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February 13, 2024

Thailand's nonbinding consultation discussion with Customs available for HS product classification

  • To encourage compliance with the correct Harmonized System (HS) classification of products imported into or exported out of Thailand, a separate nonbinding consultation process with Thai Customs Tariff Division is now in place for interested parties.
  • To secure a meeting appointment with Customs officials, an interested party must, in advance, electronically submit for Customs' review and consideration certain details related to the applicant and the subject product to be classified.
  • This consultation process is available free of charge to applicant.

A new nonbinding consultation process is available, as of 1 January 2024, enabling interested parties to consult with the Thai Customs Tariff Division to ensure the correct Harmonized System (HS) classification is applied to products imported into or exported out of Thailand.

Currently, importers or exporters may submit an Advance Classification Ruling (ACR) application to the Customs Tariff Division to obtain a legally binding ruling on the applicable HS classification code for a product. This ACR application process can be completed online, with the HS classification ruling based on the product information provided by the applicant, as well as the applicant's responses to open questions raised by the Customs Tariff Division.

The outcome of the ACR result is legally binding between the applicant and Thai Customs authority for three years. The processing fee charged by Thai Customs for an ACR application is 2,000 Thai Baht (THB 2,000) per product.

Beginning 1 January 2024, the Customs Tariff Division introduced a separate nonbinding HS classification consultation process to offer another avenue for interested parties to seek guidance on product-related HS inquiries. In this respect, interested parties include importers/exporters, customs brokers and the general public.

This consultation process involves a 30-minute face-to-face discussion between the interested party and officials from the Customs Tariff Division regarding feedback offered on the appropriate or potential HS code(s) to be considered for the product in question. However, the feedback and guidance from such consultation discussion are not legally binding and cannot be used to support past or future classification disputes.

To secure an appointment date/time, the applicant (i.e., interested party) is required to electronically initiate a request via the Customs website and provide the following details:

  • Applicant's details
    • First name and surname
    • Company name (in the case of importers/exporters and brokers)
    • Email address
    • Telephone number
  • Information on the subject product for the consultation discussion
    • Product section
    • HS code chapter
    • Product name
    • Physical appearance of the product at the time of import
    • Usage and benefit of the product
    • Product specifications
    • Working function or process of the product
    • Other supporting information (if any)
    • Applicant's initial HS classification position (either at the 2-, 4-, 6- or 8-digit level)

Upon receipt of the application, the Customs Tariff Division will review the information provided and notify the applicant regarding whether the meeting request is accepted or rejected, depending on the completeness of the required production information. If accepted, the Customs Tariff Division will confirm the meeting date/time slot via email within one day of the online application date. If rejected, the applicant will also be notified and will be required to resubmit the meeting request with added product information to secure a meeting date/time slot.

Unlike the legally binding ACR process, this consultation discussion process is nonbinding between the applicant and the Customs authority and there is no processing fee charged by the Customs Tariff Division.

Overall, the nonbinding consultation process offers interested parties an added avenue to run a preliminary validation check and obtain the Customs Tariff Division's viewpoint on the appropriate or potential HS code for a product. The feedback from the consultation process should also serve to guide applicants who wish to proceed to apply for an ACR for a product to obtain a legally binding HS code ruling.

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Contact Information

For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:

EY Corporate Services Limited, Thailand

Published by NTD’s Tax Technical Knowledge Services group; Carolyn Wright, legal editor

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