Section Code: 0014 - 0037
CUSTOMS ACT, B.E. 2469 (1926)
Chapter 4: Examination of Goods and Prevention of Smuggling
While, goods pass through customs or are in any way under the supervision of the customs, any competent customs official may at any time, open the package and examine such goods and may take samples of any goods for examination, test, assessment, or for other purposes as necessary. Samples shall be delivered free of charge. The official may take sample from such packages or any post of the goods provided that such samples are taken in a reasonable size or quantity and in such a manner as to produce the least possible loss or inconvenience to the owner of the goods. And such samples shall be returned to the owner as soon as possible.
Customs official may embark any vessel within the territory of the Kingdom and may remain on board while goods are loaded or unloaded, or until such vessel departs. Customs official shall have access and ability to inspect any part of the vessel, at any time. He may inspect any book, record, or document relating to the goods in the vessel. He may order that any compartment of the vessel, package, or container be opened, or if necessary, he may break them open. He may place a mark, seal or lock, or fasten any goods on board or on any place or package. And if such mark, seal, lock, or fastener is intentionally removed, opened, broken, or altered, the master shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Bath.
Section 15 bis
Any person who, without permission of a competent official, embarks a foreign-going vessel while she is within the Kingdom shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand Baht.
The provisions of paragraph one shall not apply to the master, crew, passengers and persons having duties to perform on such vessel.
A customs official may remove, land, and keep in a place of security any goods which have not been duly cleared through the customs.
A customs official may search and release the baggage of passengers, and may detain such baggage if any tax unpaid goods, restricted or prohibited goods are found therein.
A customs official may search any person on board any ship within a port area, or any person who disembarked from any ship provided that such official shall have reasonable grounds to suspect that such person possess or carries with him the tax unpaid goods, restricted, or prohibited goods. Before searching any person, that person may require to bring him before, at reasonable speed, a superior customs official of a rank not lower than an inspector or the chief official of a station, or the nearest Amphoe, or chief officer of police station, or his Consulate in the case of a person subjected to the jurisdiction of a foreign consular court. The official before whom such person has been brought shall decide whether there are sufficient reasonable grounds for suspicion and whether the search should be permitted. A female shall be searched by a female searcher.
If any official searches any person without reasonable ground, such official shall be liable to a fine of not exceeding one thousand Baht.
A customs official may stop and search a vehicle, cart, or other conveyances, to ascertain whether any smuggled goods are contained therein provided that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that such vehicle, cart, or conveyances has been or is being used in connection with a ship, warehouse, godown, landing place, quay, waterway, border pass or railway. Any person refuses or obstructs or attempts to obstruct such examination, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand Bath.
Any person found committing or attempting to commit or employing or aiding or inciting any person to commit an offence under the provisions of this Act may be arrested without warrant by any Competent Official, and taken, with any exhibit as to which the offence or attempted offence may have been committed, to a police station to take legal action. If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that any person commits an offence under the provision hereof or possesses article relating to a previous offence or which might be used to commit an offence, the Competent Officer may arrest such person and dealt with this case in a like manner.
Section 20 bis
In the case where an offence under this Act occurs in the territorial sea, when the competent official arrests and sends the alleged offender to an inquiry official of any locality, that inquiry official of such locality shall be the responsible inquiry official. In this case, the normal period of the alleged offender’s travel to the inquiry official shall not be counted as the period of keeping in custody of the alleged offender by the inquiry official under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Every vessel arriving at a port shall halt at the prescribed boarding-station, and shall facility the customs official in every manner in approaching and embarking the vessel. The vessel shall anchor if required by the customs official. The master of vessel shall answer any question posed by the official concerning the vessel, crew, passenger, journey, and the nature of goods thereon. The master shall report on any fire-arms, ammunition, gunpowder, or explosive carried on board, and shall, when ordered by the competent official, deliver all fire-arms and ammunition into the custody of the person in charge of the boarding station and deliver all explosives into the custody of the official appointed for this purpose. The master shall comply with all reasonable orders of the customs official. The customs official shall be placed on board to supervise the vessel to the moor provided for such vessel. The customs official shall be treated politely and provided reasonable accommodation on board. No vessel shall pass through a boarding station without a customs official on board unless special permission is granted by the supervising official of the station. If a master or any person in charge of a vessel refuses or neglects to comply with the aforesaid requirements, such person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Bath.
Any vessel leaving a port may be supervised by the customs official until reaching the boarding station, where the vessel shall halt to bring the official back and to be examined by the competent official. Any fire-arm, ammunition, gunpowder, or explosive which has been delivered on arrival into the custody of the customs shall be returned to the vessel. If any vessel, with any customs or other officials of the Government on board, departs from any port without their consent; or the proper facilities are not provided for the official in the execution of his duty, the master shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand Bath.
If any vessel liable to seizure or examination under this Act does not halt when required to do so, and is chased by a vessel in His Majesty’s Service, or in the service of the Customs Department, having the proper pendant and ensign of H.M. Service hoisted, it shall be lawful for the official in charge of the service vessel, after having caused a gun to be fired as a signal, to fire at or into such escaping vessel.
Any article liable to forfeiture under this Act may be seized at any time and any place by the customs official, administrative or police official.
Where the owner of or the person having a right to the goods so seized does not lodge a claim within sixty days for a conveyance used in committing an offence or thirty days for other things as from the date of the seizure, such article shall be regarded as ownerless and shall become the property of the State, irrespective of whether criminal prosecution is brought against the case.
