Thailand conquers hearts from the very start. Someone comes here to enjoy the sea and the sun, someone does for fun and someone for shopping. Seven thousand kilometers and eight hours flight for the sake of shopping? Exactly, since many goods, from souvenirs to food, can be purchased here at a very favorable price.
What should a tourist know when flying to the Kingdom of Thailand for shopping? Well, you should be at least basically familiar with the Customs Legislation.
The first and most important rules while crossing the border are:
- no drugs,
- no weapons (unless you are a security officer and have appropriate documents)
- no pornography.
Thailand law set strict punishment for the importation of the above, up to the death penalty. Needless to say, taking drugs, weapons and pornography out of the country is not advised either.
General Thailand Customs Requirements
- declare items subject to declaring;
- do not take a lot of valuable things with you;
- respect the laws and customs of the Kingdom;
- leave aggressive animals at home.
Customs offices meet travelers with a “green” and a “red” gate. The Red one is for those who transport items to be declared, large sums of money, jewelery and so on.
Without filling out the declaration and paying the fee you can take to Thailand:
- 200 cigarettes and 1 liter of alcohol per person;
- money and personal items, the value of which does not exceed 20,000 baht.
The latter rule is harmless. It is hard to determine to which price category the clothes belong and you are unlikely to be fined for the expensive personal camera. In any case, it will be better if the items are not packed, so that suspicion of illegal business activities is eliminated immediately.
But with undeclared excess cigarettes and alcohol, you can really get caught.
If you decide to move to Thailand for permanent residence or spend a long vacation here, you may have to take some home appliances or furniture with you from home. You should still be guided by the rules described above.
Counterfeit is prohibited, but Dolce & Gabbana T-shirt or Adidas sneakers are unlikely to be checked the authenticity.
Foreign currency can be freely imported and exported from the country. When transporting currencies worth more than $20,000, you need to fill out a declaration. Wallets are unlikely to be checked. However, it is possible. Declare your money on your way out if it exceeds 50,000 butt.
What souvenirs are not allowed
Not everyone takes out currency, plants and jewels, but everyone wants to bring a souvenir to relatives and friends. With regards to souvenirs, there are also a number of restrictions.
Taking out of Thailand is not allowed for:
- Buddha image and statues bigger that 13 centimeters;
- corals, shells, unprocessed jewels, undeclared jewelry;
- postage stamps (instead, it is legal and inexpensive to please loved ones by sending a postcard from the post office);
- ivory, turtle shell and products made from them;
- stuffed animals (allowed to take out only with relevant documents);
- dried seahorses in any form.
Wit and savvy are the two best friends of a Russian tourist. And it is no secret that some people manage to even take out corals from Egypt which could put you in a serious trouble. But if you prefer to be able to get home safely instead of having problems with foreign police, do not take risks.
Works of art and antiques can be taken out of the country by filling out relevant documents in the Department of Fine Arts.
What kind of fruit is not allowed
Fruits can be taken out from Thailand. It is recommended to carry them in checked luggage, since problems with fruit in the carry-on luggage may arise upon arrival home. Be sure to buy a plastic basket for fruit, and put the fruit in several layers of polyethylene.
It is forbidden to take out from Thailand:
Well, theoretically, watermelon can be taken out but only in a cut form. With a whole watermelon, you simply will not be allowed on board because it can explode because of the pressure change. Coconut is not allowed because the scanner can not see through the shell. Who knows what you decided to hide inside. Durian can not be taken on board of the aircraft (and even in hotel room) because of its unbearable smell.
Plants, animals, soil
Some rules of Thai customs come directly from the Constitution. The form of government in Thailand is the Constitutional monarchy and the land of the kingdom belongs to the King. For this reason, the customs will not let you out with the collected sand from the beach or with a flower in a pot full of earth.
However, you can take out plants from the country. Typically, Thai customs condescendingly look at plant growers. You may only be asked to shake off the ground from the roots of flowers at the airport. An alternative (and very convenient) option is plants in bottles. They are in a special liquid and can be taken out and planted in the ground upon arrival home.
You can bring animals into and out of Thailand (except, of course, rare and endangered species), just take care of all the necessary vaccinations and documents in advance. The exceptions are fighting dog breeds – American Staffordshire terriers and Pit Bulls can not be brought into the kingdom because of their possible aggressiveness.
The main thing is that you can take with you from the Kingdom of thousands of smiles are your memories and pleasant impressions which should not be overshadowed by troubles at customs.