Successful Permanent Import of Used/Secondhand Motorcycle into Thailand

Discussion in 'Asia' started by M1Tanker, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. M1Tanker

    M1Tanker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Thailand
    I realize that most riders here are traveling through countries and thus a permanent importation is not sought after. I am posting this in the Regional Forums as a source of information.

    I recently completed the permanent importation of my motorcycle (2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure) into Thailand. I also obtained the green registration book and Thai license plate. The process was long and required a lot of paperwork.

    Here are some recommended questions to answer prior to starting an attempt to import a motorcycle into Thailand:

    • Are you trying to permanently import your motorcycle?
    • What kind of visa will you be coming to Thailand on?
    • How well documented is your motorcycle? All original sales documentation? All registration documents? Motorcycle driver's licenses to include expired and international drivers licenses?

    There are two Thai government agencies that one needs to interact with in order to permanently import a motorcycle into Thailand:

    1. Department of Foreign Trade within the Ministry of Commerce (NOTE: An import license must be obtained as well as an import permit for the motorcycle.)
    2. Customs Department (www.customs.go.th/wps/wcm/connect/custen/individuals/importing+personal+vehicle/importingpersonalvehicle+)
    3. (NOTE: I did contact the Thai Industrial Standards Institute and they informed me that because I was importing a used/second hand motorcycle they did not play a role in the importation process.)

    I did have to pay import duties and the motorcycle was depreciated in accordance with the formula that can be found in the Thai Customs link above. The cost wasn't zero baht but it was considerably less than a new or used equivalent BMW.

    Once I completed the importation, I then took that paperwork to my local Department of Transport. I filled out more paperwork and paid a small processing fee. Weeks later I received my green registration book and license plate.

    All personnel that I interacted with at all of the aforementioned Thai government agencies were professional and ethical. I will point out that many of the personnel in these offices are not completely familiar with permanently importing a motorcycle because they just don't see it happen that often. Patience, thoroughness, and professional determination are required. I found that researching the process online, asking a lot of questions, and communicating with each office in person or online to be effective. I started the process over a year prior to shipping my motorcycle.
    #1
  2. lockyv7

    lockyv7 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,163
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast Australia. There is no winter here.
    this is great, i am hoping to retire to Thailand for the cheap living once my age pension kicks in within the next two years and would like to bring a bike with me as i have looked online and haven't found the bike i would like there.
    #2
  3. SilverBullet

    SilverBullet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    711
    Location:
    Harmaston, TX
    Can you please share with us what you paid?

    _
    #3
  4. M1Tanker

    M1Tanker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Thailand
    It cost me less than 250,000THB in Thai Customs duties plus incidental expenses.
    #4
  5. AlexAdi

    AlexAdi n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Indonesia
    Glad that I found your post. Are you still in Thailand. I am based in Indonesia till the end of the year and will move to Bangkok for the next couple of years the way it looks. Wanted to drive it over from Jakarta, but it appears too expensive and a hassle getting the bike into Thailand temporarily and change it afterwards to permanent. Funny ... I will be importing ... a 2008 BMW 1200 GS Adventure. Your advise above already has given me some pointers. As it is a year ago since you imported, maybe you have some more advise. If I get the bike in, it would be great to meet up one day. Ride safe, Alex
    #5