An unlucky Thai traveller was recently stopped by the Thai Customs Department and forced to pay tax because her branded handbag was deemed too new!
According to China Press, the Thai Customs Department had earlier announced that travellers carrying personal belongings worth over 20,000 baht (approx. RM2,480) should declare the items when entering or exiting the country. This includes items such as laptops, gadgets, branded goods and cameras.
Although the authorities said that travellers could choose whether they want to declare their personal belongings or not, they advised travellers who are carrying many valuables to do so.
This is to prevent travellers from being subject to taxes when they reenter Thailand with their belongings as they could prove to the Thai Customs that the items do belong to them.
However, a Thai netizen took to Facebook on 16 March after she was asked to pay 20,000 baht (approx. RM2,480) of tax for her branded handbag when reentering Thailand.
The customs officer said,
“This is a new handbag, all handbags in the latest series in 2018 will have to be taxed.”
The netizen was bewildered as the handbag was bought in February 2018 and she had exited Thailand with it on her arm. However, it was believed that she did not declare the item when she left the country, which led the officers to believe that she had bought it overseas.
The customs department then published an announcement, which kind of raised more questions than it answered.
“If the traveller is trying to challenge the law by deliberately bringing items worth 21,000 baht (approx. RM2,600) into Thailand, technically we can arrest him/her, but we can also close one eye and let it slide.”
“However, if the traveller goes to the extent of bringing in items worth over 30,000 baht (approx. RM3,720), we will definitely tax the items.”
This public announcement left many netizens confused as it sounded like the customs officers could simply decide whether or not to tax the travellers based on their mood. Ikut mood je?
Following the netizens’ complaint, the customs department admitted that their usage of words were indeed confusing and could’ve been better. They promised to come up with a new announcement in two weeks’ time.
This is not the first time travellers have had problems with the Thai Customs Department. Not too long ago, two Malaysians were denied entry at check-point for not having enough cash with them. Check out the full story below!
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