March 19, 2014

Importing motorcycle wheels/tires? Know the law!

I've been buying used SR alloy rims from Germany for a year. Never had a problem. Sometimes they got charged with custom fees and tax, other times I didn't have to pay anything.

2 days ago I got a notice from the post stating that my wheels got stopped at customs in Chaeng Wattana, Bangkok. I let my wife call them and deal with it, but she just got stone walled. The customs officer told her first that the declared value seemed too small and second that importing used tires was against the law. They told her that the wheels were impounded and they wouldn't even send them back to the seller in Germany. They implied that if we tried to get them back, lawyers would be necessary. The situation looked pretty darn hopeless.

I did some online research and indeed, there was such a law (November 2013), to prevent the dumping of used tires in Thailand. Apparently, there were containers full of them, which would have landed in some illegal landfill.

Nonetheless, today I called them up myself and after a few minutes, they told me to go to Bangkok and talk to an official. So, off I went on a 2 hours drive, all the way rehearsing what I would say to them and testing my most endearing smile.
None of that mattered.
When I got there, I was given a number, waited in line, paid the custom fee and tax and that was it!

I don't know what really happened. I'm just glad I got the wheels.

So, if you're thinking about importing used wheels, make sure they're without tires and save yourself a big headache.

On 16 August 2013, Ministry of Commerce issued a notification which specified that used tires particularly tires used in cars, motorcycles and bicycles were prohibited for import into Thailand. However, used tires for buses or trucks are still permitted for import with an import permit and only if they are imported for production of retreaded tires for export to other countries.
The rules on prohibition of import of tires or application for import of tires will be effective after 60 days from 6 September 2013.
Source: Notification of Ministry of Commerce re: Used Tires are classified as Prohibited Goods or Goods requiring an Import Licence for Import into Thailand in accordance with the rules for organizing the import into the Kingdom B.E. 2556, 16 August 2013.

1 comment:

InazumaLuke said...

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