Moving to India


You need to move to India? SIAM Relocation’s expert team is here to handle all your logistic and relocation needs. Whether you leave from Thailand or somewhere else, our decades of experience in this domain give us credit to take care of your move. Our article will give you the reliable information you need about the customs, the best ways of transportation, our dedicated services and about your future life in India.

indian flag

1. Customs clearance in India

As you probably know it, when you travel from a country to another with your items, it is compulsory to go through customs process and thus clear your belongings. Of course, Siam Relocation is used to working with customs and can offer you to handle your goods clearing with the customs.

1.1 Customs process

Remark SIAM: While entering India as for any other country, everyone has to go through Customs check.

There are some very important prescriptions regarding foreign nationals and Indian of origin who are transferring their residence to India (Transferees).

A transferee can import personal effects and household goods to India as a Transfer of Residence only if he has lived overseas for two years at least and is transferring residence. They must not have visited India for more than 180 days in the two years spent out of India. The Transfer of Residence rule is important as it allows some dutiable effects older than one year not to be subject to duties.

*Foreign nationals need a resident permit or a business/work/entry visa or a PIO card to enter India with goods.

Warning SIAM: For sea freight shipping, goods must be shipped out of the country of origin in the month before arrival of the owner in India. For air freight, it is 15 days.

The Disembarkation Card acts like a valued inventory of your goods as you have to mention precisely what you transport and to estimate its value. But you will still need a valued inventory made by your own prior the travel.

Here are the needed documents for your custom clearance:

  • Copy of the original Bill of Lading.
  • Original passport.
  • Authority letter.
  • Baggage declaration form.
  • Valued inventory in English.
  • Signed Indian customs declaration form.
  • Copy of Employment Letter or Transfer letter.
  • FRRO registration.

Since 2017, India has implemented a new tax : the Goods and Services Tax (GST), it has been implemented to simplify the whole tax procedure in India. For instance, some of the items that were dutiable before are now only subject to GST. There are 5 basic GST rates : 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.

Many products are still dutiable when entering India. There are several duty rates that vary according to what you bring. Of course, some items will have a high duty rate that won’t be applicable to others, but we can say that there are three basic rates.

The first one is the basic duty rate of 7.5% of the value of the item. An “additional duty” rate of 12.5% exists. The third one is the “special duty” rate of 4%, applicable on medical equipment and devices for example.

There are two ways to declare your goods when you enter India’s territory. They are named the Red and the Green Channels and are to be found in any major entry checkpoints in India.

The Green Channel is the path you will take if you don’t have any dutiable goods.

The Red Channel is to be taken if you transport dutiable goods. In this case, it is important that you declare all your goods to the Custom Officer. It is highly possible that you have to produce them in front of him. You can face a punishment if you mis declare your goods at the Red Channel.

Remark SIAM: Before this step, you really must be aware of your situation and the Channel you choose. You should accurately know what you transport and your GST relief and duty-free concession situation.

1.2 Taxes exemption

*There are a few situations in which your shipment can be totally or partially exempted of taxes.

If your shipment is part of a diplomatic removal, you can be exempted of duties. But you will need several documents so that your shipment is considered as a diplomatic removal :

  • An Authority Letter provided by the destination agent in India.
  • A Baggage Declaration Form
  • A copy of Passport duly certified (sealed and signed by the Embassy/Consulate)
  • A Duty free exemption Certificate issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The Bill of Lading (sealed and signed by the Embassy/Consulate)
  • The valued inventory of the goods (sealed and signed by the Embassy/Consulate)

Here are other specific cases in which goods are not subject to taxes nor duties:

  • Goods that are re-imported to India with no valued added.
  • Goods donated for charity
  • Goods used for scientific purposes.
  • Goods used for exhibition
  • Industrial equipment and any product needed for the maintenance of industrial equipment.

1.3 Vehicle importation

Info SIAM: When you import vehicle to India, there are 2 mains rules to keep in mind:

  • The first constraint to know is that you can’t import a vehicle that is older than three years from its date of manufacture.
  • Second, cars have to be right-hand steering and must have a speedometer in kilometres.

