Online traders to face stringent customs checks

A working team has been established to specially detect imported merchandise which may have evaded tax and follow up the movements of online traders in the wake of the growth of pre-order businesses on websites and the social media, Customs Department director-general Kulit Sombatsiri said on Monday (Oct 2).

Mr Kulit said the team will gather information on importers who often declare the prices of imported goods lower than the actual prices to evade tax, taking the advantages of tax exemption on goods delivered by post with a price of less than 1,500 baht.

He said an adjustment of the policy has been made.  Before, only a few officials were used to handle this matter.  Now, a team has been set up to specially check for tax-evading imported goods

The movements of online traders at auction sales of second-handed brand-name goods for importation will be closely followed.  If found to be breaking the law they will be blacklisted.  Goods imported by them will be subject to strict checks for possible tax evasion.

Mr Kulit said the expansion of e-commerce prompted the Customs Department to have developed a database system to check the prices of imported goods and install x-ray machines over conveyor belts to scan for smuggled brand-name goods to increase the revenue collection efficiency.

Moreover, a system has been developed to shorten the process of submitting shipping documents to provide convenience for lawful e-commerce operators such as Alibaba and Lazada which have a plan to invest in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).