You need to move from Thailand or somewhere else to Hong Kong? SIAM Relocation’s professional team helps you cope with all your logistic and relocation needs. Our knowledge and experience in this domain give us credit to handle your move. In this article, you will find reliable information about the customs, the best methods of transportation, our best services and about your future life in Hong Kong.
Summary (Click on the subject you are looking for):
- 1.1 Customs process
- 1.2 Taxes exemption
- 1.3 Vehicle importation
- 1.4 What duties and taxes will I pay for my personal effects?
For any exportation to a foreign country, you will have to go through customs to enter it with your belongings. It is the case for Hong Kong but as you will see reading our guide, Hong Kong is not like any other country.
The first thing to know regarding Hong Kong is that it is a free port. It means that your goods won’t be subject to any customs tariff during importation. Only four types of goods are subject to duties: tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, alcoholic beverages and methyl alcohol.
Liquors are divided into three subcategories which serve to apply a duty rate. Spirits (alcohol above 30%) are taxed at 100% of the CIF value. Wines between 0 and 60%. Beer at 30%. Tobacco is taxed either with a fix rate for 1,000 cigarettes (about 1,900 USD) or with a kilogram-based tariff scale.
Obviously, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, alcoholic beverages and methyl alcohol must be declared to the customs.
Currencies exceeding HK$120,000 also have to be declared to the Customs and Excise Department.
An import declaration is compulsory when bringing any type of goods in Hong Kong. There are several import declaration forms:
- The Form 1 for imports of non-food items
- The Form 1A for imports of food items only
- The Form 1B for imports of gold bars
Here is a list of documents you will need for your goods importation.
- A detailed inventory of the goods
- A packing list
- The original bill of lading
- A copy of your passport
- Your import declaration
As you can read in the latest paragraph, the only goods that are tax-exempted are … all goods except tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, alcoholic beverages and methyl alcohol. Compared to those of other countries, it is like Hong Kong Customs functions backwards.
*You will pay few taxes when moving to Hong Kong with your belongings.
Vehicle importation in a foreign country is very often very complicated because of the procedure and the huge taxation applied to the vehicles. But in Hong Kong, thanks to the status of the port, you won’t pay any tax for your vehicle importation, except from some registration fees.
The first step to your vehicle importation is to make sure you can import it in Hong Kong.
The Environmental Protection Department sets rules regarding your vehicle installations and characteristics. If your vehicle does not comply with those prerequisites, you won’t be authorized to import it.
Once you have checked that your vehicle can be imported, you will have to contact the Customs and Excise Department within 30 days of importation so that they record the importation. You will submit a completed Import Return and then they will provide you with a Notification of Motor Vehicle Provisional Taxable Value to issue during the first registration at the Transport Department.
After having imported the vehicle, an examination at the To Kwa Wan Vehicle Examination Centre will be needed. You will have to issue all documents necessary to prove that your vehicle complies with the emissions regulations set by the Environmental Protection Department. The result of this examination will lead to you obtaining (or not) a Certificate of Roadworthiness. This certificate is necessary to later proceed to the registration of your vehicle and get your licence.
Customs contact in Thailand
Customs contact in Hong Kong
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Hong Kong is an island. And since it has become one of the most dynamic areas of China, it is easy to imagine that Hong Kong’s maritime traffic is one of the factors of Hong Kong’s wealth and dynamism.
It draws its principal force from its “free port” status. Hong Kong is an interface with China.
Sea freight to Hong Kong can be a very good option if you don’t need a quick shipment.
The Port of Hong Kong
Hong Kong Port is huge. It has been the biggest container port in the world during 15 of the 30 last years. Still today, it is part of the 6 busiest container ports in the world even though the traffic has slightly decreased.
No need to get into the details of the Port’s operating forces, it obviously is one of the very best in the world. More than 20 millions of twenty-foot equivalent containers are transported through the port every year.
