On 10th October 2017, the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce jointly with other foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (Amcham, BeluThai Chamber of Commerce, CanCham, Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce, etc.) held a joint-chamber luncheon at InterContinental Hotel Bangkok to discuss the introduction of the 4.0 policy by the Thai government and the new Customs Act B.E. 2560 (A.D. 2017) (“CA”). The CA will become effective on and from 13th November 2017 replacing the Customs Act B.E. 2469 (A.D. 1926).
Mr. Kulit Sombatsiri, the Director-General of the Thai Customs Department (“CD”) was the guest speaker. He discussed the major provisions of the CA, i.e. the assessment of duties, the post-clearance audit, the appeal process, the transit and transshipment of goods, the customs agents, the free trade zones, the refund of duties, and the gratuity and reward.
He also presented several strategies adopted and to be adopted by the CD to implement the customs 4.0 policy. The Customs Alliances Program has been introduced to provide additional collaboration between the CD and the private sector through the Account Officer Center (“AOC”). Importers and exporters can directly discuss all customs problems and difficulties with well-trained Expert Account Officers of the AOC to avoid prolonged disputes and to enhance transparency of all the customs procedures. More than 300 private enterprises are members of this Customs Alliances Program. The AOC has solved over 120 disputes among its members.
The CD has also introduced the “HS Check” to provide information on tariff classification for merchandises. Users can easily access the application and search for the tariff rates of merchandises or obtain advance rulings whereby the CD officers will later send an e-mail to confirm the tariff classification and rates of the merchandise in question. Such advance ruling can be deemed as written confirmation of the CD officers.
The CD also plans to establish a Customs Intelligence Center (“CIC”) to collect and compile all customs procedures and information of the CD and combine them with strategic information from the Revenue Department and the Excise Department in order to develop risk management profiles to enhance trade facilitation for importers and exporters.
The CD has also implemented some other strategies to make sure that the customs procedures are in line with the new CA and the Thailand 4.0 policy while the CD’s core values of accountability, integrity and service mind are maintained and practiced.
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