Temp. importing a Mbike into Thailand through BKK airport

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
This is an article I wrote a while back about temporary importing a foreign registered motor bike through Bangkok airport, be careful! I wouldn't do it again. Read On:

Temp Importing a foreign reg mbike into BKK airport

Temporary Importing a foreign registered motorcycle into Thailand through Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, completed this week

Executive Summary

1. Total airfreight cost from Los Angeles,CA, USA to Bangkok airport, 44,200 Baht (the oversized crate box made the total 66,000bht- if the crate was tight on the bike it would have been cheaper).

2. You MUST be in Thailand on a Tourist TR Thai visa to be able to complete the temporary importation through Bangkok Airport (not so for drive-in border crossings)

3. Highly advise using an agent, would be incredibly hard without one

4. It is an all day process to get the temporary import processed

5. Bring some gasoline to the airport, say 4 litres

6. The bike must be registered in your name in a foreign country


Report on the temporary import

I've just completed temporary importing a new Harley Davison 48 (1200 sportster line), which I registered in the USA, in my name, 2 weeks before airfreighting it to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.

I used the Thai shipping agent i normally use, Nithipat, who works for Fair and Easy shipping agents in bangkok (his email is: nithipat@fairandeasy.co.th ). I highly recommend using an agent, if there's a problem your bike could get confiscated (ask Wes about this!).

There is only 1 senior Thai customs inspector that can sign off on your bike being temp. imported at the airport, she is a lady about 55 years old. If she's away or off sick nothing can get processed until she's back, they're not telling you a line if you hear this. She is a very tough lady, you will not win arguing and raising your voice, you will be shut down.

I have temporary imported my KTM into Thailand numerous times, using a Non- "O" , Non Res., Thai immigration visa in my passport at various land border crossings into Thailand, it never crossed my mind that this would be a problem temp. importing at the airport.

My agent had a meeting with this lady senior Thai customs inspector and she said that there was no way she was going to issue a temporary import for me for this bike as the temp. import was designed for tourists enjoying a short bike tour in Thailand and to qualify for this you should have a tourist visa in your passport, not a visa that allows you to reside in Thaiand. He argued with her a little, talking about we were going to Laos etc....., this only made her more angry so he backed off. i then met with her and she explained the same thing, now i was getting worried that i might be getting the bike confiscated. One note here, you have 48 hours from the bike being cleared into the bonded free zone, to trans-ship the bike, after that it cannot leave Thailand. I then asked her if I came back with a tourist visa would she process the temp. import she said yes.

I quickly drove to the Thai immigration office in Changwattana rd, explained everything, they said fly to a Thai embassy outside thailand and change visa status to "tourist TR". With this knowledge, I drove down to Bangkok airport, jumped on the leaving flight to Phnom Phen, I called my friend Robert who knows Phn Phn well and he arranged a hotel and a car to pick me up from the airport. Next morning off to the Thai Emb in Phn Phn, explained everything, lady took my passport and 6pm i had a tourist TR visa. 8pm, flight back to bangkok, stayed in a hotel, then off to battle at Customs again the next morning.

It took all the next day to get the temp import finished, one problem was that the immigration officer hadnt written "TR" on the entry stamp in my passport, so they had to check the visa on the arrival card, no big deal.
Once the Thai customs lady had signed off on the temp import, we got our passes for the free zone, got the harley palet, unpacked everything, connected the battery, put some fuel in it and we were all done.

Now having temporary imported bikes both by ship and air, I highly recommend sea freight. By air was 50X more stressful, people not friendly, looking to trip you up.

One interesting point is that they didnt cancel my Non-O visa or re-entry stamp, so it seems when I come back in through Laos, I'll still be able to use it, so all a big waste of time changing to TR really.


Getting it out of the crate at the airport in Bangkok

View attachment 9695



View attachment 9696



View attachment 9697


harley.jpg





Finally free in Thailand

View attachment 9698
 

bill

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Location
Cambodia
Bikes
KTM 500 XCW
Re: Temp. importing a Mbike into Thailand through BKK airpor

I'm wondering if I can do something similar to Phil to get a new or near new DRZ400SM from USA into Cambodia
Thinking ocean freight to Malaysia, ride through Thailand on temp import permit, then into Cambodia and sort the legalities out thru a local fixer.

What I need info on is a US dealer/seller that would sell to me online, register the bike in my name, and put it back in its packing crate ready for pickup.

Any suggestions on US based Suzuki dealers (near major seaports) that might do the above ?
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Re: Temp. importing a Mbike into Thailand through BKK airpor

Bill - it is quite easy to organize they want to sell bikes so they will help.

I think better to ship to Bangkok as with a new bike you may run into carnet problems at port klang, kl, malaysia port

I'll look into who I know in LA that could send one.

