products requires prior licensing from the Food and Drug Administration, the Ministry of Health.
  • The imports of weapons and ammunition, explosives, fireworks and real and replica firearms requires appropriate license from the Ministry of Interior. Other weapons such as electric shock devices must also be declared. Some of these items may require a permit, before importation.
  • The Cosmetic Act stipulates that for the purpose of protection of public health, any importer of controlled cosmetics must provide the name and location of the office and the place of manufacture or storage of cosmetics, the category or kind of cosmetics to be imported and the major components of the cosmetics.
  • The import or export of antiques or objects of art, whether registered or not, requires permission from the Fine Arts Department.
  • The import of wild fauna, flora, fish and other aquatic fauna requires permission from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Fishery as the case may be.

The above information serves as a general guideline only and subject to changes without prior notice from the respective government authorities. It does not in any way replace the Thai Customs and related laws or regulations. We highly recommend that you should verify the accuracy, relevance, and completeness of the information with the concerned authorities. Hence, contact ThaiLawyers for company registration, business licenses, work permit & visa application services.

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Visa Expiration Date – what does it mean?

Sometimes, foreigners find it confusing on how to differentiate the visa expiration date from visa validity. Today, we discuss about the meaning of visa expiration date and how is it different from the validity of visa.

Visa expiration date is shown on the visa and it generally means that the visa is valid. Depending on the foreigner’s nationality, visas can be issued for any number of entries, from as little as one entry to as many as multiple or unlimited entries, for the same purpose of travel. When the visa is issued from multiple entries, it can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for the same purpose of traveling.

On the other hand, visa validity is the time period from the visa issuance date to visa expiration date as shown on the visa. For example, if you are a foreigner who travels frequently as a tourist with a multiple entry visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa each time you want to travel to Thailand. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in Thailand to request permission of the immigration officer to permit you to enter Thailand. However, the visa does not guarantee entry to Thailand. Each time you arrive at the port-of-entry like at Suvarnabhumi airport, an immigration officer decides whether to allow you to enter and how long you can stay. Note that only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter Thailand.

Eventually, the visa expiration date should not be confused with the authorized length of your stay (permit of stay) in Thailand, given to you by the immigration officer at port-of-entry. The visa expiration date has nothing to do with your permit of stay in Thailand for any given visit.

As the Thailand Visa and Immigration rules and governing laws tend to change from time to time, it is better to seek the help of English speaking Thai Visa Experts. For your visa application needs, contact MSNA for further assistance.

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Tax benefits for provident fund members

The Thai Revenue Department has recently enhanced tax benefits for taxpayers who contribute to provident funds.

Previously, the employees’ income or benefits received upon the termination of their employment due to death, disability, or retirement was tax exempted. The new tax benefit eliminates the retirement requirement whereas if an employment is terminated before an employee turns 55 years old, his/her income or benefits received upon such termination is still exempted on the conditions that such income or benefits remain in the fund until the death or disability of the employee or the employee reaches 55 years of age.

The implementation of tax benefit aims to encourage long-term savings for the provident fund members. When the members have retired or left their job according to the law, any payment or benefits received upon such retirement or employment termination is tax exempted. This will improve the quality of life and promote the equality between members of provident funds and the government pension funds.

Need help on Thai taxes? Contact English speaking accountants and tax experts of MSNA.

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