From Bangkok or Laem Chabang port in Pattaya, the average transit time to Hong Kong by sea is about 4 to 5 days.
Transit times from Thailand to Hong Kong are subject to variations due to weather, departure port, carrier, etc. We will give you an estimation but please keep in mind that the duration can vary of a few days.
Sea freight rates
Sea freight rates are very variable through time. They depend on many factors. For instance, the volume of your shipment can totally change the cost of the shipping. It will determine the container you will choose.
Our consultants will help you choose but usually, we advise to opt for a FCL container if you ship more than 15 cubic meters and a LCL if you ship less.
*According to your needs, we can provide you with a packaging and/or loading service which also has consequences on the total price.
Why choose us?
We have been providing dedicated services for years and always in the same perspective: understanding what your needs are to best respond to them. Our moving consultants have experience and expertise and want the best for you.
Air freight from Thailand to Hong Kong is the fastest transportation mode and that is its biggest advantage. With its 7.5 million of inhabitants and its easy connectivity with China, Hong Kong is really dynamic in air traffic.
Hong Kong airports
The Hong Kong International Airport is located at about 30 kilometres from the Central District of the city. It is mainly a correspondence platform to China for international passengers but also a big commercial airport. It has been designed best airport several times by Skytrax.
From Bangkok to Hong Kong, the flight time is 2 hours 30 minutes. It is roughly the same (2h30 to 3 hours) from Chiang Mai.
Of course, this time of 2 hours 30 minutes does not include pick up time, handling etc. It only is the flight time once the plane has taken off.
*Thus, the total time of your shipping process should take 3-4 days.
Air freight rates
Air freight rates are very sensitive to weight and volume variations. These are the two factors that most influence your final shipping cost. More, during custom clearance, your goods will be taxed and so what you import will change what you pay.
Why choose us?
We have been dealing with air freight for years. Thanks to our experience, we are able to provide competitive price and dedicated service in the meantime, which is hard to find…
Let’s see together how air freight are calculated. The most important aspect that you have to understand is the difference between actual weight and volumetric weight. Once you get it, you can understand your air freight quotations.
*If the volumetric weight is higher than the actual weight of your box, the carrier will quote based on this weight. You can use online chargeable weight calculators to make it easier, now that you understand how it works.
Thailand and Hong Kong are joinable by land but this is not a common choice at all. But thanks to the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge, maybe the choice of coming from land will be made more often.
From Bangkok, the most logical routes to take to go to Hong Kong will cross Laos and maybe Vietnam to reach China. And then, the big G80 route in China will go until Canton. From there, go to Shenzen and then cross the brand new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge.
By road, depending on the road you pick and traffic, the total driving time should be of 50-60 hours.
*Note that it will depends also of the customs clearance step
Road freight rates
Many sizes exist for moving trucks, between 12 and 50 cubic meters storage capacity. Your choice will have big consequences on the final price of your freight. Yet, road freight should be less expensive than sea freight and air freight if you live in the south of Thailand and move to Singapore.
Why choose us?
SIAM Relocation is now a reference in road freight transportation thanks to its experience and is used to working with the best agents for years. Customs matters have no more secrets for our experts. Please contact our moving consultants and they will work to find out the best solution to your needs.
SIAM Relocation has been dealing with relocations for a long time and always with the same perspective: the client must come first. That is why, through years of operations and observations, we decided to create specific offers in order to better fit your needs.
Unfortunately, international freight is not without a risk. Despite all the care we place on your belongings during our manipulations, we can’t guarantee that there won’t be any problem during transit.
*Problems can also be caused by weather, piracy, bad storage, etc.
That’s why we propose you to choose an insurance: to anticipate those risks. Each insurance covers different risks but they generally cover the basic “usual” damages.
To subscribe to an insurance, you can contact a specialized insurance broker or a general insurance company. But you may also contact your personal bank to get an insurance or us, SIAM Relocation.
We have consultants who are here to help you be sure the service you opt for really is what you need and one that is trustworthy.
