Shipping to Thailand: What you need to know
Thailand, in Southeast Asia, is a popular destination for tourists and backpackers alike, as well as a favourite choice of new home for expat Brits. The buzzing capital of Bangkok, known for its exotic and chaotic markets, delicious street food and famous nightlife, is a city of extremes.
Postal history in Thailand is surprisingly short - the earliest recorded mail from Bangkok only dates back to 1836. Prior to that, service was limited and mainly used by the royal family. International mail was instead sent via steamboat to post offices in nearby countries. Thankfully, it’s easy for anyone to send packages to Thailand these days, and delivery tends to be a little more direct!
What can't you send?
As is the case when sending any international packages, it's always wise to check if there any restrictions on goods entering the country. Thailand's list of prohibited items is relatively short compared to some countries, but ignore it and your parcel will more than likely be intercepted by customs officials. Here are just a few of the banned items:
Goods bearing the Thai national flag
Fake currency, bonds or coins
Fake royal seals/official seals
IPR-infringing goods (musical tape, CD, VDO, computer software, etc.).
There are also goods which can be sent but carry restrictions, for which a permit will need to be attained from the Thai Ministry of Commerce. There are currently more than 50 classes of goods requiring import licences. Check with the Thai Customs Department for the full list of these items.
On top of these, other goods are controlled by their relevant ministries. For example, the import of drugs, foods and supplements require licensing from the Food and Drug Administration at the Ministry of Health. Importers of cosmetics must also provide certain relevant information and antiques or objects of art require permission from the Fine Arts Department.
A parcel sent from the UK to Thailand should arrive in 3-4 days when sent by express delivery. Be aware, though, that during this time it may be opened and depending on the value or whether it is a commercial sale, it may be subject to a customs levy. As with all international packages it's always a good idea to make sure items are well padded and that the box is securely taped. Following these guidelines and adhering to the country's restriction, as well as those of the shipping company, will mean the package should arrive safely in Thailand with no problems at all.
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