Export-Import Industry

The Southeast Asian country Thailand is well famous for its shorelines, rich royal residences, antiquated sanctuaries furthermore for some religious convictions. Thailand is the world’s 51st-biggest nation. It is the twentieth most crowded nation on the planet, with around 69 million individuals. The capital and biggest city are Bangkok.

The second-largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, Thailand is conveniently located to be a hub for continental ASEAN. A regional leader in tourism, automotive, electronics, Thailand has shown a resilient economy despite going through tensed political situations in recent years.

Long ranked as one of the fastest-growing countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand has conquered its place as one of its top exporters. Now led by services and industry, Thailand is nonetheless also a regional hub for many industries and a leader in the production and export of several agricultural commodities and transformed products.

As per World Bank Group’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business report, Thailand ranks 21st out of 190 countries, up six places compared to the previous year. Among areas in this report which showed the greatest improvement was a reduction in the number of steps required and the amount of time needed for obtaining construction permits, and the score for ease of shareholder suits that in turn helped improve the ranking for protecting minority investors.

Due to the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic, exports from Thailand slumped 22.5 percent year on year. After getting momentum in April 2020 with a 2.12 percent gain, there was a fall of 6.4 percent in May 2020. This was the steepest yearly decline in overseas sales in over ten years, with exports of cars and computers getting the most affected.  In contrast, gold trading jumped by 735%.  Considering the first five months of the year, overall exports fell by 3.71 percent.

As per ministry officials, they do not envisage the trade to decline further, however it may take some time to revive to an earlier situation.

As mentioned by Deloitte, Thailand’s GDP forecast in 2020 was cut from the previous 1.8% to -0.3% due to the gravity of the pandemic. Furthermore, the Thai economy tends to be negatively impacted by COVID-19 and worse than peers owing to the high reliance on tourism and export, with tourism services, hotels, and air transportation as the most affected sectors.

Dr. Siwat Luangsomboon, KResearch Assistant Managing Director, expressed his view that the protracted US-China trade dispute may trim Thai exports by an additional USD1.0-2.5 billion in 2020 after the US imposed tariffs on Chinese imports, compared to USD2.1-3.0 billion projected for 2019.

However, as an aftermath of the pandemic, Thailand is poised to benefit from the relocation of production bases from China to Thailand with many having already existing bases in Thailand.

The bank of Thailand forecasts 2021 GDP growth of 3%.

The nation has now landed its feet in all phases to accomplish an awesome conservative development and advancement.

The aggregate fair estimation of Thailand in 2014 is added up to 214.38 billion as far as US Dollars. Be that as it may, the value is 5.78% lesser than the sum of the fare at 227.57 billion in past reports. The significant results of Thailand’s business area are the automotive trades, PC exports, rubber fares, and modern fabricated merchandise. In both imports and export, China has turned into a vital exchanging accomplice for Thailand. The US and Asia are the principal goals of Thailand’s exports. Thailand likewise has positioned itself high among the automotive export enterprises and hardware merchandise makers around the globe. Thailand export is considered as one of the biggest on the planet as far as agrarian items, such as shrimps, rice, sugar, custard, and rubber.

Thailand had a total exports of US$252 billion and total imports of US$ 249 billion to a positive trade balance of US$3.3 billion. The trade growth was 0.69% compared to a world growth of 3.50%. GDP of Thailand was US$505 billion. Thailand services export was US$81 billion and services import was US$55 billion. Thailand exports goods and services as a percentage of GDP was 66.82% and imports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP was 56.49%.

Source: https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/THA



The critical imports of Thailand likewise incorporate gold and silver. Bangkok and Thailand go for enhancing their gold deals market around the world, however, unfortunately, Thailand’s gold generation is exceptionally restricted.

Thailand imported US$239.9 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2019, up by 18.8% since 2015 but down by -4.4% from 2018 to 2019

Thai imports for 2019 represent 1.2% of overall global imports which cost an estimated $19.665 trillion one year earlier during 2019.

74.9% of Thailand’s total imports by value in 2019 were purchased from fellow Asian countries. European trade partners supplied 11.7% of imports into Thailand while 8.1% worth originated from North America. Oceania (mainly Australia and New Zealand) accounted for 2.2% of the total. Even smaller percentages came from Africa (1.6%) and Latin America (1.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Thailand’s population of 67.9 million people, it’s total $239.9 billion in 2019 imports translates to roughly $3,500 in yearly product demand from every person in the East Asian country.

