By Jim Holloway, International Advisor, V. Pack & Move (Bangkok) Co., Ltd.
Since 1997, V. Pack & Move (Bangkok) Co., Ltd. has expanded its network of associates to cover all the countries in ASEAN
In each case we were approached by clients in Thailand, or other countries, to find associates within specific ASEAN countries to facilitate imports and or exports involving multi-ASEAN countries.
The first project was for a Japanese Government sponsored series of cultural performances starting in Thailand then moving to Myanmar then transshipped through Thailand to Laos then on to Vietnam.
Of course we had to vet each freight forwarder that could assist us on a seamless import and export of each of the shipments.
Our next request was to move film production equipment to Cambodia for the production of the movie “City of Ghosts”. Following our earlier procedures, we checked with Thai Customs at the Aranyaprathep border to ensure that we followed the correct procedures required for land transport for export and re-import. This led us to establishing good relationships in Cambodia.
We have developed similar relationships in Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore , The Philippines , and Laos.
The most important factor is learning the different government and customs regulations. Never send cargo before you get all the paperwork correct.
Although ASEAN is seen as one identity in its trade within the group and with countries such as Australia and China under free trade agreements, each country has its own specific regulations.
For instance, we do a lot of cross border shipments to Laos. These may come from Thailand or be transhipments from other countries that are outside the free trade agreements.
Regarding transshipments through Thailand to Laos, we have special permits from both the Road Transport Authority and the Royal Thai Customs. These permits are essential for cross border trade for transshipments to not only Laos, but also Myanmar and Cambodia.
Malaysia has been a traditional trading partner with Thailand for many decades and consequently, cross-border trade is relatively simple.
Everyday we handle the customs formalities for many trucks carrying processed mineral for storage at Sriracha Habour for subsequent loading to bulk carriers when the volume has reached the vessel capacity.
There is presently a lot of development in Laos, particularly in the hydro power, mining and cement manufacturing sectors.
It is very important to ensure that the projects are registered with the Laos Government under a duty exempt regulation.
Elimination import duties or getting lower import duties requires the correct Certificate of Origin.
From Australia the form is TAFTA, within ASEAN it is From D and from China it is Form E.
Australian companies considering establishing manufacturing facilities in Thailand or other ASEAN countries could be sourcing equipment from both Australia and other countires, so it is important to make sure that you have the correct Certificate of Origin.
In summary, it is most important to get all the right documents such as Invoice, Packing List and Certificate of Origin to ensure smooth customs formalities.