The 2017 Customs Act of Thailand

On 17 May 2017, the Royal Gazette officially announced the 2017 Customs Act into law. It will now come into force mid-November 2017.
This new customs legislation has been long anticipated, as many local and international businesses considered the previous law, passed in 1926, outdated and onerous for today’s business climate.

Some key amendments are:

  • Audits and investigations are now limited to five years after the import/export date.
  • Customs must now consider whether any offence in question had willful intent or was a case of negligence when determining penalties.
  • The Thai courts have been given discretion when determining fines.
  • Penalties have been capped to be one half to four times the duty shortfall, instead of the previous four times the total of the CIF value of the shipment (cost, insurance, and freight).
  • There are now specific caps to the current compensation scheme for informants and officers.
  • A 180-day timeline is now set for appeals to the Customs’ Board of Appeals.
  • Presumed liabilities for the accused as well as for directors and management has been removed.
It is very important to note that before the law comes into effect, it is expected that over 80 rules and regulations will be passed to enforce the law. GPS Legal & Consulting will be monitoring these developments carefully. For more information, please contact us.