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Customs wants to know about work laptop


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I recently had a work laptop sent from my new US employer to my Thai address via Fedex. Thai customs is holding it and will call me to ask about it and what I do (I'm a web developer).   Any

Customs and fedex are colluding to charge you whatever they can get away with and will threaten to confiscate the item unless you pay whatever they come up with. Cheaper to buy a new one in Thailand!

From the U.S., insured USPS Priority or Express Mail are absolutely better choices, and almost guaranteed to only be charged the 7% VAT amount on personal electronics, at most.   There also

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8 minutes ago, Crossy said:

Computers should be zero rated for duty (just attracting VAT) so not sure what the FedEx game is, was it seriously under-valued?

 

They just called and said "package more than 40,000 thb, need to pay customs"

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24 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

How much are they asking for?

 

FedEx should give an itemised bill/receipt.

I don't have an airbill or invoice, is Fedex the company to ask about this?

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Just now, Hal65 said:

I don't have an airbill or invoice, is Fedex the company to ask about this?

 

They are the clearing agent so should have all the detail.

 

Something has attracted the attention of customs, until you actually have some detail from FedEx there's not really much you can do.

 

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I think it was the declared value of $1,300. Fedex sent a forum say I have to pay 20,000 thb or so to be declared as an importer.

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You need to talk to your employer as to the customs

And VAT if applicable. Seems without further information that the pc belongs to the employer and being provided to an employee for employer work.

You don't pay cost of import, you lose nothing. The company loses the pc. Do you then lose your employment?

Under the above scenario, the employer should bear the entire cost to send it to you (vis a vis FedEx), unless you don't have such clarification or you contraturally agree to bear the import cost yourself as per your term of employment.

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Maybe the import duties are overvalued but that is so easy to check. Use Import Duty Calculator online. It is accurate within a few baht as long as you properly describe the item. DHL always charges a “processing fee” between 500 - 1,000 THB. Make sure the sender never adds  shipping or insurance fees to the shipping docs which will be included in duty and VAT charges.

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Im expecting one from work via DHL in a few days with declared valued at only $250, I'll let you know how I get on...  My current laptop in posession had no issues coming from Malaysia with DHL.

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16 hours ago, Hal65 said:

I don't have an airbill or invoice, is Fedex the company to ask about this?

Yes, Fedex is in charge to complete the customs clearance on the receivers behalf, will settle any customs duty and/or VAT-amount with the customs authorities and re-collect the declared amount from the final receiver.

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Recently bought a computer from Amazon from the US. Cost was $1499 plus $37.46 shipping and a $213.43 deposit for import duties. They later refunded me $20 for the leftover from import duties.

 

Edit: I got the laptop from the US because I couldn't find a Thai one with a RTX3070

Edited by jdlancaster
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3 hours ago, Srikcir said:

You need to talk to your employer as to the customs

And VAT if applicable. Seems without further information that the pc belongs to the employer and being provided to an employee for employer work.

You don't pay cost of import, you lose nothing. The company loses the pc. Do you then lose your employment?

Under the above scenario, the employer should bear the entire cost to send it to you (vis a vis FedEx), unless you don't have such clarification or you contraturally agree to bear the import cost yourself as per your term of employment.

send it back F em.. hate them

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18 hours ago, Hal65 said:

I think it was the declared value of $1,300. Fedex sent a forum say I have to pay 20,000 thb or so to be declared as an importer.

 

I smell a rat here, laptops should be zero-rated for duty and attract 7% VAT on CIF value. I'm 99% sure no import licence is required.

 

Ask for FedEx to email you the weighbill and their itemised invoice.

 

EDIT Then check the weighbill number against the FedEx tracking site.

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4 hours ago, DaveSamutP said:

 

It has been a recurring issue with the couriers here that people are charged incorrect or exorbitant duties. FedEx Thailand and DHL Thailand are amongst the worst offenders. Many have suspected it's a racket of sorts. I agree.

It has been a recurring subject here, that's all, and so far, not one poster who has accused the courier companies of incorrect duties on items purchased/sent from overseas using couriers has been able to show anything empirical to back their accusations.   As you "suspect it's a racket", is it safe to assume that you've got something to back up your suspicions?

