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JFCCT Courtesy Dialogue with DG of Thai Customs Department

The JFFCCT Trade Committee had a meeting with the DG of Thailand Customs to request clarifications on cross-border trade agreements with neighbouring countries in ACMEC as well as provide feedback on some of the provisions of the new Customs Act (valid from 23rd November 2017).

The Agenda of the meeting and the feedback from Thai Customs is summarized below.

Attendees from the Customs Department – the senior Deputy DG  Mr. Auychai Kultipmontre, Mr. Sorasak Meenotoree (Deputy DG), Mr. Ake Satravaha, Director of Customs Tariff Bureau , Mr Pakorn Tonmaneewattana (Deputy Director of International Co-operation Division) and several other Customs officials
Attendees from JFCCT – Ms Vibeke Leirvag (Vice President JFCCT) , Mr. Gur Prasad Kohli (Chairman , International Trade Committee JFCCT ) , President of Netherland, Belgium, New Zealand, Brazilian  Chamber of Commerce and representative from Indian , Mexican and other Chamber of Commerce

1.Topics and dialogue proposed by JFCCT

a. Cross Border Agreement for goods in transit with Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam were to be signed by December 2017. We request clarity on this process.

The draft agreement is ready for Cambodia , however the Cambodia Authority is not signing.  For Vietnam , they have no intention to sign a cross-border agreement for transport of goods. For Myanmar, the Myanmar authorities charge 5% tax on value of shipment and the agreement to reduce that to Zero is under agreement. Likewise for MOU is under consideration.

b. Under the new Customs Act, “Goods in Transit” must either be re-exported within 30 days of import into the country or the full import duty must be paid on these goods, failing which the goods will be confiscated by the Customs. “Goods in Transit” stored in FEZ (ports are part of a FEZ) are exempt from this ruling, however individual Customs officers have conflicting views on the same. Under the previous Act the Re-Export period was 90 days, which allowed the Exporter adequate time to prepare the paperwork and permission to export the “Goods in Transit” to Cambodia, Malaysia or Myanmar.

As this impacts the attractiveness of Thailand as a Logistics Hub, we request the period of Re-export to be extended to 90 days.

The Thai Customs will have a public dialogue at the end of June to review this change in number of days for Re-export. For Laos , exporters can apply for 90 day period for re-export.

c. Roll Trailers (MAFI) that are used for the carriage of static cargo on Ro-Ro vessels and the Tow tractors that are used to pull the roll trailers are not treated as Cargo equipment by Thailand Customs. This means that they must be exported out of the country within 30 days of import to avoid paying duty on this equipment as per the new Customs Act – even though they do not leave the Laem Chabang port (which is a Customs bonded area). This creates additional cost and administration for the Ro-Ro carriers that come to Laem Chabang port and reduces the competitiveness of Thailand as a Logistics Hub.

Discussion ongoing with Exporters for exemption under Category 15 or Category 19.  JFCCT will follow up. They need case studies in Thai to take this forward.

d. Assessment of Customs duty can be extended beyond 5 years (by another 5 years) from the date of Goods Declaration submission if there is evidence of intent to defraud. However, Shippers and Receivers are only required to maintain documentation for 5 years. Hence, we request that the law be amended to ensure that assessment of Customs duty be completed within 5 years from the date of Goods Declaration submission.

After the period of 5 years is completed , the Customs will need to find the paperwork outside the Importers’ sources to prove the case or intent to defraud.

e. HS Code interpretation – We have brought up one case but need to submit Case studies in Thai to take this forward.

2. JFCCT can support and contribute to the Thai Customs Department amendment of the laws with case studies.

3. The Customs Department informed us that the Customs Alliance Phase 2 is extended to 15th June 2018 and companies doing business in Thailand are encouraged to sign up for the same.