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Crackdown On Corrupt Customs Officials


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Thaksin wants to reduce red tape in customs procedures

BANGKOK: -- Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra Tuesday instructed Finance Minister Thanong Bidaya to study how to reduce customs clearance procedures to tackle corruption problem.

A well-informed Cabinet source quoted Thaksin as telling the Cabinet meeting that he wanted the procedures in custom clearance to be reduced to solve corruption problem.

According to the source, Thaksin noted that a study had found that up to 70 per cent of those seeking customs clearance services had to pay tea money to speed up the process.

--The Nation 2005-12-27

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There's proof positive that Dr. Thaksin is an avid reader of Thaivisa and is respective of it's collective power.

We start a thread...

Bribary At Customs Dept !

and...

BAM!! 

.... he does something about it.

The Power of Thaivisa is Spreading...

You are joking, of course. That thread was based on an article in the Thai press...

SHIPPING / CORRUPTION SURVEY

77% report customs bribery woes

PHUSADEE ARUNMAS

More than 77% of exporters, importers and shipping firms have met with bribery problems from the Customs Department, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. The university poll, covering more than 200 leading shipping companies, estimated that bribery raised costs for the private sector by 80 billion baht each year.

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I hope they tackle this one seriously - the corruption in the customs department is the most blatant and disgusting that I have encountered anywhere in Thailand, and one of the biggest impediments to doing business here.

They once seized a poster that was sent to us to display at a trade fair (that's right, *one poster*) and insisted that we pay *US$ 600* in import duty and 'value added tax' to release it, even though it obviously had zero commercial value. The poster happened to be the property of / sent by the Australian government, and my organization has diplomatic/tax free status, but that didn't stop them.

In the end we got it back without paying but the Oz government had to write a nasty letter and send someone out from the embassy to waste half a day dealing with the beauracracy.

Another time we imported a car for work (the organization has a right to import a certain number of vehicles tax free under agreement with the Thai government) and they impounded it for a *year*, because we refused to pay 'tax'.

More recently we imported a large quantity of second-hand scientific books, donated by a professional society that asked us to distribute them to cash-strapped research libraries in developing countries. Once again, impound-and-tax at ridiculous rates. One consequence of this is that we had to refuse a similar donation of scientific literature that we had been asked to distribute to a research center in Aceh that was affected by the tsunami (its got to be rebuilt, basically), because we can't get stuff through customs without being taxed more than the stuff is actually worth. Customs won't honour agreements made by its own government!

Thai Customs is a national disgrace, they're holding Thailand back.

Edited by Crushdepth
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I totally agree with your comments....

although as an ex-submariner myself, your nick is traumatizing...

:o

to Ajarn....

yes, the thread was a news report, but it was Thaivisa that publicized it and spread it around... which got Dr. Thaksin to take action...

or ...

are you just saying it was a coincidence???

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Here is an excerpt from an email from the shipping company when I moved my stuff over here. With a non imm visa and a work permit the regulations state that I would be exempt from any tax and duties.

I checked with the shiping guy he inform me that you must pay for taxs & duties @ 12,000.00 baht for T-money (about half or less of the full duties amount).

We finally settled for 10K but we were getting nothing until we paid up.

TIT

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they wont give up their 81billion bahts worth of tea money that easy, thats a lot of condos ,houses and Benzes . You see some fabulous cars running around the back streets of Yanakat/ KlongToey now we know how they do it.

Its down to extortion plane and simple.

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>>>

I checked with the shiping guy he inform me that you must pay for taxs & duties @ 12,000.00 baht for T-money (about half or less of the full duties amount).

We finally settled for 10K but we were getting nothing until we paid up.

TIT

Check your customs declaration/receipt. I am sure it says 'zero tax and duty'. :o

Your documents might be perfectly in order, customs will be searching for your contraband being convinced that you do smuggle something. Perhaps more than 1 electrical item of each type? Some unfinished bottles of wine or spirits?

Some items not used or do not looked used? The customs inspector will decide what's new and what not.

To search for those disallowed items they "open" up everything (read: tear up) until somebody says 'let's talk'.

The biggest joke to me, Nonresidents entering into the Kingdom with a non-immigrant visa "code O" who wish to retire in Thailand or accompany spouses of Thai residents are not qualified for tax- and duty-free import

This means the retiree who decided to spend the rest of his life in LOS or the loving husband who comes here to join Khun wife has to pay for the privilege to bring in the belongings. Sad buggers down at customs house, although one finds the one or other honest officer, to be fair.

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Thaksin hates corruption when other people are doing it, I think he feels left out when he's not getting a big share of the pie

when i brought my stuff in I paid T-money (thats how the agent worded it) of 9k baht, it just seemed the easiest thing to do at the time, never got a reciept, but I got my stuff delivered within a few hours. One of my wifes relatives works for the customs in Rayong he's always flashing around marlboroughs and black label even though he doesn't drink whisky or smoke, quite happy to tell people its a present from farang companies, its just looked upon as a legit perk

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In short

Having struggled with these gits for over three yrs ,Our business relyed heavily on Import .

I can only hope they get the same bullshit as us when one of them needs a kidney or something similar flown in to the country.