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20 hours ago, Hal65 said:

They just called and said "package more than 40,000 thb, need to pay customs"

"Need to pay" how much, how and where?     If there is anything to be paid there will be a notice detailing the charge(s) that FedEx can confirm to you (unless they're asking you to visit Customs first).   They usually call ahead to ensure that there is someone there to pay any charges to avoid a redundant delivery.  Phone them and ask them.    Laptops are zero-rated for import duty, as Crossy has said, so it's likely that it's 7% VAT that is due.

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19 hours ago, Hal65 said:

I think it was the declared value of $1,300. Fedex sent a forum say I have to pay 20,000 thb or so to be declared as an importer.

No import duty is due on a laptop.   7% VAT is and is calculated on the actual value plus insurance and shipping (CIF).   Can you post that "B20,000, or so" advice here?     

 

FedEx used the term "or so" regarding the charges?   They should be able to tell you specifically and they will break down all the charges, duty, VAT and their, usually small, admin charge.  If import duty is being levied, challenge it. 

 

Was the value of the computer correctly declared?    Under-valuing imports is an offence that has landed people with fines from Customs.

Edited by Liverpool Lou
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I have had so much issues when friend use fedex to send me things but none whatsover with DHL. I stopped using fedex and told all my friends stop avoid using fedex...there is some thing strange with the local fedex operations!

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In my experience with importing personal items into Thailand where FedEx or DHL are the couriers, there's A LOT of potential for the manipulation of customs charges.

 

For  starters, there's different customs codes that can be applied to any particular item, some with higher/high duties and some with less. They decide. Then there's how they value your shipment. They're apparently under no obligation to base the customs value on what you actually paid or the item cost, but what they THINK its value should be.

 

Then on top of that, in my experience, those private couriers often aren't just basing their customs charges based on the value of the item itself, but they're also charging duty against the shipping and insurance costs associated with the package, known in the industry as CIF.  All of that combines to increase the amount they're likely to charge you duty on.

 

I don't use FedEx or DHL anymore for personal item shipments into Thailand for those reasons. But long ago, before I knew better and that other options exists, I had private courier packages where the total duty and VAT amounts that FedEx or DHL wanted to charge at the Thai end exceeded the total real value of the item(s) being shipped.

 

On the other hand, in the past, I've shipped various personal electronics from the U.S. to Thailand using USPS Priority mail and versions of that, and at most was ever charged just the flat 7% VAT amount other posters have referred to above relating to customs fees on electronics.

 

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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1 hour ago, chilly07 said:

Customs and fedex are colluding to charge you whatever they can get away with and will threaten to confiscate the item unless you pay whatever they come up with. Cheaper to buy a new one in Thailand! Tell them to return to sender

"Customs and fedex are colluding to charge you whatever they can get away with..."

 

You have some evidence of that defamatory accusation?   "I heard a story..." doesn't count.

Edited by Liverpool Lou
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9 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

For  starters, there's different customs codes that can be applied to any particular item, some with higher/high duties and some with less. They decide. Then there's how they value your shipment. They're apparently under no obligation to base the customs value on what you actually paid or the item cost, but what they THINK its value should be.

 

Then on top of that, in my experience, those private couriers often aren't just basing their customs charges based on the value of the item itself, but they're also charging duty against the shipping and insurance costs associated with the package, known in the industry as CIF.  All of that combines to increase the amount they're likely to charge you duty on.

"...there's different customs codes that can be applied..."

Import duty rates are established by Customs and are checkable.   Re-assessments can be requested.

 

"They're apparently under no obligation to base the customs value on what you actually paid or the item cost, but what they THINK its value should be".

Of course, by law, duty and VAT is based on actual value, not price paid.  It is applied on CIF valuations because that is the legitimate method to calculate charges.

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2 minutes ago, Liverpool Lou said:

Of course, by law, duty and VAT is based on actual value, not price paid.  It is applied on CIF valuations because that is the legitimate method to calculate charges.

 

The price I paid is the price the market was bearing on the product. For Customs to come in and start arbitrarily imposing what they think the value ought to be is simply inviting abuse.

 

Then there's also the issue of different countries' product prices. In the U.S., if you're a good shopper, you can often find very good deals on products at discounted price. In Thailand, the same items especially for personal electronics are often much higher priced because of a lack of meaningful market competition.

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