Customs allays fear of stricter check of outbound, inbound passengers

The Customs Department has allayed concerns over the enforcement of two regulations requiring air passengers to declare valuable items being brought into and out of the country.

Customs Department’s deputy director general Chaiyut Kumkun said the two regulations, which came into force on Feb 26, were the old regulations that had been re-announced to the public following the promulgation of the 2017 Customs Act which replaced the 1926 Customs Act.

Under the regulations, outbound passengers who intend to take along with them high value items such as luxury watches, video cameras, cameras or notebook computers, will have to declare these items to customs officials posted at departure gates.

Moreover, an item purchased at duty-free shops and not for personal use will be taxed if the item exceeding 20,000 baht in value.

Mr Chaiyut explain that the declaration of valuable items for outbound passengers was not compulsory, but he advised passengers to declare the items to make sure that they would not have problem with customs officials upon returning to the country.

In case passengers were randomly searched when returning to Thailand, they can easily prove the items are personal property they brought with them before departing the country and not bought abroad, he said.

Meanwhile, Kulit Sombatsiri, director-general of the Customs Department, assured the public that they had nothing to worry about the regulations as it does not mean that stricter checks or new regulations were being introduced.

In-bound and out-bound travelers can come and go as they had done before. They don’t have to be worried that they will be delayed by customs checks, he said.