Tea money

Hello all. This is a BIG WARNING !  Tea money is a nice way of saying BRIB !  Here's our story... We had a container shipped the USA from Las Vegas Nv. To Chiang Mai. ( $4,600 ) The first thing that went wrong was the ship yard sent a 40ft instead of a 20ft container. I called our shipper as soon as it was delivered to our house in Vegas, and he said Don't worry you will not be charged more money for the larger container, they must have run out of 20s... The movers packed it and it was sent off to The port of Los Angeles. 2 days later we boarded our flight to Thailand. After arriving one day late (different story lol) we got a email from our shipper that The container was going to be inspected by Port Attortieys . We then received a email saying The Worst thing that could happen did , they found something and there going to inspect the whole shipment, box by box... Yep you guessed it We have to pay for it   ($1,600 ) ..I asked the shipper what did they find that set off the bells and whistles???? He said Nothing at all...🙄 Thanks to that, the container missed the ship sailing and had to wait another 2 1/2 weeks... 30 days later it finally arrived in the port of Bangkok Yippee ! So about a week or so we got an email from the shipper here in Thailand saying since we have a 40 ft we are going to have to pay more for it , even the shipper from the states all ready informed them here of the mix up and said no additional charges will be needed. OK here's where it get fun 🙄 The shipper here said in a email that the customs need between 70,000-75,000baht ( ruffly $2,300 ) to release our used goods from the port OR we can pay Tea Money to the shipper...of 32,000baht (($950).. Real nice..So from a shipment costing $4,600 it's Now over $10,000us .. These people at the ship yard are dishonest , thieves that need to be arrested.. As soon as they see who you are and what country you are from ( because they require you to send your passport for customs release ) they think you have money to burn and paying less then what you wold have to pay customs is a bargain.. We found out these people at the shipping co. Are not even Thai, there from Pakistan or India..nice. My the flies of a 1,000 camels infest there armpits!!!! Lol We are supposed to get our container Mon. Feb 20.  We will see... Once we get our things ,  I will post the Names of all the shipping Companies and names of some who are involved so you Don't get ripped off like we did. Ted

rsbg1 :

. Once we get our things ,  I will post the Names of all the shipping Companies and names of some who are involved so you Don't get ripped off like we did. Ted

Please don't.

Posting the names means you put the forum in danger of possible legal trouble as it can be sued for the content of members' posts. Much as legal action against the forum is unfair and unreasonable, it's also a fact.
If you name the company the post will be removed as soon as it is seen by any team member.
This rule is taken very seriously so please don't break it.

Please consider this a friendly reminder.


So sorry to hear all this. But it  always have been a nightmare shipping buy ship to a foreign country. While in Panama , we shipped a bunch of stuff. But we hired a ships agent in Panama to take care of it all. It worked out good. But, it would have been a night mare if we had not. Good luck, our fingers are crossed for you guys.

Thanks, lesson    Karma is a €itch ! What go's around comes around ... Plus the little hex I put on the all won't hurt lol 🙄🤔😗

I'm afraid bribery is a fact of life in Thailand and much of the world.
The good news is that it's sometimes negotiable, like everything else...

Teamoney, commission,'s a Worldly thing, but in Thailand (among a lot more others) it's out open on the street.
If you ship goods which belong in 1, 2 or maybe different commodities there's no problem. You work with HS-codes and the receiving shipping-agent can prepare everything prior to arrival and once in the Port, the release is a matter of 2 maybe 3 days.

Shipping a container however packed with household goods which can be classified into dozens of different commodities is a pain!!
The only thing that may help in getting the container through customs in a decent amount of time is:
- make lists of everyhting that's packed in the container with a description/picture.
- mark boxes with a reference number and make lists per box with descritpion/pics.
- Be clear and put yourself in the position of a low educated customs-officer: Would he understand what's in the container?
It's a painful and timeconsuming process, but on the other hand: It gives you the opportunity to think again whether you really want to take all that stuff.

Regarding household goods to Thailand: Holding a long-term visa (non-immigrant ) O-A-B (not ED) will waive most of the import fees and VAT. There's just a few items, such as electronics that still are taxed upon arrival.

Very important is to find a sending shipping-agent who has experience in shipping to Thailand; he should know what kind of items can cause trouble. A good shipping-agent will pack those items (in boxes) right at the access of the container.....

Regarding the cost of the transport of the container and all additional cost:
Usually a container (with household items) is picked up from one door and delivered to another door.
It passes 2 custom-authorities: outbound and inbound.
Those charges, fees and cost are usually NOT included in the transport cost. Verify this before shipping!!!

Another thing: The OP has spent USD 10,000 on transport, fees and "cups of tea" for a 20/40" container. That's approx. THB 360,000.
If you start packing....make a distinction between emotional goods (picture albums, books, collectibles,etc.), strictly personal goods (clothes, teddybears, toys, etc.) and strictly functional goods (appliances, computer, stereo, TV, furniture, etc.).
The least important items take most space.....sell them at home and buy new stuff here locally.

rsbg1 its not only the forum that could have problems with any libel comment but you also can charged with libel.  In Thailand libel is a criminal offense which could mean jail time if you lost in court.

Thanks, pdcthailand! Making plans for the move (about a year from now) and I'm thinking through which of my many possessions I really need to have with me and which ones I can trash, sell, give to a friend and so on. Most of my appliances would be cheaper to "re-buy" at Home Pro rather than ship. I'll bet I can get it down to a couple of boxes.

Unless its a family keepsake or something not available in Thailand I would buy new upon arrival.

My husband and I moved to Chiang  Mai, with 4 suit cases. We got rid of a lot of things.  But, we do have a couple of important boxes that we left with my son in law in the states. We are older then 50 so understand you can down size if you really want. I got rid of my DJ sound system. But, bought a better one here for less money. You can do it.

Living near Pattaya, Tea money is a regular occurrence.  Enough said.

Thank you, now we are back on topic. :)

In order to answer the call for tea money (Cha ngein or something?) how much extra "bahtage" do you carry in your pocket for surprises? A 20B bill will cover most encounters?

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