The following Top 10 product groups represent the highest dollar value in Thailand’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Thailand.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$43.4 billion (18.1% of total imports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $37.6 billion (15.7%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $29.8 billion (12.4%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $12.3 billion (5.1%)
  5. Iron, steel: $12 billion (5%)
  6. Vehicles: $10.7 billion (4.5%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $9.2 billion (3.9%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: $6.9 billion (2.9%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $6.4 billion (2.7%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $4.3 billion (1.8%)

Thailand’s top 10 imports approached three-quarters (72%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Among these top categories, Thai purchases of optical, technical, and medical apparatus were the fastest gainer via a 6.7% increase in Thai import purchases since 2018. In second place were imported vehicles via a 4.8% uptick, trailed by the 0.7% year-over-year appreciation for machinery including computers.

At the more granular 4-digit level, Thailand’s top 10 imported goods are crude oil (9.3% of its total), integrated circuits (4.9%), gold (2.9%), phone system devices including smartphones (also 2.9%), automobile parts or accessories (2.8%), processed petroleum oils (2.6%), petroleum gases (2.3%), computers (1.7%), miscellaneous iron or steel items (1.3%) then unrecorded sound media (1.1%).

The rundown of import business proceeds in different structures, for example, household appliances and mechanical merchandise like iron, hardware, chemicals, steel, and PC. Indeed, even with the notable medical tourism industry in its area, yet, Thailand has a minor commitment to the field of pharmaceuticals.


Thailand is the 20th largest export economy in the world with Thailand exports accounting for US$245.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019.

The latest available country-specific data shows that 68.6% of products exported from Thailand were bought by importers in the United States (12.8% of the global total), China (11.8%), Japan (10%), Vietnam (4.9%), Hong Kong (4.8%), Malaysia (4.2%), Australia (4.1%), Indonesia (3.7%), Singapore (3.6%), India (3%), Cambodia (2.9%) and Philippines (2.8%).

From a continental perspective, approaching two-thirds (63.2%) of Thai exports by value in 2019 were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 14.6% were sold to importers in North America. Thailand shipped another 12.4% worth to Europe and 5% to Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand. Smaller percentages arrived in Africa (2.8%) and Latin America (1.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Thailand’s population of about 67.9 million people, it’s total $245.3 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $3,600 for every resident in the East Asian country.

At the point when talking about the export segment in Thailand, automotive is the principal export in Thailand, which additionally incorporates accessories and parts.

Among the most noteworthy auto-creating countries everywhere throughout the world, Thailand holds the 12th rank. Chemical items and PC related items are another significant fare item. Next, comes the rubber export and Thailand is the primary rubber creation country when contrasted with alternate nations. Instead of industrially fabricated merchandise, nourishment items, fare such as rice, custard, and fish likewise hold the critical spot.

The following Top 10 export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Thai global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Thailand.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$40.2 billion (16.4% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $33.9 billion (13.8%)
  3. Vehicles: $28.9 billion (11.8%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $15.7 billion (6.4%)
  5. Rubber, rubber articles: $15.3 billion (6.3%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $13.3 billion (5.4%)
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $8.5 billion (3.5%)
  8. Meat/seafood preparations: $6.7 billion (2.7%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $5.4 billion (2.2%)
  10. Organic chemicals: $4.6 billion (1.9%)

Thailand’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (70.3%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Gems and precious metals are one of the emerging growth leaders among the top 10 export categories, up by 31.5% since 2018, and propelled largely by stronger global sales of Thailand’s gold. The only other top category posting improved export revenues was meat or seafood preparations thanks to its 1.4% increase.

The leading decliner among Thailand’s top 10 export categories was organic chemicals which dropped -24.9% in value year over year.

The economy of Thailand is dependent on exports, which account for more than two-thirds of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Thailand itself is a newly industrialized country, with a GDP of 16.316 trillion baht(US$505 billion) in 2018, the 8th largest economy of Asia, according to the World Bank. As of 2018, Thailand has an average inflation of 1.06% and an account surplus of 7.5% of the country’s GDP.

GDP contracted at the sharpest pace in over eight years in the first quarter, as the fallout from Covid-19 and the measures to curtail its spread hammered the economy. 

The economy is likely to shrink by this year-end as the tourism, retail, exports, and manufacturing sectors all reel from the impact of Covid-19. 

