I still own the Moto Guzzi that I bought in the seventies in my home country the Netherlands, and stored it when going to work overseas 25 years ago. Now that I retired in Thailand, I want to ship the bike to Thailand and then use it here after recommissioning it to excellent standard. The bike is running but looks quite desperate. How do I go about importing this bike into Thailand legally but avoid paying excessive taxes? Anyone with first hand experience? Kees
First your question comes with a question, I know it's impolite – but it's important, is your motorcycle still registered in The Netherlands?
If so, you need to try to find somebody credible – like the Moto Guzzi importer or even the manufacturer, who is able to give you a paper what says that your model with the right modifications can meet the Euro III exhaust emission standard. (Officially this paper with the statement is not needed, but some say that it helps to get a import license).
For the importation of used/secondhand motorcycle, an importer needs to obtain an import permit from the Foreign Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce before the arrival of the vehicles. We only have a telephone number +66 (0)2-5474804 (calling has little use and calling in English will probably irritated you so much that you maybe ask yourself if you really want to retire in Thailand).
Also ship the motorcycle in a separated crate, so that the weight of the vehicle is easily registered. Some people had problems in the past of including the motorcycle in a 20 or 40 feet sea-container with all other stuff they wanted to send to Thailand.
Thailand has for different products different import taxes, for instance importing your book collection will probably only cost you a few Euro... But motorcycle can range from 10 to 178% import duty and taxes... Mixing products from different tax tables is not a good idea...
25-year old Moto Guzzi, I would love to have one... and I guess that the change a Thai custom officer feels the same (almost every Thai has a motorcycle history). Officially, a motorcycle over 10-years of age is taxed to the idea of the officer handling your case... It's therefore probably best that you hire a company that does the shipping and customs clearing for you... They know the tricks and know what to talk back... Also don't restore anything on the motorcycle before you ship it to Thailand. Maybe even try to find a fuel-tank worst looking than what you have now... (doesn't really need to fit perfect also... but it has to be able to roll without parts falling off... So fuel-tank separate is not a good option... fuel-tank mounted with 5-meters of duct tape will probably work)...
Do not let them (customs officers) convince you to import it as scrape metal, it will be very difficult and expensive to get something what was imported as scrap metal back to being a motorcycle. Even if the customs officer says that you will never be able to get it registered as motorcycle anyway so better no pay expensive import duty for importing it as a motor-vehicle ….
By: Anonymous: Chang Noi () Sunday, 20 February 2011 @ 01:45 PM ICT
IF you are OFICIALLY ritirering in Thailand you can import the bike as personal things, you have to proof that the bike was yours for at least 3 years (I think). This will save you a lot of tax! Think of the good old BPM in the Netherlands, but then higher.
After having it imported and paid tax, there is another thing as getting it on the road oficially. On the other hand if you do not fancy to drive a lot with it you could skip that and just have a beautiful bike.