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Relocating to Thailand

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If you're planning to relocate to Thailand, you may wish to ship your belongings and furniture, especially if the costs are being covered by your company. In which case, it's worth enquiring with your company about removal recommendations, as they may have other expat employees who have been through the process and can give advice.

When choosing an international removal company, it's worth choosing one with a long track record that is a member of the FIDI Global Alliance and accredited by FAIM quality standard, which is the only quality standard for overseas removals.

Large moving companies will offer a door-to-door sea-freight service, which offers the choice of having your goods loaded at your door to your own designated shipping container, or sharing space inside a container that would be loaded at a depot.

The amount of things you wish to move will determine the service you require and the costs involved. Firstly, it's a good idea to get a free home survey from a company to find out whether your move will require the use of your own sea freight container or if your charges can be based on the volume that you decide to ship. If you are simply looking to send a small consignment of up to 20 suitcases/cartons/bags, then you may just require a quote for excess baggage shipping or an airfreight service instead.

Certain things are not allowed to be brought into Thailand. These include radio transmitters; seeds, plants and dried floral arrangements; firearms and ammunition; explosives and fireworks; narcotics; pornography; and medical equipment. You may also require approval to ship certain restricted exports, such as wine and spirits, Asian antiques or religious artefacts, and food.

If you wish to ship your furniture and belongings to Thailand, you will need to show your passport, and proof of a Non-Immigrant Visa and work permit that are both valid for at least a year. You will also need to complete a removal inventory form, which the removal company should help you to prepare, and a valuation form for shipment protection cover.

Process

After your pre-move survey has been completed, you will be assigned move coordinators who will control all aspects of your removal from start to finish. If you wish to change items on your removal list prior to the removal day, then you should discuss changes with the person managing the process.

Most companies appreciate at least four weeks notice prior to removal date. However, some companies do understand if you are unable to give this much notice and offer a provisional booking process where crew can be allocated on a provisional moving date.

Many foreigners moving to Thailand don't manage to find their accommodation before they move. However, this shouldn't be a problem for a professional removal company as many will simply require a contact address and contact details when you initially book the move. The delivery address can then be advised at a later date or after your arrival. Once your goods have gone through customs clearance in Thailand, you can arrange a suitable delivery date or request for your belongings to be kept in storage until you have found a place to call home in Thailand.

On your removal date, experienced export packing teams can come to your home to professionally pack the contents that you wish to be shipped to Thailand using correct packing materials. All items should be packed into export-approved cartons and all furniture should be protected using export-approved blankets. Once packing is complete, the crew will create an inventory listing all the items.

Whether you are sending a full or part-load container, it should be secured with a customs type seal before shipping, and you should be given the estimated time of arrival of your container. The time between removal from your home and arrival at your new residence in Thailand varies depending on the shipment size and origin country, but is often approximately five to eight weeks for full container shipments from Europe, and six to 10 weeks for part-load shipments.

An experienced international removal company will be able to handle any customs clearance formalities on your behalf to ensure that your goods are cleared correctly. The clearance process will begin once your personal and household effects arrive in Thailand and are presented to customs for approval. This process can take up to seven days or sometimes even longer, but you can expect to be kept updated. It's important to note that you will need to pay duty on certain items, such as wedding gifts, brand new furniture, wine and food, for your shipment to be released.

Insurance and fees

If you choose to go with a company that offers a door-to-door service then the fees will include customs clearance and other related charges, which should be listed in the initial quote. If you are a first-time immigrant to Thailand, you will be allowed free entry of duty on one sea freight and one airfreight shipment of household goods that are more than six months old. To be eligible for this free entry, you must not import your goods any earlier than one month prior to your arrival and no later than six months after your arrival in Thailand.

Before you ship your goods, you will need to complete a Shipment Protection Valuation Form, which details the items you would like to cover and their values. It's important to make sure you are precise in this list, so as to be protected for any loss or damage to your property.

  Useful links:

FEDEMAC
FIDI

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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