A move to Thailand can be a very exciting move. Being able to pack up and move to a country that has a diverse culture, friendly population and excellent scenery is an ideal move for anyone looking for a change of pace and a life less stressed.
As a foreigner in Thailand, expats can purchase a home in their own name as long as 51% of the building is Thai owned. Owning land however, will need to be handled differently than owning a home. Foreigners cannot legally purchase land in Thailand, but you do have the option in many cases, to obtain a 30-year lease or have a limited company purchase the land.
When you work with the right real estate agent, you can locate the best properties for rent as well as those homes listed for sale. An agent will typically be able to find you a better price than you may find if you speak to the seller on your own. The biggest challenge to a move to Thailand will not be searching for a home, but it will most likely be determining which personal property to bring along and how to get it moved overseas.
Personal Property and Household Goods
If you have already found a home in Thailand, chances are that it was already furnished with basic living room and bedroom furniture. Unless your mattress is extremely uncomfortable, you most likely won’t have a need to have heavy furnishings shipped overseas. The expense to ship heavy items can be costly.
Bringing over some smaller items including clothing or accessories, electronics or computers and other small personal items can be handled either by bringing along on the flight over, or by scheduling a service to deliver your goods via mail service by air or even container shipment via the ocean.
When you move to Thailand, you will only be allowed to have one shipment either by air or sea for your personal belongings. You will be required to pay customs taxes and duties that can range between 30 and 40% of the CIF.
Traveling in Thailand
For the most part, it won’t be difficult to find transportation in Thailand when you need to travel. You can take a bus, albeit it may be crowded and it can take several hours to travel even when traveling locally. You can also take a motorcycle or even catch a ride on a tuk-tuk which is a motorbike that pulls a cart. This is the common Thai taxi and is a site you will see daily in most areas.
You can also choose to import your own personal vehicle to the country. Importing a personal vehicle will take a little more energy than shipping over clothing or towels and small accessories.
You will need to hire an overseas auto shipper. A company such as A-1 Auto Transport can offer advice on shipping and provide quotes to get your vehicle to Thailand. You will need to determine whether the vehicle will be imported as a temporary import or as a permanent import before you have it shipped over.
When you import a vehicle on a temporary basis, you will not have to pay import taxes or duties to customs. This is a great solution for those only planning to stay in the country for a month or two and want to enjoy their own vehicle. You can use the temporary import for a car, motorcycle, fishing boat or other vehicle. The vehicle can stay for a couple months but this can be extended for up to six months before it must be re-exported back to the country it shipped from.
A permanent import is ideal if you plan to make your move to Thailand permanent and want to have your own vehicle available. Travel by motorcycle throughout Thailand is a preferable form of transportation, so if you own a motorcycle, it would be the perfect vehicle to bring along to Thailand as it will be easy to travel to most locations easily on two wheels.
Paperwork Required for Importing Belongings
Whether you are importing mass quantities of household goods or you simply want to import your car, you will be required to provide paperwork to customs. Some of your paperwork may include the following:
- Vehicle Registration
- Vehicle Title
- Packing Slip
- Driver’s License/Photo Identification
- A Re-Export Contract
- A Special Goods Declaration and 5 copies
- An Import Application
- Commercial Invoice/Sales receipt
- Bill of Lading/Airway Bill
For further information, you may want to contact the Royal Thai Embassy details required paperwork and other information vital to importing your vehicle, obtaining a visa for a permanent move or even for information on the local area you plan to live.