First, any animal must be inspected by a Thailand’s government veterinary before leaving Thailand. Thus, precisely three days before your planned departure, you must head to the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and then look for the Custom and Animal Quarantine Office. Your pet needs to have all its vaccinations up to date. You will be asked some documents during this inspection at the airport.
- The (English written) rabies certificate, with the complete contact details of the veterinary who made it. The pet also needs to have passed a blood serology test in order to check for rabies antibody levels minimum 30 days afterthe date of the rabies vaccination. The test results must be minimum 0.5 IU/mL.
- One copy of your passport
- Your flight information
- Your pet’s micro-chip number
Afterwards, you will need to fill in an export request form once at the office.
After he conducts the health check, the government veterinary will hand you the document needed for your travel and charge you about 50 Baht for each pet. To sum it up, you must remember to bring the following documents when you get in your plane: the export permit, the vet certificate from the airport and your own original pet health certificate.
*All of this is what you imperatively must do with Thailand authorities.
Now, let’s see what Hong Kong administration needs to accept your pet importation.
First, Hong Kong requires all dogs and cats to be microchipped with ISO-compatible chips.
Anyway, your veterinarian should recognize those vaccinations and know which are important.
To import your pet into Hong Kong, you will be asked an import permit. It is called a Special permit and is to be obtained from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. This Special Permit will be valid for six months and will be useful for the import of one dog or cat.
This Department classifies countries in three groups according to their rabies risk. Unfortunately for who wants to relocate from Thailand to Hong Kong, Thailand is classified group 3, which means your pet can not travel directly from Thailand to Hong Kong.
*Your pet will have to spend a minimum of 180 days in a group 2 or 1 country and run tests there before flying to Hong Kong.
Packing your goods is absolutely necessary. Not packing is tremendously increasing the risk of damage. More, packing facilitates all the process : from the handling of movers to the storage in warehouses or containers.
The most commonly used packing materials are wooden boxes, cardboard boxes and bubble wrap.
Wooden crates are useful when a large packing size is needed. They are resistant and can be submitted to a high-pressure strength. They are solid but also heavier than cardboard boxes.
Cardboard boxes are very easy to fold, fill and move around. They exist in many sizes and are resistant enough if you choose good quality cardboard like double corrugated cardboard for example.
Bubble wrap is used to care about fragile items. It is wrapped around them, inside a wooden crate or a cardboard box.
When you have an emergency, a setback or whatever could disturb your relocation organization, a warehousing service can save your life. You may stock your goods in our warehouses before shipping them to Hong Kong.
Please take note that we also have a service specialized in commercial moving for companies, associations and government agencies.
In order to adapt our offer to the customer, to his needs but also to his budget, we created three moving packages : from the simple package to the complete package.
In Hong Kong, tourist or student visas are easily obtained but work visa require doubled efforts.
To obtain a work visa, you need a Hong Kong company to affiliate you to them, proving you have the skills needed for the job and that it is essential that you (and not a local) took the job.
Hong Kong is a city of business. Many people say Hong Kong smells like money. It is mainly because of the big buildings and the skilled jobs in the city. 90% of the jobs are concentrated in the service sector.
Hong Kong is a dynamic place, contrasted by the two cultures that live there: Asian and Western- European. It is a place where East meets West.
Cost of life
Hong Kong is one of the cities with the highest cost of life in the world. In Asia, only Tokyo and Seoul are said to be more expensive to live in.
For instance, rent prices are 3 times more expensive in Hong Kong than in Bangkok.
If more than 7 million people live in the third expensive country in the world, the incomes are of course very high. If you are hired by a local company because of your skills, you should have a very decent salary to live in Hong Kong.
But if you start your business by yourself, you may struggle for a little while because of the competition and the cost of life.
Here are some precious contacts that you must know if you are to live in Hong Kong.
Ambulance helpline: 999
Police Emergency: 999
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