You will also need some paperwork to import your vehicle:

  • You will have to submit a certificate issued by a testing agency approved by the Government. The certificate will confirm that the vehicle complies with the Indian Motor Vehicles Act of 1988.
  • You also need to ask the testing agency to issue a certificate that says the vehicle conforms to the homologation certificate issued at the time of manufacture.
  • Finally, once your vehicle has arrived at the Indian port but before you proceed to custom clearance, you will submit the vehicle to the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment so that they test, once more, the conformity of the vehicle with the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988.

Info SIAM: For more details on the whole procedure, please check the following article which shows how hard it is to import personal vehicle in India: Custom duty raised, imported vehicle to become costlier in India (1 Feb, 2018)

1.4 What duties and taxes will I pay for my personal effects?

Warning SIAM: It is very hard to determine in advance how much duties and taxes will you pay as it depends of many parameters such as: your personal situation, the nature of your personal effects, the method of shipment, if you subscribe to an Insurance program… etc

This part of your move is still vague? Feel free to contact our SIAM moving consultant. Fill our online form in 1 min and get an answer within 24h!         


Sample of a declaration for personal effect importation (this one is for Singapore but could work for India. Ask your SIAM Moving consultant to provide you the correct one)

personal effects declaration singapore

SIAM Plus: Our moving consultant will help you finalize every administrative and logistics tasks. Thanks to our experience, we are used to help and accompany our customers from departure to arrival, just to make sure everything is fine ! Your satisfaction is our success !

Customs contact in Thailand

thai customs

Official name: Thai Customs Department

Official Website: Thai Customs Website

Customs contact in India

indian customs

Official name: Central Board of Excise and Customs

Official Website: Indian Customs Website

Customs process

customs clearance process

Our customs broker inform you

Prohibited & restricted items

Remark SIAM: If you have one of the following item, you should check directly with our SIAM Moving consultant. Some of those items are restricted or even totally prohibited, it is important to anticipate such shipment to avoid any problem.

Drug contraband

prohibited drug


prohibited ivory


prohibited poison


prohibited explosive


prohibited batteries


prohibited porno


prohibited biohazard


prohibited combustible


prohibited knife


prohibited chemical


prohibited firearms


prohibited cigarette


prohibited corrosive


prohibited prescription drugs


prohibited gambler


prohibited counterfeit

Counterfeit notes

prohibited notes


prohibited hazardous items

Siam Relocation - Best price moving company in Bangkok !

Due to our attractive pricing, many customers trust our services and we thanks them.

Stop to overpay the services and save money with our tailored package matching will all type of removals, from small volume to full house, let us find the best and cost-effective option.


Complete our online form and get your free quote within 48h!


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2. Method of transportation

When moving from Thailand to India, you can turn to any transportation mode: by sea, air, road or rails. Each one has its advantages and drawbacks. Our moving consultant will help you determine the most relevant solution for you.


ship icon

Ocean freight will be the best deal for you if:

  • The goods you need to ship are greater than 3 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive them

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Sea freight from Thailand to India, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.


Remark SIAM: Sea freight between Thailand and India will certainly be the best way to ship your personal effects (mainly if you have a big volume).

Sea freight to India is quite common as the country has a coastline of 7,516 km surrounded by many ports. According to the Indian Ministry of Shipping, 95% of the total trading volume of the country is done through maritime transport.

Info SIAM: You want further information about Indian ports ? Feel free to check the official website: Indian Ministry of Shipping

Main Ports in India

There are 12 so-called main ports in India : Kandla Port (Gujarat), Nhava Sheva Port (Maharashtra), Mumbai Port, Marmagao Port (Goa), Panambur Port (Karnataka), Cochin Port (Kerala), Port Blair (Andaman), Tuticorin Port (Tamil Nadu), Chennai Port, Vizag Port (Andhra Pradesh), Paradip Port (Orissa), Haldia Port (West Bengal).

*They are located all over the coasts and are frequent destinations for cargos.

Transit time

Here are some sea transit times from Bangkok:

Chennai 10 days
Cochin port 14-15 days
Mumbai 15 days
Nhava Sheva 15 days
Vizag 12 days

*Please note that this is only for guidance. The transit times can of course vary by a few days according to the type of boat, the weather or the departure port. Count one more day from Laem Chabang port (Pattaya).

