Possible to sell foreign bikes in Thailand?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by courtneyderr, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. courtneyderr

    courtneyderr New Member

    My husband and I are currently in Ubon Ratchathani, making our way to Chiang Mai. We're riding new Honda XR 125s with Vietnamese plates, brought to Thailand on a 30-day temporary import. All the paperwork is in the name of the seller (Cuong's motorbikes in Hanoi) and we have a bill of sale and receipt showing we own the bikes. It was no problem to cross Vietnam to Laos and Laos to Thailand.

    We are looking to sell the bikes in Chiang Mai, but we are not sure if that's allowed since they are here on temporary import. The paperwork we received from Thai customs says that if we don't export them by the 30-day mark, we face fines of almost $1000 per bike, which we'd really like to avoid. However, we've read that it's possible but that the seller and buyer need to go to customs (or the border) together to sort it out. We've also heard that immigration and customs "don't talk to each other" - in other words, if we leave Thailand via plane, there's nothing in our immigration papers, stamps, or files to indicate we imported bikes, so they'd never know. That seems like an awfully big risk to take.

    Does any have intel on this?
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Legally, no. If someone wants to buy one of your bikes in Thailand they'll never be able to register it and get a Thai plate, so really they're only useful for parts or for someone who doesn't care about having a road-legal bike.

    TiT (This is Thailand) so sure there's always room for negotiation and it might be possible to find a customs officer somewhere who might be persuaded to update the computer to show that the bike has left the country.

    As far as Thai Customs catching up with you for failing to bring the bikes out of the country- It's unlikely, but all the customs forms do go in a database so there's always a risk that if you return to Thailand in the future a fine could be waiting for you...

    I'm told it's MUCH easier to get a foreign plated bike registered in Cambodia so that's where I would go if I were you.

    Best of luck!
  4. courtneyderr

    courtneyderr New Member

    Thanks for the clear and quick response, TonyBKK! Bummer about not being able to sell here, but we've heard the same about Cambodia. Do you by any chance know of any motorcycle touring companies in Siem Reap, which is the easiest? I ask b/c your run-of-the-mill tourist looking to do a week or two of riding won't want to plunk down the cash for such a nice bike (basically brand-new at only 5,000 kms.). I think we may have better luck selling to a touring company that can then run it into the ground.
  5. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    Disagree Tony, theres nothing that legally prevents you selling the bike, only the new owner will probably not have the ownership papers in his name, unless your home / bike registration country can do that (in the UK for example they will happily change the name even if the bike is SORNed and declared off of UK roads, they also ask for no ID docs so its simply a case of sending the forms in with the new owners name and providing a UK mailing address, so in the UK its pretty trivial).

    Even without that happening, you can draw up a bill of sale, photocopy passport and ID docs, and provide the letter of authorization that allows the new owner to cross borders. This is all legit and accepted.

    All that said when the current owners brought it into Thailand they have presumably done a temp import declaration and vouched they will pay the sizeable tax penalty if they fail to re-export the bike. If you take the bike to the border many borders will stamp it out under the current name, and back in under the new persons name (under the letter of authorization) Chiang Kong just confirmed this is acceptable to them only a month or two ago. I have paid some attention as I might get rid of my KTM LC4 super moto and thats on Cambo plates this year. I dont think its worth the effort for both buyer and seller to go back to Phnom Penh so this is one simple way.

    Lastly.. While I agree this is technically legal.. I cant see anyone being that interested in an XR 125 to jump through all these legal hoops. The bikes not valuable enough. For example with the new 1000 thb per day fines for overstay, and guessing this bike might be on overstay, then how much of the value of the bike is already incurred in fines ??

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