When importing a boat from oversea to Thailand – even if it is solely for personal use and not for running a business – it is necessary to register the boat at the Marine Department in charge. Which department is in charge is determined by the mooring of the boat. To complete the registration process, the following documents are required:
- Boat sale agreement;
- Receipt of paying import taxes at the Customs Department;
- Supporting documentation to certify domicile in Thailand by going to the immigration office that is in the province that the boat is located (certification of the Thai visa at the Immigration Office); and
- Translations of all documents in English into Thai.
In case a pre-owned boat is imported, additional documents are required as follows:
- Boat registration document from abroad;
- Certificate of the cancellation of the boat registration abroad.
If the boat is neither registered as a Thai boat nor is operated under the Thai flag, the boat can remain in Thailand only for a limited time. The boat has to be brought out of Thailand after the permitted time has expired, thus if the boat shall be operated in Thailand without time restriction, it must be registered as a Thai boat.
There is no limitation regarding the number of boats which can be registered under the same person. However, the applicant for the boat registration must be the same person as the importer and the person on the purchase agreement. If the names differ, the registration cannot be done. Therefore, it is recommendable to complete the registration at the Marine Department under the buyer’s name as a first step, after the boat is imported. After the registration is completed, the transfer of the boat should go smoothly.
Please note: a boat registration for a foreign individual is possible, but a foreign company is not permitted to register a boat under its name. If a company wants to register a boat under its name, at least 70% of the shares have to be held by Thai nationals.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.