Thailand's Customs Import Regulations on Prohibited Goods

Written by mark slingo
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Thailand's Customs Import Regulations on Prohibited Goods
Thailand has strict import laws on prohibited goods. (Thailand flag button image by Andrey Zyk from

Thailand has specific regulations with regard to what goods you can import into the country. These are laid out in the customs regulations and should be checked before travel to and from the kingdom. Failure to check this can result in severe penalties if apprehended trying to import a prohibited product or a product that requires a license to be imported. In recent years, Thailand has gained worldwide media attention in the strict measures taken against certain people caught trying to import prohibited items, such as drug smugglers.

Restricted Goods

Restricted goods are goods whose import is prohibited unless a permit from the relevant government department is received to complete the customs formalities. These articles include Buddha images and religious or ancient artefacts and antiques; firearms and ammunition, including explosive items and fireworks; plants and planting materials; live animals, pets and animal products; automobiles and automobile parts; food and medical supplies; cigars, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages (small quantities for personal use may be brought in duty free) and wireless transmitters and receivers, including radio equipment.

Prohibited Goods

Prohibited items are goods that are disallowed for either import into or export from Thailand. These include narcotics, obscene items or publications such as pornography, counterfeit goods and pirated items, counterfeit notes and coins of any currency and protected wildlife.


If an individual fails to declare over 80,000 Thai baht worth of accompanying items, he is subject to a fine of up to four times the value of the undeclared items. Individuals discovered having imported meat from any country affected by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow and foot-and-mouth diseases, will be fined 40,000 Thai baht ($1,200 U.S.) and imprisoned for up to two years. Fines and imprisonment can result from attempts to import any of the prohibited items on the list. The most severe penalties are handed down for intent to import narcotics for personal use and for producing, selling or transporting narcotics. A verdict of guilty can result in life imprisonment or the death penalty.

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