I'm in Laos on a drz with slow wifi typing from a phone so I'll reply fully by pm when I get a computer and better internet
 

bill

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Location
Cambodia
Bikes
KTM 500 XCW
Re: Temp. importing a Mbike into Thailand through BKK airpor

Thx Phil, will wait for your reply.
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Bill - I would source a large Suzuki dealership in L.A (USA) and explain what you want to do. All they need to register the bike in the USA is a USA residential address, you do not need to have a USA driving license to register a bike (you do have to have one to ride it on USA roads obviously) .


Often, they will use an employees address to register it, then they can get the number plate. From there its just some logistics to get it sent to Malaysia or Thailand. A friend recently sent a KTM to Laos from Australia and thet worked out well too.


I'm wondering if I can do something similar to Phil to get a new or near new DRZ400SM from USA into Cambodia
Thinking ocean freight to Malaysia, ride through Thailand on temp import permit, then into Cambodia and sort the legalities out thru a local fixer.

What I need info on is a US dealer/seller that would sell to me online, register the bike in my name, and put it back in its packing crate ready for pickup.

Any suggestions on US based Suzuki dealers (near major seaports) that might do the above ?
 

mt60

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Use a Fixer

Here is my recent experiences with bringing a Motorcycle through Suvarnabhumi Airport Sept 2012.
I have been following many posts on different forums and feel the advice given here on Ride Asia Forum by Phil is definitely the most accurate available at the moment and proved invaluable to me, as for Fair andEasy Freight Company I would never use them or even recommend then, they quoted over 14000 Bht for the process below and twice as much as James Cargo for shipping from Manchester to Bangkok!!!
I thought I would be clever and do all the paperwork myself,I fell flat on my arse at the first hurdle, learnt a lot and to be very truthful a much less painful experience than Phil had.
I arrived at Customs at 09.00 and was lost in Bangkok on the bike before 13.00 , I could have easily saved 60/ 90 minutes by being organised and understanding how the process works.
As Phil mentioned there is one Lady who signs things offso you will reap what you sow if you piss her off, I tried to talk with her before the official 09.30 opening time and she just walked off into a office and closed the door!!
09.30 arrives and she reappears at her desk, and asks me for the WAY BILL so I gave her a copy and she smiled at me and said the Original,so I said 'No Have'', she say 'NO Motorcycle'!! This is when I thought WTF am I doing and walked out of here Office into the main entrance, and to my amazement I was greeted by two new best friends who wanted to help me [at a cost], so I basically decided on the most expensive one he wanted 1000 Bht and tells me I get bike out Quickly Quickly!! I offer him 500 and he say OK, I personally cannot remember how many offices and Photo copies we did so take plenty of your passport and arrival stamp!!
So here's how it went with my personal Fixer.
To enter the FREE Zone you need a pass this is only available from the main gate cost 27 Bht, from here we hitched a ride in aTruck through Free Zone Security to the Thai Cargo building on arrival there we needed another access badge and you deposit your passport to get this, go upstairs with the Photo copy of my way bill and passport, I then paid another707 Bht to get the original documents that came with the bike, I think the 707if for off loading and other FEES! Head out of the Cargo Building and catch the free bus that takes you to the exit of the free Zone.
Back into the main Customs building armed with my Original Waybill, gave that my Passport, Registration Certificate and Motorcycle Purchase Invoice to the Customs lady, who had no customers this was 10.45 we sat there in the main Office she just sat typing away then prints out somef orms heads into the big Bosses office and returns out with Simplified Customs Declaration Form for me to sign, and that was that called into another office across the hall way to get another signature and Stamp on the way bill then outof the Main building heading back to the FREE ZONE again to collect the bike the time now was 11.40, caught the free bus back to the Thai Cargo Building again deposited my Passport for a entry pass, up stairs again two more offices and more stamps on the Way Bill.
Then we are off down stairs the time was 12.00 the place was absolute madness, found the bike moved it to a clear area de boxed it, fit the top box and 1 mirror, removed the 4 straps, one of the Customs Guys came across to check all the paper work, engine and Chassis numbers matched and rodeit out of the building down the loading ramp to the exit gate with the fixer,again documents checked and stamped the time now 12.40 back to the main Customs build loaded all my gear clothed up then off all before 13.00.
So anyone looking to do the same I would recommend afixer, they know everything, everyone and all the offices you need to visit so just tag along.
If I had a FREE ZONE pass and the original Way Bill in my hand and on the Customs desk at 9.30 I feel I would have been away 11.30 at the latest, I was lucky my bike was shipped assembled only one mirror and the topbox removed, even the battery was not disconnected!!!
Sorry I am still trying to find the Telephone number ofthe fixer I used as soon as I have it I will post.
Basically you need the following items.

1. Original waybill
2. FreeZone Pass
3. Purchase Invoice for the bike
4. Registration Document for the bike in your name [ I only had a photocopy]
5. Passport with ONLY a TOURIST VISA [ thanks to Phil I made a quick visit to Laos the weekbefore change my O Visa]

Any questions let me know

Eric
 

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KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Absolutely amazing that you did that on your own - nice job. As you saw it can all go pear shaped so easily.

