The New Law on Used Vehicles Importation


by Panisa Suwanmatajarn and Kanpimon Naksinn

Importing a second-hand car to Thailand is not an easy task to accomplish. In particular, the Thai Cabinet has recently approved the draft Ministry of Commerce’s Notification Regulating the Import of Used Vehicles (“Notification”). The Notification determines that importing some types of used vehicle to Thailand are prohibited or requested for permission. It aims to minimize air pollution, ensure public safety for road users, and eliminate the problem of illegally imported luxury cars.

Under this Notification, the definition of “Used Vehicles” is divided into three categories.

  1. Vehicles used for normal purposes, except the use for quality test with a certificate issued from a trademark owner;
  2. Old-model vehicles are assumed to be used vehicles, except ones that are obviously seen as new;
  3. Vehicles registered in foreign countries are considered as used vehicles, except ones that are first registered in those foreign countries before loading, and delivering within 60 days from the departing city, and then paying for custom duty.

As mentioned above, the Notification will completely ban the import of some specific types of Used Vehicles for personal use while other types need permission for the import. Types of vehicle which will be prohibited from importing to Thailand are ones on the list of tariff classification nos.87.01, 87.02, 87.03, and 87.04 such as a tractor, minibus, bus, personal car, racing car, pick-up truck, and truck. Types of Used Vehicles which will be required for permission are a tow-truck, ambulance, and every type of Used Vehicles on the list of tariff classification no. 87.05, except crane and fire engine.

The Ministry of Commerce is no longer the only department to regulate the import of Used Vehicles. Several government agencies namely the Department of Foreign Trade, Department of Internal Trade, Excise Department, Customs Department, Fine Arts Department, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, and Ministry of Defense will regulate the importation procedures of some specific types of Used Vehicles. In case that Used Vehicles are illegally imported, they shall be destroyed or sent out of the Kingdom of Thailand.

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