Sea freight rates

The cost of sea freight depends on many parameters which makes the rates quite unstable. For instance, whether you ship a small volume or a big one, your container type will change and so will your rate.

We generally advise to opt for a FCL (Full Container Load) if your volume is higher than 15 cubic meters and a LCL (Less than Container Load) if your volume is under 15 cubic meters. Our experts will obviously help you choose the best solution in order to fit your needs.

*According to your budget, we can adapt our offer (with or without a packaging and/or loading service) which could have important consequences on the final price.

Remark SIAM: You want further information about our packing service ? Contact our SIAM moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Packing service

Why choose us?

SIAM Relocation provides dedicated services to best respond to your specific needs and has been doing so since many years. Our moving consultants are experts and want the best solution for you.

Remark SIAM: As proof, if you transport small volumes, you should note that SIAM Relocation is the only moving company to have a rate for the first cubic meter. If you want to ship 1 cubic meter of your goods, other companies will charge you 4 cubic meters as it is their starting rate, SIAM Relocation will charge you 1 cubic meter because we want to settle a fair service and a sane relation with our customers.


airplane icon

Air freight will be the most efficient solution if:

  • Your goods are smaller than 2 CBM and 200 kg
  • You’re in a hurry to receive/send the goods

SIAM Advice: To have precise rates and transit times for your Air freight from Thailand to India, don’t hesitate to contact our SIAM Experts.



India has the second biggest population of the world and is a real hub in terms of human transportation. Therefore, the country has a lot of transportation and commercial airports.

Airfreight will be profitable for you when you only want to ship a small volume of goods because otherwise, sea freight implicates bundling/unbundling charges. We advise not to choose airfreight from 2 cubic meters of personal effects.

Remark SIAM: Air freight can be the most adequate solution, it mainly depends on your goods dimensions.

Main airports in India

*India has more than 20 international airports and many more national airports.

The more important are Chennai Airport, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and Cochin International Airport.

Info SIAM: They all transport more than 10 million (up to 65 million for Delhi’s airport) passengers every year.

Transit time

From Thailand, the average transit time to India should be of 3 to 5 hours, depending on your departure and arrival airports but should not exceed 5 or 6 hours. For the entire delivery at place, you can count from 2 to 5 days. Please note that this only is a rough estimation.

Remark SIAM: Transit time are hard to estimate as it mainly depends of the budget: a direct flight available within a day is possible, but will probably be more expensive. In average, you can expect 2/5 days (export process included) 

*Note that the flight does not include the whole logistics process, some parcel could be stuck in customs for X or Y reason.

Air freight rates

The air freight costs are very sensitive to the weight and volume of the items you need to ship. In addition, your shipment will again determine your rate as you will have to go through custom clearance at the arrival and so what you ship will determine your expenses.

Why choose us?

SIAM Relocation has a long experience in air freight transportation and is used to working with the best agents in the world for years. More, we often serve Indian customers and know how to deal with Indian customs. Please contact our SIAM moving consultants and they will work to find out the best solution to your needs.

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.

calculate gross weight
classic air freight volumetric weight

*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.  


road freight icon

Road freight will be the most convenient option if:

  • Your home is located on the west side of Thailand
  • The volume of your move is between 3 to 15 CBM
  • You’re not in a hurry to receive your goods


Thanks to an efficient road network, Thailand can easily be linked to India in a few days. Road freight can be profitable as you will benefit from a quite direct delivery from the truck, without a sometimes expensive warehousing. More, during the transport, you can locate your goods and follow the trip precisely. Last but not least, you can communicate with the driver, which is a very good contact to have.

Remark SIAM: Nevertheless, road freight is of course the most polluting freight mode.

Main routes

The connexion between Thailand and India has been made easy since 2016 and the inauguration of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway. It connects Moreh in India with Mae Sot in Thailand, separated by 1,360 km.

Transit time

Thanks to this brand new international highway, the two countries can be connected in less than a week. Depending on your departure and arrival points, you should count between 5 and 8 days to join India from Thailand. Maybe more if your truck is heavily loaded.