Great info thanks for taking the time to explain it all so well.




If you're considering this - YOU MUST BE ON A THAI IMMIGRATION TOURIST VISA TO QUALIFY FOR BRINGING A FOREIGN REGISTERED VEHICLE INTO THAILAND ON TEMPORARY IMPORT VIA THE AIRPORT IN BANGKOK (Suvarnabhumi Airport,) , THAILAND. IF THINGS GO WRONG, YOU ONLY HAVE 48 HOURS TO TRANS-SHIP THE VEHICLE OUT OF THAILAND THEN IT WILL BE SEIZED BY THAI CUSTOMS.
 

mt60

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Absolutely amazing that you did that on your own - nice job. As you saw it can all go pear shaped so easily.

Great info thanks for taking the time to explain it all so well.




If you're considering this - YOU MUST BE ON A THAI IMMIGRATION TOURIST VISA TO QUALIFY FOR BRINGING A FOREIGN REGISTERED VEHICLE INTO THAILAND ON TEMPORARY IMPORT VIA THE AIRPORT IN BANGKOK (Suvarnabhumi Airport,) , THAILAND. IF THINGS GO WRONG, YOU ONLY HAVE 48 HOURS TO TRANS-SHIP THE VEHICLE OUT OF THAILAND THEN IT WILL BE SEIZED BY THAI CUSTOMS.
Exactly Phil !!
Dont turn up with any other Visa, you will be turned away, this lady is black and white only.
The helpers seem to hang around the main customs building entrance, about 9am, and for the money well worth it as the whole cargo area seems small when you fly into BKK, but does take some walking around.
 

tysurrfer

Junior Member
Joined
May 14, 2012
Bikes
KTM 690R Enduro, Ninja 1000, CRF250l, BMW sidecar
So, once you have the bike here and as long as you take it our of the country within 6 months, you can bring it in again? If i ride it out to Malaysia and then back in will I be able to get the 30 day temporary import again?
 

LivinLOS

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Bikes
Gas Gas 250 (Trials), YZ250 (enduro), DRZ440 (Supermoto) CBR900 Streetfighter (scary !!)
Exactly Phil !!
Dont turn up with any other Visa, you will be turned away, this lady is black and white only..
Can you not also be on the 30 day visa exempt stamp ?

I thought it was only you couldnt be on a non imm longer type visa.
 

LivinLOS

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Bikes
Gas Gas 250 (Trials), YZ250 (enduro), DRZ440 (Supermoto) CBR900 Streetfighter (scary !!)
Tourist visa = proper visa issued by an embassy or consulate.. 60 days, can extend 30 days.. Comes in singles doubles and rarely triples and quads.

Visa exempt stamp = Not a visa, given on arrival to many nationalities.. 30 days by air and 15 or 30 days by land depending on nationality.. Can extend 7 days.

- - - Updated - - -

Tourist visa = proper visa issued by an embassy or consulate.. 60 days, can extend 30 days.. Comes in singles doubles and rarely triples and quads.

Visa exempt stamp = Not a visa, given on arrival to many nationalities.. 30 days by air and 15 or 30 days by land depending on nationality.. Can extend 7 days.
 

johnnysneds

Senior Member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Multistrada 1200S Touring, WR450F, KTM200EXC, Gas Gas 280, PCX
Tourist visa = proper visa issued by an embassy or consulate.. 60 days, can extend 30 days.. Comes in singles doubles and rarely triples and quads.

Visa exempt stamp = Not a visa, given on arrival to many nationalities.. 30 days by air and 15 or 30 days by land depending on nationality.. Can extend 7 days.

- - - Updated - - -

Tourist visa = proper visa issued by an embassy or consulate.. 60 days, can extend 30 days.. Comes in singles doubles and rarely triples and quads.

Visa exempt stamp = Not a visa, given on arrival to many nationalities.. 30 days by air and 15 or 30 days by land depending on nationality.. Can extend 7 days.

Understand the differences but do they both not have the same clout in terms of arriving as a tourist? would be a nice point to clarify!
 

LivinLOS

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Bikes
Gas Gas 250 (Trials), YZ250 (enduro), DRZ440 (Supermoto) CBR900 Streetfighter (scary !!)
Understand the differences but do they both not have the same clout in terms of arriving as a tourist? would be a nice point to clarify!
My point exactly.

I think those worked.. I also thought the visa in arrival (not the same as a visa exempt entry) also worked.

Basically I thought only non immigrant visas did not work, as they indicate your a long stayer not a tourist.
 

johnnysneds

Senior Member
Joined
May 14, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Multistrada 1200S Touring, WR450F, KTM200EXC, Gas Gas 280, PCX
So anyone temp imported their bike on the 30 day VISA exemption stamp? I don't see why not, essentially your still entering as a tourist.
 
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