On 26 November the European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC) in Thailand held their launch event of the inaugural edition of the Thailand Import Export Guide, which aims at equipping Thai – European SMEs with deeper understanding of regulations and processes concerning the import and export of products, in and out of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Following opening remarks by the President of EABC Mr Rolf-Dieter Daniel, EABC Executive Director Mr Peter Björk introduced the audience of Thai and foreign business community representatives to EABC and gave an outline of the guide.
As a European trade organisation in Thailand EABC interacts as the Voice of European Businesses and performs the role of a European Chamber of Commerce in Thailand. As such EABC promotes, advocates and defends common European policy interests. The organisation performs various outreach activities, serves as information contact point and provides business support for companies in Europe, especially SMEs, looking to internationalize to Thailand.
As for the Thailand Import Export Guide this facilitates increased trade and investment between Thailand and the EU, and helps European companies to take advantage of business opportunities in Thailand. The guide intends to meet the demand of basic presented in a friendly format.
The Thailand Import Export Guide provides an overview of regulations and processes concerning the import and export of products in and out of Thailand. It will be updated and published annually, and is for sale as a printed book for THB 600.
Its five sections are: 1) A snapshot of the Trade relationship between Thailand and the EU. 2) General overview of the Export and Import Process in Thailand. 3) FTAs and tax privileges that companies in the import export business in Thailand may benefit from. 4) Explaining the regulations governing import and export, to and from Thailand. 5) Information on common mistakes to avoid and useful tips for companies as well as present case studies.
Among the content section three lists duty reduction and exemption and section five include case studies from the food import process as well as non-alcoholic beverage import process.
The launch, held at Pullman Hotel Bangkok G, also offered an interesting keynote address on the topic of “Customs and Trade Facilitation”, supporting Thailand as a regional hub and trading nation, from Mr.Chaiyut Kumkun, currently the Director of Suvarnabhumi Airport Passenger Control Customs Bureau, who has vast experience from the Thai Customs Department.
Mr. Chaiyut shared his views that there are four keywords for facilitating the customs which are Transparency, Consistency, Accountability, Interconnectivity and Integrity and Dynamics.
He outlined the recent changes in the legislative framework and the revisions of customs laws that are in process. In order to streamline all customs laws are being gathered to become the ‘Code of Customs Laws’
As for the Accession of Trade Facilitation Agreement he explained that Thailand needs more time for the implementation of certain TFA provisions.
There is also an Asean Customs Transit System under implementation where Thailand will be one of the pilot markets.
EABC Vice President Mr. Jan Eriksson made the closing remarks and invited to a networking night which followed right after the presentation. Mr. Eriksson highlighted the need for resuming technical talks between EU and Thailand towards a Free Trade Agreement as well as the various bilateral FTAs which Thailand has with many other nations in Asia and that can be tapped into in terms of importing and exporting to and from Thailand.