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I've ordered some supplements like whey and vitamins from the US and had it shipped with UPS priority which i had to pay $96 for. The order itself was about $300.

Last night i got an email from a UPS rep. telling me i've to pay 2000 baht or so which is not import duty! The import duty will be charged on top of that.

I don't mind to pay import duty but what's up with all other fees? I've imported a lot of stuff for personal use and i've never been charged like this time.

There is the import shpt under tr# XXXXX which being hold in the customs to process the clearance. Below is the breakdown of charges in case you select UPS as the clearance broker:

- Customs formality charges 1,284.00 Baht

- Warehouse fee 80.25 Baht per day until the shpt can release ( minimum charges is 267.50 Baht)

- Terminal charges 192.60 Baht.

- Customs fee 200.00 Baht

- Import duty will be informed again after the customs assessed the duty.

Best regards,

name.

Border Clearance Department

UPS Parcel Delivery Service Ltd.

Suvarnabhumi Airport Thailand

UPS tracking shows the following information:

Bangkok, Thailand 02/20/2012 8:43 P.M.

An import license is missing and is required for clearance.

An import license??? It's for personal use, i've imported tons of supplements before and never had to deal with an import license.

So i emailed the rep. again and this is what she had to say.

For Import Supplement must to process thru Food and Drug administration before release shpt from the warehouse.

What the hell?

Has anyone experienced something similar with UPS/customs or do they think i'm importing it for commercial use?

Edited by differentbutsamesame
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You are charged costs for preparing the paperwork for items imported into Thailand, storage charges for the items if it exceeds a certain number of days (usually three), customs duties and related 7 per cent value added tax. It is a common procedure for international shipments, and is expensive on small shipments, so it my be worthwhile to have the goods shipped through the post office next time.

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Thanks for your reply.

So you mean these charges only apply when the shipment is done by courier - UPS, fedex etc.?

If i have it shipped by USPS next time i'll only have to pay import duty (VAT)?

I've imported supplements 7 or 8 times last few years all shipped by UPS. I never had to deal with the Thai FDA clearance before.

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I[quote name=

If you send it through the post office, the Thais will access the value of the package and charge you the duty rate on the shipment, then add the 7% VAT to that rate unless you have a business here where you can deduct the VAT. You should be careful with supplements though, as they may fall into a prohibited list here...so do yourl homework before shipping.

' timestamp=1329794277' post='5074250]

Thanks for your reply.

So you mean these charges only apply when the shipment is done by courier - UPS, fedex etc.?

If i have it shipped by USPS next time i'll only have to pay import duty (VAT)?

I've imported supplements 7 or 8 times last few years all shipped by UPS. I never had to deal with the Thai FDA clearance before.

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I've imported supplements 7 or 8 times last few years all shipped by UPS. I never had to deal with the Thai FDA clearance before.

It's likely the vitamins that have attracted the attention of the FDA. Any pharmaceuticals need an import licence (even for personal use) and that seems to be the sticking point.

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I just received an email from UPS again... The FDA found the supplements to be "medicines". How can fish oil be a medicine? Bunch of corrupt and incompetent bureaucrats.

Dear,

After we had process with the customs , they found the goods are medicines.

Today , the Customs and FDA administration not permit to released the package, we will re-process on tomorrow again.

So , will keep you for update status if the problem can’t to process further or if they need more the document will let you know later.

Sorry for inconvenience.

Edited by differentbutsamesame
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I also ordered some fish oil capsules I hope I won't have the same problems. Supplements are crazy expensive here.

Yeah very expensive and a very limited range to choose from.

I sincerely hope the FDA customs person made a mistake but i fear corruptness is in the game and someone either wants money or keeps the supplements for himself.

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Newsflash.

UPS (or corrupt broker?) called me again. Customs is refusing to release the package because they deemed it to be "medicines".

He explained to my girlfriend the customs fears it's poison and people will die if i sell it. What the.....

I got a phonenumber of a customs employee to NEGOTIATE the release of my package..... I called and a lady picked up the phone but she didn't speak English and would call me back later. How has she determined the goods are "medicines" if she doesn't speak English?

I expect she wants to meet in a backalley to negotiate the release of the package for a certain amount of money.

I've been quite a while in Thailand now and this is the first time i have to deal with a corrupt official. I don't really know how to play this, thai style and pay up or make some effort to bring shit onto that corrupt snake? I found a lawyer that specializes in corruption and customs. At the moment i don't care the lawyer will probably be (much) more expensive than paying the corrupt snake, i just want to see the bitch hang high.

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Glad to hear your stuff came through without any problems. How long did it take to arrive?

So it's now confirmed, i'm dealing with a corrupt official. She just called and asked if i want to come by, she can negotiate with me...

Another person will call me again to answer my "difficult" questions.

Edited by differentbutsamesame
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Quite a lot faster as i thought 9 days or so. I still have to wait for my fish oil to arrive. I just don't like paying those crazy Thai prices.

Usually stuff from the USA gets here in a bit over 14 days

Stuff from Holland in general over 14 days too

Stuff from the UK 8-9 days

I buy a lot on ebay so i get a regular stream of parcels. I also make sure i give the postman a present on new year so my stuff does not get lost. I have to say so far i have only lost 1 parcel ever.

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Finally some closure on this issue.

Yesterday i got a call from a UPS manager telling me he could help me out, the customs official wanted 500 baht to keep my supplements out of sight from the FDA. I had to pay the money to someone's bank account. I didn't want to create a papertrail so i refused and told him i only want to pay cash and meet the customs official personally. After a while the UPS manager said ok, you have to go to suvarnabhumi freezone, my staff will pick you up and bring you to the customs official.

After a while the manager called me again telling me the customs official got very angry because i wanted to meet him to pay him personally so he blew the deal off and sent my package to the FDA.... The manager got very nervous at that point because i was pissed as well and mentioned my lawyer a few times. It was a bit unnecessary after all because the manager and his assistant only tried to help me out, they don't get a cut of the deal (i was told, but if that's true i don't know. They stood by my side and assisted me with everything today the whole afternoon.).

Today i went to the freezone to try to convince (and bribe) the FDA official to clear the "illegal" supplements. That didn't work out hehe, she didn't want my money. After that i met a higher ranking customs official but she couldn't help me out as well, she understood my point and agreed the FDA is too strict on the allowance of certain ingredients/actives. For example, more than 2mg vitamin B6 in a multivitamin is classed as "medicine".

So back to the FDA, paperwork done but i have to wait about a month for my parcel because it has to go FDA clearance first.

Supplements taken by the FDA/customs:

Musclepharm - Assault (pre-workout)

Controlled labs - Orange triad (high dosed multi-vit)

Musclepharm - ZMA max (ZMA blend)

Total worth supplements + shipping + tax/clearance fees about $140..... Why didn't i just pay the 500 baht to the middleman....

Strange thing is most other supplements also contain a very high percentage of actives but those got cleared without any problem.

Lessons learned:

- Never ship anything again with UPS, especially supplements. They charge all kinds of extra fees and you have a high chance your package will be inspected by a very corrupt customs official.

- Don't start arguing with corrupt customs officials, just pay the money to the middleman, it's not worth to go through the whole hassle and having your goods taken away at the end.

Edited by differentbutsamesame
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