Economy expert panel projects the economy to contract 5.4% in 2020, which is down 0.8 percentage points from last month’s projection, before growing 4.4% in 2021.

The IMF downgraded the economic forecast for Thailand in 2020 to a contraction of 6.7%. Despite this, the IMF raised its estimate for Thailand’s economic growth to 6.1% next year, according to the “World Economic Outlook: The Great Lockdown” report. The IMF in January predicted the Thai economy will expand 2.5% this year and 3.5% in 2021.

Thai customs use PC methods to give an extensive variety of backings in numerous traditions operations. “E-customs” was presented on January first, 2007, including re-export, e-import, e-payment, e-warehouse, and e-manifest. It gives business administrators like imports, exports, shipping organizations, and traditions agents. The e-custom is the complete framework made by Thai traditions to prepare and encourage all business imported merchandise into Thailand. It is considered the most incorporated and advanced business-oriented framework.

The e-custom system, for the most part, decreases expenses and printed material necessities for traditions and significant exchanging office. In the event that a man needs to interface with e-custom frameworks, then he has to enroll with custom enlistment and custom sub-Divison and custom strategies and valuation standard bureau. The qualified individual must be business administrators, as indicated by the customs such as:

  • A person processing formalities with customs
  • Passenger responsible for loading cargo
  • Representatives who provide outbound and inbound vehicle report
  • A Service counter
  • A Customs bank

A Digital certificate is  a signature in electronic of either a person or a related entity.  The digital certificates stay as a software file and it will be placed on the web- browser. It creates a distinctive identifier which can be verified by the receiver to give evidence of gender identity and to confirm the documents which are not altered or forged. Basically, these digital certificates have two separate parts with private and public keys. The first one is for signing and a second one is for encrypting or decrypting electronic messages. The digital certificate is needed by any traveler who wants to coordinate with e-customs systems.

The business operator should decide which method has to use to coordinate with customs. The customs involve two methods of communication. They are direct communication and indirect communication.

Direct Communication: Some arrangements have to do with the business operator in order to coordinate with Thai customs with their own digital certificates.

  • Installation of software, choosing the service provider, digital certificate, and business operator in direct communication, among that you should be very careful with digital certificates is installed correctly before using the e-customs system.
  • Have to register with customs of Thai
  • Test the readiness of message and accuracy with the customs system
  • If the test is finished, the Information Technology Bureau will provide a registration ID for the business operator. It can be used in the future with the e-customs system in online communication.

Indirect Communication: If a person doesn’t want direct communication with Thai customs, it is allowed to utilize the service given by either a service counter or customs broker. The business operator has decided to connect to e-customs by using a broker, a person must sign their digital certificates or broker have to sign on behalf of the respective people. If a person is chosen by the service counter, the business operator needed to give a goods document service counter invoice. Then the service counter submits the information to the e-customs system.

If a shipment arrives in Thailand, importers are needed to file a declaration for goods and supporting documents with a customs officer in the entry port. Imported cargo won’t enter legally in Thailand till the shipment arrives at the port of entry. Delivery of the goods to be bought and sold will be permitted by the customs and duties and applicable taxes have been paid. The importer’s responsibility is to arrange for examination, then imported cargo release. The importers need to get clearance of the imports permits for some goods, not for all goods.

In the case of high-risk shipment (red line), few documents required, which must be submitted for clearance of imports to the customs. Documents such as Certificate of origin, import declaration, bill of lading, invoice, packing list, product ingredients, catalog, etc., The next process is Declaration and clearance process, in this process, relevant parties are no need to submit all data electronically from importer system to e-customs system. The Declaration and clearance involve four steps such as:

  • Declaration submission: This is the first stage to finish the import declaration and submit the documents to the e-custom system. Initializing with the arrival of cargo or before the arrival of cargo, the aircraft arrival report must be submitted to the e-customs system electronically by the shipping agent. In this report, it should be free from errors, because the response will be automatically generated to the shipping agent by the e-customs system. The customer or broker has to provide an import declaration when the cargo arrives.
  • Verification and checking process of the declaration: This is the second stage, in which every supporting document must have done by an importer. The e-customs system again checks the given data and payment numbers with the e-payment. The selective system will verify the data which has been transmitted and can be highlighted by a red line or green line.
  • Taxes and import duties: This is the third stage, in which two options are available for the payment. One is payment through the e-payment system and the other is the payment of the department of customs.

For customs clearance in Thailand, one may contact any reliable agent like Care Containers Thailand for any assistance.

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