Road freight rates

Moving trucks can be very different one from another. Their storage capacity varies between 12 and 50 cubic meters. Thus, your choice will strongly influence the final price of your freight. If you live in the extreme northern part of Thailand and move to the eastern border of India, road freight can be a good solution.

Why choose us?

Thanks to our experience and because we are used to working with the best agents, SIAM Relocation is now an undeniable reference in road freight transportation. Our experts perfectly know custom matters. Don’t hesitate to reach them so that you figure out the best solution to your needs with them.


rail freight icon

Rail freight will be the best solution for you, in the case that:

  • Your home is located near Thai train station
  • You are not very hurry to receive your go belongings




Railway transportation has one big advantage which is that it is the most dependable mode of transport. Indeed, it is less affected by weather conditions such as rains or fog than other modes of transport.

It is also known for being the best organized form of transport. It has fixed routes and schedules which make trains more regular statistically.

Remark SIAM: Yet, the problem is that it is hard to find a direct line and even sometimes a line, between Thailand and India. Rail freight is rarely chosen because it is puzzling to plan the trip and the parcel travel.

Main Train Stations in India

*India has a lot of huge cities and each one of them has at least one train station. So you should not worry about the liaison to your final destination.

Howrah Junction Railway Station is the busiest railway station in terms of passenger transportation (more than 1 million per day).

New Delhi Station is very effective too, with more than 350 trains everyday and 500.000 passengers.

Info SIAM: Other impressive train stations are Kalyan Junction, Kanpur Central Railway Station, Patna Station or else, Vijayawada Station.

Transit time

We can’t give you a transit time as it will be very different according to the trip you choose to do. For further information about this method of transport, feel free to contact our SIAM Moving Consultant.

Rail freight rates

In comparison with other freight modes, rail freight can turn out to be more economical for transporting heavy goods, but it is so complicated to plan in some countries (India is part of them) that it not often chosen. More, your final price will highly depend on your location and proximity to a train station, both at departure and destination.

Why choose us?

Rail freight transportation keeps no secret anymore for SIAM Relocation thanks to its experience. Please don’t hesitate to contact our moving consultants. They will work to find out the best solution to your needs.

living in India

3. Additional moving services

SIAM Relocation deals with relocations since a long time and always with the same motivation: the client needs come first. That is why, through years of observations and operations, we decided to create particular offers in order to better fit your needs.

3.1 Moving insurance

Remark SIAM: Our insurance program is charged 3% of your declared value.

International transport of goods does not come without a risk. The principal risks that a shipment may face are risk of damage, delay, theft or loss during transit. In consequence, we advise our clients to subscribe to an insurance before the problem happens.

Cargo insurance (same as freight insurance or marine insurance) usually covers damages caused by bad weather, inadequate storage of the goods or fumigation services. Each insurance has different services. For instance, some cover piracy acts, others don’t.

In order to subscribe to an insurance, you can go through a standard insurance company, a specialist marine insurance broker, your bank or us, SIAM Relocation.

*Our consultants are here to make sure you choose the service you need. feel free to contact him!

Info SIAM: You want further information about our Insurance program? Feel free to contact our SIAM moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Moving Insurance

3.2 Moving with your pet to India

Your animal must be inspected before leaving the country. Precisely three days before your departure, you must head to the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Custom and Animal Quarantine Office with your animal, up to date about its vaccinations. For this inspection, you will be asked to produce documents:

  • A rabies certificate. Provided and signed by the vet who made it, it must be written in English. Your pet should also have undergone a blood serology test to check that he has rabies antibodies at a level of at least 0.5 lU/Ml. The test must take place at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination.
  • Your flight details.
  • A copy of your valid passport.
  • Your pet’s micro-chip number if your animal has one.

*At the office, you will have to fill an export request form.

Once the health check is done, the government vet will give you the documents you require for your travel. You will be charged 50 THB per animal. The day of travelling, don’t forget to bring your pet health certificate, the export permit and the airport vet certificate.

Until now, that was what you have to do regarding Thailand authorities. But India also has its requisites.

Please note that you must be moving your permanent residence on an E employment visa or be an Indian citizen coming back from overseas assignment in order to be allowed to get your pet back into the country. You will maybe have to provide documents that prove that you will stay in India for at least two years.

