Importing from Thailand

If you are going to import goods from Thailand, then you will be looking for a freight forwarder who will be able to accept the shipment on your behalf once it arrives in the UK.  Appointing a freight forwarder will also mean that you can nominate them to handle the collection of your goods in Thailand, ocean (or air) freight to the UK, and customs clearance and onward delivery in the UK.

Mercator handles imports from Thailand regularly.  The main commodities that we come across from Thailand are textiles and foodstuffs, including rice, curry pastes, coconut milk and spices.  Freight forwarder Mercator Cargo can handle all ambient foodstuffs imports from Thailand.  We can ensure you have the documentation and checks required to import into the UK.

It is very important to check that all ingredients on the products you are importing are acceptable by UK port health.  This will avoid delays if you know that there are no restrictions.  If you do not check, the goods may be seized, destroyed and the bill forwarded.  Knowing in advance that the products will be importable will avoid delays and put your mind at ease.  We can advise who you will need to talk to in order to carry out these checks.

When you agree to purchase your goods for shipping from Thailand, you will agree with the supplier who covers what aspect of the shipment.  An Incoterm will be used in this case.  A freight forwarder can either arrange the whole shipment for you from the supplier’s door to your door, or just arrange the UK customs clearance and onward delivery.

Mercator has a freight forwarding partner in Thailand who can assist with the transportation of your order from anywhere in Thailand, and arrange for it to be loaded onto a vessel at either Bangkok, Laem Chabang or Map Ta Phut.  Transit via ocean freight from Thailand to the UK takes around 30 days and there are regular sailings.  Air freight from Thailand takes less than a day (but you will need to factor in time for loading, unloading and customs clearance in the UK), there are several daily departures from Thailand to the UK.

Once your foodstuffs import shipment from Thailand has arrived in the UK, it may need to be approved by port health.  UK port health is quite strict, we see around 90% of import shipments from Thailand containing consumables inspected by port health.  This can add on a few extra days to the transit time.  Any exams or inspections that are carried out by port health will be payable by the importer, so when factoring in costs and planning it is worth bearing this in mind.  Ask us roughly how much this usually costs, it will largely depend on the size and nature of the shipment.

Importing into the UK will usually require a payment to HMRC for VAT & duty on the value of the goods.  If you are VAT registered you should be able to claim back the VAT element, but check with your accountant first.  If you would like us to arrange this payment on your behalf, we can calculate the amount due in advance so you know what you will need to pay (import VAT & duty payable are based on the tariff code of the commodities and the value of the goods).

Once cleared through UK customs, we can arrange for the delivery of your goods to your door.


Shipping to Thailand

Mercator handles commercial shipments from the UK to Thailand.  We are a freight forwarder with experience of shipping chemicals and engineering products to Thailand.

If you’re looking for a freight forwarder who can cover all aspects of your shipping to Thailand or UK imports from Thailand, then get in touch today.  We will be happy to discuss your requirements and put together a bespoke quote based on your freight forwarding needs:, or call us on +44 2392 756 575.


Get a Quote for Shipping to or from Thailand

    Please note we are unable to handle personal shipments.