That would be nothing more than justice for A bunch of useless corupt money grabing ( insert part of female anatomy here) :o

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Thaksin hates corruption when other people are doing it, I think he feels left out when he's not getting a big share of the pie

I don't think it's very good form to sling mud unless one is sure of it's veracity, and exact relevance to the subject at hand. Are you really so sure that Thaksin wants a piece of the action here. I doubt it. And do you personally have any evdence about any other sort of misdeeds on his behalf?

I am no great fan of Thaksin, but do you think this sort of accusation, perhaps collectively from many sources, will help to alter him. I think not. it will simply make him more defensive and angry.

One should be very sure of what one accuses, and then if one's sure , fire with both barrels.

I think Sondhi must be very careful to stick to this maxim. If he's proved wrong once he'll lose all momentum.

I see regular criticism from farangs in both the papers and here and well everywhere. I can't help but think this has a link to the fact that we don't have much property rights. I think this is worthwhile loss however as long as the criticism is constructive and accurate. When the criticism is concrete and precise, people will listen....if not, best not to bother.

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well there is plenty of evidence of Thaksins corruption, its well documented so I don't have to repeat it, and has been to known to get very angry when he hears of corruption that didn't benefit him (the war on drugs for example), No I don't expect to alter him, its up to the voters to vote him out thats all one could hope for

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I think it was Harry Truman that had the sign on his desk ..."The Buck Stops Here"...Same applies to Toxin...He is ultimately responsible for the actions of every government employee and contractor...From the policeman on the street ripping the motorcycle driver for 20 baht to the Minister ripping the government for millions...

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I totally agree with your comments....

      although as an ex-submariner myself, your nick is traumatizing...

:o

to Ajarn....

yes, the thread was a news report, but it was Thaivisa that publicized it and spread it around... which got Dr. Thaksin to take action...

or ...

are you just saying it was a coincidence???

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying...

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"Here is an excerpt from an email from the shipping company when I moved my stuff over here. With a non imm visa and a work permit the regulations state that I would be exempt from any tax and duties.

'I checked with the shiping guy he inform me that you must pay for taxs & duties @ 12,000.00 baht for T-money (about half or less of the full duties amount).'"

I'm not sure which "shipping guy" you used, but I got a similar email when I brought my stuff from the US. I insisted that I meet with the Customs inspector who told me, "You get to bring everythying into Thailand, without paying any duties."

In summary, Customs didn't want the payment, the shipping company did.

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"Here is an excerpt from an email from the shipping company when I moved my stuff over here. With a non imm visa and a work permit the regulations state that I would be exempt from any tax and duties.

'I checked with the shiping guy he inform me that you must pay for taxs & duties @ 12,000.00 baht for T-money (about half or less of the full duties amount).'"

I'm not sure which "shipping guy" you used, but I got a similar email when I brought my stuff from the US.  I insisted that I meet with the Customs inspector who told me, "You get to bring everythying into Thailand, without paying any duties."

In summary, Customs didn't want the payment, the shipping company did.

It could be that or most likley, it is the Customs official backing off or you got an honest one.

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Go by yourself, you might spend a day or so but as a farang you will get

your shipment easier than a broker who deals with the officials every day.

Many agents holding Thai customs licences, like myself, do not handle private shipments as too many complains like the one above. One negotiates with customs brings the payment and handling to an acceptable level and is accused of pocketing extra money. Too much trouble for a small handling fee.

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>>>

I checked with the shiping guy he inform me that you must pay for taxs & duties @ 12,000.00 baht for T-money (about half or less of the full duties amount).

We finally settled for 10K but we were getting nothing until we paid up.

TIT

Check your customs declaration/receipt. I am sure it says 'zero tax and duty'. :D

Your documents might be perfectly in order, customs will be searching for your contraband being convinced that you do smuggle something. Perhaps more than 1 electrical item of each type? Some unfinished bottles of wine or spirits?

Some items not used or do not looked used? The customs inspector will decide what's new and what not.

To search for those disallowed items they "open" up everything (read: tear up) until somebody says 'let's talk'.

The biggest joke to me, Nonresidents entering into the Kingdom with a non-immigrant visa "code O" who wish to retire in Thailand or accompany spouses of Thai residents are not qualified for tax- and duty-free import

This means the retiree who decided to spend the rest of his life in LOS or the loving husband who comes here to join Khun wife has to pay for the privilege to bring in the belongings. Sad buggers down at customs house, although one finds the one or other honest officer, to be fair.

I came under that category when I retired here and had some furniture and household effects brought in a container. I was assured they would not incur import tax. but on arrival, I was presented with a 60k bill. It stayed on the dock till I relented and paid. Mainly for my personal effects :o

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It could be that Taksin is putting a fircracker up Customs bum because of overseas complaints.thailand has just signed or are in the process of signing FTA's (FreeTrade Agreements) If other governments are complaining about a lack of transparancy and fairness etc, then I'm sure the Thai Government would look at doing something. :o

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I have furniture,a car and a motorcycle that I would love to import into Thailand.

Only the fear of dealing with these criminals in uniforms called "customs" stops me even trying. There are way too many horror stories here on TV.

:o

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