Customs consider non-tariff rule for cheap imports

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The Customs Department plans to introduce a non-tariff measure to bridge the gap between low-priced goods shipped to Thailand that are tax-exempt and goods produced locally by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the director said. General Patchara Anuntasilpa.

Customs rules allow exemption from import duties and value added tax (VAT) for goods priced at 1,500 baht or less that are shipped to Thailand.

The products of SMEs are subject to VAT, while SMEs themselves also pay corporate tax.

Mr Patchara said the finance ministry tasked the customs department to look into the matter, especially for goods from China.

He said the exemption from tariffs for low-priced products has caused a disparity between these goods and those produced by local SMEs.

Mr Patchara said the proposed non-tariff measure could bridge this difference and would not be seen as a violation of universal customs rules.

The import of low-cost products has increased as more and more people order products online.

It is estimated that over 38 million packages are sent to Thailand per year.

A source from the Customs Department who requested anonymity said the Revenue Department wanted to revoke the exemption from customs duties for packages valued below 1,500 Baht because the Revenue Department could not. collect VAT revenue.

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