*Two pets (cat/dog) per passenger can be imported into India without any import license.

Remark SIAM: Birds, reptiles and other pets require Special Import Authorizations issued by the Director General of Foreing Trade.

Your pet has to me microchipped in order to enter India.


Info SIAM: You will need to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Animal Quarantine Station in India prior to entering India.

  • Dogs have to be vaccinated against Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Distemper.
  • Cats need to be vaccinated against FVRCP and Feline Pan Leukopenia.

3.3 Packing service

Remark SIAM: It is essential to pack your goods because it will condition the safety of the shipment.

Packing cardboard boxes are the standard packing materials. They exist in different sizes and can be very resistant if the cardboard used is of good quality. To save money, you will have to pack smartly. For example, prefer the best boxes for important and sturdy items.

Bubble wrap is a common packing material as it is used to take care of delicate goods like pottery or any fragile item.

Wooden boxes are used when a packing for fragile items is required. They can be manipulated for a longer time than simple cardboard boxes and resist humidity better.

SIAM relocation offers you to take care of your packaging needs. We have a packing team ready to pack whatever you need. Even if your items have rare dimensions or if you don’t have material.

Info SIAM: You want further information about our packing service, feel free to contact our SIAM Moving consultant or check our dedicated page: Packing service

3.4 Warehousing service

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 India.

SIAM Plus: Our warehouses are fully secured with alarm systems and 24/7 guard presence. You can place all your trust on us.

3.5 Office moves

Please take note that we also have a service specialized in moving dedicated to companies, associations or government agencies.

4. Our moving packages

A few years ago, we decided to do more to help our customers. We decided to create different offers and adapt them to your needs, from the simplest to the complete package.

packages international move thailand

SIAM Plus: Please note that this information is for guidance only. We base our offer on our most up-to-date analysis and experience. Your SIAM moving consultant will work on your case and determine the most suitable moving solution, adapting our services to your needs.

5. Life in India

5.1 Visa & Business


The most common visas to enter India and stay for a long time are the following:

  • Entry X Visa, which require special conditions and are quite rare
  • Employment Visa for foreigners working in India.
  • Business Visa

Remark SIAM: You can learn more about Indian visas on the official website: Indian Visa Online  


India is a country where business is growing and very interesting to start. Some of the emerging sectors are advanced engineering and manufacturing, digital innovation, energy, finance, life sciences, retail, foods/drinks and logistics.

5.2 Living in India


India is a very particular country to live in. Even among Asian countries, India has its own identity. India is a federal state strongly influenced by Hinduism which is the religion of 80% of Indians. Many traditions are inherited from Hinduism. Today, people are still attached to their religions but some traditions begin to disappear.

Cost of life

Globally, consumer prices are 45% lower in cities like Delhi than in Bangkok. Yet some regions in India are cheaper than other to live in and Delhi is part of the most expensive with Mumbai.

Warning SIAM: According to the website Numbeo which is the reference to help to compare the cost of life in different place, here is the comparison between Bangkok and New Delhi

  • Consumer Prices in Bangkok are 83.15% higher than in Delhi
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Bangkok are 106.30% higher than in Delhi
  • Rent Prices in Bangkok are 190.33% higher than in Delhi
  • Restaurant Prices in Bangkok are 17.98% higher than in Delhi
  • Groceries Prices in Bangkok are 101.66% higher than in Delhi
  • Local Purchasing Power in Bangkok is 41.58% lower than in Delhi

For further information, please check directly the official link: Numbeo – Bangkok Vs New Delhi


Finding a job in India is not a problem, even for foreigners. Finding a good job is. Many jobs that you will be offered will be low ranked jobs in their representation schemes. Yet, with good education and diplomas, you will find a good job in big cities.

5.3 Local contacts

Here are some precious contacts that you must know if you are to live in India.

Firefighter: 101

Ambulance helpline: 102

Police Emergency: 100

Here are the best real estate companies in India. They can be of a great help to guide you through your relocation.


Sunteck Realty

SRS Real Infrastructure Ltd

+91 22 67888000

+91 22 42877800

+91 129 4323100

Here are some visa agencies to help you with your administrative procedure.



Passport and Visas


011 6666 1234