All goods or articles seized under this Act shall be delivered into the custody of the competent customs official. If there is no such official within a reasonable distance, they shall be delivered into the custody of the nearest Amphoe, who shall hold them on behalf of the customs. All good seized or forfeited under this Act or other laws relating to the customs shall be disposed of as instructed by the Director-General.
If the goods seized are of perishable or their detention possess a risk of damage or the expense of detention is more than reasonable, the Director-General or the person authorized by him may instruct the competent official to sell them by auction or by other means as appropriate before they become property of the State, and the proceeds thereof, deducted by all expenses and charges, shall be retained in lieu of the goods.
Any article liable to seizure under this Act may be displayed at a police station or Court if required in connection with a case charged by the police. For this purpose, the police official shall notify to the customs in writing that it has been detained, and shall, as soon as possible, take it to the Customs House and deliver it into the care of the customs.
Any person imports or brings into the Kingdom any tax unpaid, restricted, or prohibited goods, or any goods which has not duly passed through the customs, or exports or takes such goods out of the Kingdom or assists in any way in importing or exporting or removing or assisting to removal without permission from any ship, quay, godown, warehouse, place of security, or store room, or provide the place to keep, or conceals such goods, or permits or arranges other persons to do so or is involved in any manner in carrying, removing, or dealing with such goods in any manner to avoid or attempt to avoid the payment of customs tax or of any duties of avoid or attempt to avoid any provisions of law and restrictions relating to the importation, exportation, landing, warehousing, and delivery of goods with the intention to defraud the government tax of His Majesty the King with must be paid for such goods or avoids the prohibition or restriction of such goods, shall for each offence be liable to a fine of not exceeding five thousand Baht or of three times the price of the goods including duty, or to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding ten years, or to both. For each offence there shall be a fine of four times the amount of price of the goods including duty or to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding ten years, or to both.
Section 27 bis
Any person whoever assists in concealing, disposing or making away with, purchases, takes in pledge or otherwise receives any goods, knowing that such goods are tax unpaid or restricted or prohibited goods; or that they were imported into the Kingdom without duly cleared through the Customs; or that they were imported into the Kingdom by evading duties, restrictions or prohibitions so related to such goods shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine equal to quadruple the duty-paid value of the goods or both the imprisonment and fine.
Section 27 ter
No vessel shall discharge any goods outside the limits of the port without reasonable grounds or without the permission of the competent official. If any master or person violates this provision, he shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding two years or to a fine of three times the price of the goods or to a fine of one hundred thousand Baht, whichever is the higher, or to both.
Any goods related to an offence committed under this section shall be forfeited, irrespective of whether any person is liable to a penalty.
If any vessel within a port area is found with goods on board, and subsequently such vessel is found lighter or a bare vessel, and the master is not able to prove that the goods have been discharged lawfully, the master shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one million Bath or such vessel may be forfeited.
If any vessel shall be found to have on board any secret or disguised place or any device adapted for smuggling goods, the master shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand Bath. However, the master shall not bear punishment unless there are reasonable grounds to believe that he failed to exercise proper vigilance to prevent, or was involved in or privy to the construction, adaptation, placing, or using such place or device. The place or device shall be destroyed or rendered harmless to the satisfaction of the competent official.
If any vessel is found to have on board goods in packages of a size or character contrary to the directions of this Act or any other law or Notifications, the master shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand Bath and such goods shall be forfeited.
If any person loads or permits the loading or is involved with the loading in or unloading from any vessel, at sea or river or canal, goods which are subject to tax payment or which are restricted or prohibited, which forfeited supports the cheating and fraud of state revenue, the avoidance of prohibitions, such person shall be liable to the penalties as prescribed in section 27.
Any type of vessel, not exceeding two hundred and fifty tons burden, and any vehicle, cart, conveyance, packages, carriage, used or for use in the removal, concealment, or carriage of any tax unpaid, restricted, or prohibited goods, shall be forfeited irrespective of whether any person is liable to a penalty and if other goods are contained in a package or tax unpaid, restricted, or prohibited goods founding in the carriage, vessel, vehicle, cart or conveyance, such other goods shall also be liable to forfeiture.
If a vessel exceeding two hundred and fifty tons burden is used or is for use under paragraph one, the Court shall have the power to forfeit such vessel as appropriation for the offence.
Section 32 bis
In the case where the forfeited goods in respect of an offence committed under this Act does not belong to the offender, the Court shall have the power to order the forfeiture if the owner knows or has reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence is committed or will be committed but does nothing to prevent the commission of offence or, its completion or to take care of such goods from being involved in the offence.
If there is a smuggling offence involving a vessel of exceeding two hundred and fifty tons burden, and the master is not able to prove that he has taken all possible steps to discover and prevent such offence, the master shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand Bath.
All goods imported or exported by post shall be duly declared and entered and subject to the same penalties as goods imported or exported by vessel, with the exception of the liability and penalties which shall full upon the addressee of imported goods and the sender of exported goods, or upon the recipient or the person who delivered the goods to the Post Office, as the case may be.
The provisions of section 27 shall apply to goods imported or exported through the post.
The competent official may examine any parcel-post package entering or leaving the Kingdom and may detain any parcel at the Customs House upon suspicion until the sender or addressee satisfies him that it does not contain any tax unpaid, restricted, or prohibited goods. Customs examination of postal packages may take place either at the Post Office or the Customs House.