Punitive Regulations and Fines by Thai Customs

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by paulhen, May 17, 2014.

  1. I arrived at the border crossing about 10 km from Anlong Venh to see that it was a very small one consisting of several small shacks on opposite sides of the road for the Thai and Cambodian immigration and customs officials, all of which was within easy eyesight. I went to the Cambodian officers and asked for them to review my documents before I crossed the next day. They did so rather thoroughly and said they would stamp me the next day. I could see only about six officers consisting of two police, one immigration and two customs agents.

    Sadly NOT an event free border crossing this time either - I had had great difficulties upon entry to Cambodia four months earlier at Poipet where Cambodian Customs officials quarantined my motorbike for several days based on their interpretation of a December 2012 directive saying a vehicle import acceptance letter had to be issued by the Cambodian Department of Tourism. Now, even though it was the same officers at Cambodian side that prechecked my documents for me and my bike the day before, it took me an hour in the blazing sun to clear. They reminded me I could not come back in there - only at Poipet. They could not tell me why.

    Then the Thai side hit the fan for almost three hours. They claimed, and my paperwork bore them out, that my motorbike was only allowed out of Thailand 31 days! Who would think that such a clause existed. I explained I had a visa extension and had a Cambodian multiple entry Commerce Visa so how could I have possibly had my bike's allowed absence until date extended and where, even if I had noticed there was such a requirement in the Thai exit papers from four months earlier. They did not know. Then they said it was a 10,000 baht fine. They showed me customs law change in January upped the fine from 100 baht/day to 1,000 with a maximum 10,000. I kept pleading my case, doubting I had the money on me and at least get the fine reduced to that amount in force at the time my motorbike exited Thailand. After numerous calls their superiors ruled I had to enter Thailand at Poipet and they were turning me back. I told them Cambodian customs/immigration would not let me back in at this crossing! More phone calls with the net net being I paid them 10,000 baht (which left me one 10 baht coin!). Hot and steaming under the collar I left with an official receipt. I also politely told them that I would send a complaint to the customs chief in BKK. So they knew what I was going to do, they said good luck getting my money back, said they are very sorry but they must follow policy as they showed me in the directive.

    Why does the Thai government consider it their business how long my motorbike is out of the country? I own it, Thai motorbike plate and tax and insurance are all paid by me. What if I had changed registration and got a new plate in Kampucha (Cambodia)? What if I did not happen to have 10,000 baht cash in hand? How would Thailand have punished me then?

    The Thai government do not like farang - but they sure want their money at every turn! I see examples of this many times and most often, I consider it just another tax, but not this time. It makes me very sad because I have made Thailand my home but the landlord does not show a good heart at any turn it seems.

    I was going to attach an image file of the Customs form on which the "must return by date" is found and a copy of the fine receipt but see no way of doing that on the forum posting?
  2. The return date has always been there, you need to read and check all the documentation. They will give a longer "temporary export " if you can talk them into it , prior to leaving Thailand. As for Cambodian customs it has been my experience to totally avoid going to see them and just drive past. It may be wrong, but it works. Sometimes it just pays to do the things the wrong and illogical way.

    Thanks for the heads up that the fine has been increased.
  3. Harri is correct, if you read the form you sign there is a limit on the period of import / export of your bike. Overstay & there is a fine to pay / negotiate. It has always been that way.
  4. Greetings Harry and David,

    I can certainly appreciate the customs branch of any country being entitled to regulate importation. But for "exportation", it is a different story. The fact that Thailand does it, does not make it right. Can you imagine European countries each requiring this of holidayers criss crossing Europe? This is my personal vehicle a and I live in Thailand on a retirement visa and drive with a permanent Thai driver's license.

    I would sure like to meet the government bureaucrat that implemented this policy and have him justify it!
  5. More chance of hell freezing over! :lol-sign:

    But I agree with you. It would also make an extended trip out of Thailand with a Thai registered bike extremely difficult and illegal one would assume...
  6. ^ But you can extend the duration beyond the standard 30 days. I have a mate who went on a 2+ month tour of Malaysia and Indonesia and didn't have any trouble getting a 3 month temporary export permit at Sadao...
  7. Hello Paulhen,
    Only 4 days after entering Laos with my Thai registered bike,I fell on a trail West of Luang Phrabang and badly broke my leg.
    I was further flewn out of the country for proper surgery in France. The bike remained at friend' house.
    I knew,from the customs forms,there was a 30 day limit in both countries.
    So,before going back to LPQ to retrieve it,I copied everything I could,hospital bills in LPQ, BKK, X-rays,passport stamps etc
    to plead my case. Then,I asked good old friends in both countries to contact custom top brass in Houei xai and Chiengkhong.
    Even so,I must admit I was not 100°/° confident,riding towards the bridge checkpoint! But,despite the fact I had to pay 300B to cross on a pick-up truck,everything went smoothly.(must have had my name on their desk?)
    I can imagine the trouble I would have been in if I did not prepare everything ahead...
    Cheers, Lung Jacques.
  8. Good to know Tony, thanks.
  9. Just crossing from Thailand to Lao again. Double checked with customs. - the overtstay fine is now 1,000 baht a day up to a maximum of 10,000 baht. I asked what about if over stay 6 -12 months? The reply 10,000 baht Fine.


    Power On. sent from Sony Xperia AcroS
  10. Hello David,
    So,I spared 10,000B on the Thai side. Do you happen to know if there is also a maximum for long overstay in Laos?
    I was so stressed that I forgot to look at the form and did not dare to ask.
    Lung Jacques.
  11. Lung Sorry I forgot to check when on the way out across the bridge on Friday.

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