Dept open to ideas on new Customs law

11.10.17

Investors remain unconvinced that the new Customs law will facilitate faster clearance of goods even as the Customs Department chief promised to be open to feedback from the business community.

Director-General of the Customs Department Kulit Sombatsiri yesterday met with members of foreign chambers of commerce and explained to them the new law, which will come into force on November 13.

“From now on, we are changing ourselves from a trade regulator to a trade facilitator,” Kulit said.

Under the new law, customs clearance for transit goods (goods transported to other countries via Thailand) will be completed within 30 days instead of 90 days, he said.
 Thailand has already reached an agreement with Laos on customs clearance of transit goods.

Kulit said he will today sign an agreement with his Cambodian counterpart on customs clearance for transit goods between the two countries.

By the end of this year, the Customs Department will sign a similar agreement with Myanmar, he said.

Thailand has been promoting trade and investment in CLMVT (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand) for which faster customs clearance is essential.

Kulit said the department will also launch customs services for multi-port model (sea-to-air or road of goods transportation) in the Eastern Economic Corridor.

He also asked investors to send him suggestions on customs service under the customs law.

“You still have one month to send us recommendations before the new law and related regulations become effective,” said Kulit.

Hans van den Born, executive director of the Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the department has much room to improve customs services. The new law is a good attempt to bring local practices closer to the international benchmark, he added.

Meanwhile, Roland Wein, executive director of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce, said he needs more time to study details of the new law and regulations.