Question about Thai customs

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Harry, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. I want to bring my own bike to thailand, like i did last year. Is there a possibility, to leave the bike in thailand for my next trip? I heard, Thailand doesn't accept the ,,Carnet de Passage''. Any other solution? Thanks for help in advance!

  2. Harry

    LEGALLY - no. When you enter Thailand, your bike gets a temporary "tourist visa" good for 30 days. After that time, you have to take the bike out of Thailand.

    I am not sure about using a Carnet. I know people that have used them in Thailand. But,having a Carnet does not give you more than 30 days.

    ACTUALLY - you can PROBABLY get away with it. You could do a "visa run" with the bike when you return for the next trip. That would make it legally in the country for your travels. Or, you could just take it out when you finally leave. Either way, you will probably have to pay a fine.

    There are several bikers in Chiang Mai that are doing the same thing now. SO FAR, they are getting away with it. Hopefully, they will post some of their experiences here.

    But, this is Thailand. There a a lot of possible scenarios, depending on where and when you take the bike out, or if you have to deal with the police. The Thai system is slowly getting more efficient, and rumors are always flying around about stricter enforcement of the existing laws.

    You might consider buying Thai insurance for the bike, and putting the sticker on the bike. The minimum policy is only 650 baht per year, and it would give an image of legality.

    Good luck.

  3. Hi Bob,

    thank you for information. I know, the temporary import is restricted up to 30 days. But i hoped, there's a backdoor....
    By the way, when i crossed the border to cambodia the Thai customs did not remove the import stamp in my passport! When i came back later to Thailand, nobody seems to be interested in this stamp. Even at the airport, when i flew home, nobody looked at this stamp. It's still in my passport now. So i could have left the bike in Thailand.....But i think, it would be a problem to take it out again later, because the customs need the import paper. And if they see the import date.....I don't know what happens then. Do you know??? And should i take the export papers with me, if i'll go to Thailand again to prove i exported my bike?
  4. Harry

    I cannot give you any accurate info about importing your bike, because my bikes are Thai registered. I have taken them out of Thailand, but have brought them back in shortly after.

    Maybe someone else can help you out with specific information. But any info will relate to that particular border crossing at that time. It will NOT be guaranteed.

    What exactly have you done so far, and where is the bike? You talk about a trip to Thailand, but mentioned a visit to Cambodia as well.

  5. Hi Bob,

    in December03/January 04 i brought my bike (Africa Twin 650) to Bangkok. From there I went down (together with a friend) to Hat Lek, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat, later across the border at Muang Khong to Lao. Back to Thailand at Chiang Kong and after some weeks in Thailand I sent the bike by ship back to Germany. (Aircargo is about four times more expensive than from Germany to Thailand!!!). Now I'm thinking about doing the same again in January '05. And because i think it wouldn't be the last trip in these area, i would like to leave my bike in Thailand.....

  6. Harry
    There's no back door for sneaking your bike into the country for extended periods.
    You can temporarily import your bike for a max of 6 months at time.
    After this the bike must go out of the country, & come back in if need be.
    I suspect that you might be able to get away with this for 18 months (3 consecutive 6-mths periods.)
    Normally your bike is allowed in for the period of your visa – 1-mth transit, 2-mth tourist, or 3-mth non-immigrant.
    It is possible to extend the temporary import at the local customs office, if your visa has not yet expired & you don’t want to make a trip out of the country just to extend the "bike visa."
    The fine for overstaying is 100 baht a day, with a maximum of 2,000 baht.
    I’ve seen fines of 2,000 baht paid for a 9 month overstay, but the bike owner was told not to come back again. So there's a limit to how far you can push your luck.
    I recently witnessed this, just a few days ago with someone who might like to write up a report on the temporary import situation. He has first class experience exploiting the situation, but is now very aware of the dangers & complications.

    If you’ve had a great time riding around here why not make a contribution to the board with some Road & Trip reports. We can all learn from your experience
    How did you go with your chase for a chain & sprocket set in January? We never heard from you again.....

    Keep the power on
  7. I have paid that fine 2 times for the same bike. First time it was really Thai customs fault as I had just spent 2 days in Thailand coming in from Malaysia. I went back and the papers weren't properly registered. I came back 8 months later and they showed that my bike was still in the country. Obviusly it wasn't as I was coming in from Malaysia and was re-importing it for the 3 weeks I was going to be there in 2001. I had to pay the 2,000 baht fine. Other than that no problem. In 2003 I had planned to be in Thailand for 2 months and could not get a 2 month import for the bike. I had planned on taking it out at the Lao border. However, the brakes locked up on me and it was a few weeks waiting on parts so when I took it out after 2 months I had to pay a fine again.

    I was not hassled about not returning or anything either time. I can see where they might though. Both times I tried to explain what had happened but the bureaurcracy insisted and 2,000 baht isn't really all that much money.
  8. Hello Harry:

    I have had a bike here in Thailand for a few years now, and am very well versed in the Thai system of customs regarding vehicle overstay. The other posters are correct, thirty days is the most you can get. If the bike is here longer than that you will be required to pay an overstay fine of 100 baht per day, with a max amount of 2000 baht. So any time period of up to six months you can simply pay the fine. HOWEVER be aware of the fact that during your overstay period your bike is in Thailand illegally. It would be within Thai law for them to seize your bike if you were involved in an accident for example.
    When paying the fine be apologetic, and everything is fine. Final caveat is if you overstay 6 months or more. This act seems to put the biker into a new catagory, ie pissing on Thai customs law. If you remember the very large amount of Thai baht that is stated on your temp import form for failing to export the bike, well that is what they will be asking for. I made a math mistake and found myself in that exact position. Took some fast talking to work myself out of that hole. Had to stand my ground and smile a lot............
    Have made the Cambodia loop a few times and really enjoyed it. Always feels like I am back in the wild west. Take care. Robert
  9. Thanks to all of you for information!

  10. Harry, the above posts over some pretty good insight to the situation if you try to leave a bike here that isn't legally imported or has a Thai plate. At the end of the day if you are not here to babysit your bike it really isn't worthe the possible grief. If yo uare really determined to leave yoru bike is this part of the world I would suggest you check out the possibility of leaving it in Cambodia. JOHN
  11. It's really easy to leave a bike in Malaysia. When I crossed the border at Padang Besar no bike paperwork was demanded, so the bike went in without. The same thing happened when I entered for the 2nd time from Singapore. Customs was closed. When flying it out of KL it caused a bit of head scratching at customs, but no problem. Many Thai and Malaysian bikes cross this border and they don't even get off their bikes. Neither did I on the Malaysian side.

  12. Yeah the Malay border is pretty much open for ASEAN bikes.. Have done it multiple times without any demands for paperwork (beyond usually a quick glance at the green book, one time not even that) either way on Thai regged bikes and cars... I know friends who have been border running non Thai regged bikes every 6 months for years now, and even with those they have to make a point to stop and have the reg papers done, its not always demanded of them but its a problem internally of course if they dont. This is why the northern systems of one month only temp export surprised me as experiences south are far different.

    The odd non ASEAN car slips through on a dark and rainy night too.. Seen a UK regged new Range Rover on Phuket and know at least one car that came in unofficially that way.

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