Moving to Thailand Packing List

After you get a long-term visa for Thailand, the big decision is what stuff to bring with you. You might worry about losing things or think it'll be tough to find good stuff in Thailand. Let's talk more about this before you decide to bring everything!

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Moving, especially internationally, is a significant undertaking. There's a multitude of possessions you may wish to bring to Thailand, perhaps out of concern for availability or cost-effectiveness in purchasing replacements.

However, the crucial question arises: is it truly advantageous? Shipping additional items incurs higher shipping costs and may result in increased customs taxes.

Beyond the selection process, it's essential to meticulously choose a reputable shipping company capable of seamlessly transporting your belongings to Thailand. This ensures a smooth journey, free from customs clearance issues, delays, or damage to your possessions.

  • Rule #1 Necessity : Before bringing anything, ask yourself. Do I really need this item in Thailand? Are you going to use it? If it’s necessary for you or your family, bring it.
  • Rule #2 Price : Set the minimum price threshold for the item. A good number is $100 USD. If anything, that’s more expensive than $100 USD, bring it here. If not, just sell or donate it.
  • Rule #3 Memory : Is this item important to your memory or not? If yes, bring it.

But before shipping any items to Thailand it’s better to come to Thailand for a month first with the maximum package you can carry on the flight. After staying here for a while, you might find out that you really do not need to ship anything much to Thailand at all. And you won’t even need to use a shipping company at all.

Instead, you can bring everything you need from your home and bring it with you every time you fly back. In case you really do need to use a shipping company, let’s take a look at each item category and see which products you should or should not bring to Thailand.

Clothes and Personal Wear

While clothing, accessories, and footwear are readily available for purchase in Thailand, you're free to bring as many as you need. These are typically considered personal items and often exempt from taxation, particularly if shipped by sea, However, exceptions may apply to luxury items like watches and bags. Thailand's regulations on these items are becoming stricter, especially when brought by air, increasing the likelihood of hefty import taxes.

Any Imports will require an itemized list of contents with values which may or may not be disputed and taxed if they are shipped to Thailand, this applies to all the sections below.

Additionally, it's worth considering purchasing extra pairs of shoes. Finding sizes larger than 12 US (46 EU, 11.5 UK) can be challenging in Thailand.

Decoration

Decoration is totally optional. While you can buy a new decoration in Thailand, some of them can’t be found here. Note that the decoration has a high chance of being subject to tax, especially for paintings and pictures.

So, let’s go back to the rule. If it’s important for your memory, bring it with you. If not, sell it.

Electronic Appliances

Although their price tend to be higher than $100 USD, it’s better to sell any electronic appliances including vacuum cleaner, air conditioner, fridge, oven, washing machine, and even a television, and buy a new one in Thailand.

After moving to a new country, these items will be out of warranty. Once it’s gets broken, which is possible during shipping, you might want to spend this money buying a new one instead of fixing it.

In addition, the standard voltage in Thailand is 220 V at 50 Hz frequency which is totally different in many countries especially for those who come from the US.

To prevent it blowing up, you need to buy an additional power adapter in order to use it here, which costs at least $30 USD. And a power adapter for a vacuum cleaner might even cost you $100 USD in which you can use that money to buy a new good once here in Thailand.

Electronic Gadget

For your smartwatch, camera, computer, and so on, bring them all with you while flying to Thailand. Unlike electronic applicants, these gadgets always come with their own power adapter allowing you to use it anywhere in the world.

If the plug is different, you can buy a plug adapter here in Thailand. And it’s very cheap.

Kitchenware

You can ship spoons, cutlery, or any crockery you have to Thailand. It’s considered as household staff and most of the time you won’t be taxed for it, be diligent in packaging and protecting your belongings.

Furniture

Most of the rental accommodations in Thailand, be it an apartment, a condo, or a house, already have furniture inside.

In addition, these items can be purchased in Thailand with a good quality at good price. So, you won’t really need to bring it here at all unless you have some special reasons like it’s expensive or valuable for your memory.

Furniture is also considered household items by Thai Customs. This means you can bring one of each piece of furniture to Thailand (one chair, one table, one wardrobe, and so on) without having to pay import tax. If you come with your family, it’s going to be two pieces each.

Other

For other items like a bicycle, car seat for your kids, musical instruments, hobby equipment, and so on, you can go back to the three rules as mentioned above, necessity, price, and memory, and decide again whether or not you want to ship it to Thailand. If you can declare that these items are for personal staff, there’s a chance that it won’t be taxed.

Avoiding Custom Tax

It may sound like a stupid advice. But don’t worry too much about custom tax and try to calculate everything yourself. There are different calculations formula and requirements for different items. It’s hard to come up with the exact tax you need to pay. Even if you ship the exact same item with exact same price to Thailand, you might even need to pay the different amount of tax, depending on which custom officer you meet (this holds true for many government occupations in Thailand)

Shipping by item via air has the highest chance of paying custom tax even if it’s your used personal item.

Here’s a few rules you can follow to decrease or avoid custom tax,

  • Make it like your personal used item the most. Even if you buy brand new shoes, take them out of the box.
  • If you can’t make your new purchased item look like a used product, bring a receipt with you. To make sure the custom officer won’t overcharge the price, however it is always up to the officer to assign a value.
  • If you buy any item from overseas and have it shipped to Thailand, ask the merchant to take it out of the box and mark it as a gift and give a receipt with the lower price.

In conclusion, moving to Thailand involves careful consideration of what to bring along. By following the guidelines outlined here and considering the necessity, price, and sentimental value of your belongings, you can streamline the moving process and avoid unnecessary expenses. Remember, while it may be tempting to bring everything with you, it's often more practical to sell or donate items and purchase what you need locally. With thoughtful planning and preparation, your transition to Thailand can be smooth and hassle-free, allowing you to focus on enjoying your new adventure in the Land of Smiles.

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