How to import: The complete beginners guide to importing Thailand jewelry

How to import jewelry

I’m interested in importing jewelry from Thailand, does anyone have any suggestions where to start?

Thailand is a great country to source many different kind of Jewelry. One great success story is Pandora Danish jeweler, a world-leading international jewelry company, with sales in more than 100 countries. Danish goldsmith Per Enevoldsen and his wife Winnie travelled to Thailand in search of jewelry for importing.   After several successful years as wholesalers, the company decided to start manufacturing its jewelry in Thailand.

As one of the world’s largest jewellery exporting countries, Thailand has a long tradition of high-quality jewellery production. Many Big-name in Jewelry business choose Thailand for the benefits from a strong infrastructure, easy access to raw material suppliers and, most importantly, high-quality craftsmanship from a skilled, passionate workforce.

Table of contents

1. Finding the right supplier

2. Check your responsibilities for imports

3. Shipping and Export Procedure

4. Summary of jewelry imports

Finding the right supplier

Finding a good supplier for your business is essential. First of all, you need to know exactly what kind of Jewelry you wantand which type of supplier you need to buy from. Once that decision has been made the next step is to comb through the different resources to find one.

Go to Trade shows

One of the best places to find quality suppliers is at a trade show. There are many International tradeshow around the world which you can simply go to the nearest one. For Thai companies, you can browse through Exhibitor list and search for Thailand or The Thai Pavilion.  You’ll have the opportunity to see which suppliers take their market seriously, get the information directly from their sales representative, gain insight into the company, and be able to instantly compare a variety of competitors.

Here are the Top Jewelry shows and Fair:

  • JCK Las Vegas

Search online

Most quality wholesale suppliers will have a good website and make it easy to find. You might consider asking for references, get opinions from your peers, search for reviews online and contact relevant associations.

Although there are thousands of suppliers online and offline,make sure you consider and check the following questions:

  • How long have they been established?
  • Do you know anyone who has used and can recommend them?
  • Are they on any approved supplier lists from trade associations or government?
  • Can these suppliers deliver what you want, when you want it?
  • Does the quality of the supplies remain consistent?
  • Do they have Strong service and clear communication?
  • Value for money? The lowest price is not always the best value for money. If you want reliability and quality from your suppliers, you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to pay for your supplies and the balance you want to strike between cost, reliability, quality and service.

Get a quotation

Once you have a manageable shortlist, you can approach the potential suppliers and ask for a quotation and, if appropriate, some samples. It’s best to provide them with a clear brief summarizing what you require, how frequently you’ll require it and what level of business you hope to place.You can show the photos and even give them approximate prices.  If you meet them at the fair you can select the designs at their Booth and ask then to give you a firm price in writing. You can also ask about discounts for long-term or high-volume contracts.

Price is important, but it shouldn’t be the only reason you choose a supplier. Lower prices may reflect poorer quality goods and services which, in the long run, may not be the most cost effective option. Be confident that your supplier can make a sufficient margin at the price quoted for the business to be commercially viable.

Visit Thailand

Verify you items/goods by visiting factory. The on-site visit is the reliable way to fully understand the real capabilities of your potential supplier.

This will give you the opportunities to see their products and see whether this supplier able to produce the product you need?Check their ability and Quality of these finished products.

Visiting can also help you build a stronger relationship with a supplier. Talking face-to-face is often the best way to get to know each other’s expectations and requirements without needing to rely so much on repeated emails and phone calls.

Last but not least, Test Purchase before Committing Big Money;Make sure the chain of supply works by placing a small order.This will also be your final due diligence to see if the supplier can deliver on their promise.

Research the customs and excise rules in your home country

When importing goods you will usually have to pay import duties. You will also have to pay VAT and in some cases excise duty, consumption tax or other levies.

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Check your responsibilities for imports

  • You are normally responsible for clearing the goods through your own country customs and paying any taxes.
  • Your supplier needs to provide the documentation you need to clear the goods through customs. This normally includes an invoice and a copy of the transport documents.
  • Learn The VAT procedures and import duty since you are importing from outside your regions.
  • Your responsibilities depend on what you have agreed in the contract. To minimise the risk of disputes, your contract should use one of the internationally recognised Incoterms.
  • Decide whether to use an agent to handle your responsibilities: Freight forwarders can handle customs clearance as well as transport.
  • Your trade association or your import agent may be able to advise you.
  • You may need proof of the origin of the goods to claim reduced import duty for goods from certain countries.

Increase your profit margin with 0%* import taxes

One of the most important aspects of doing business internationally is import duty reduction and duty elimination for trade in goods such as jewelry.

Benefits FTA Thailand’s Free Trade Agreements: Minimizing Costs for Businesses

Free trade agreements (FTAs) is a multinational agreement which are agreed between two or more countries, allow companies in those countries to trade in certain goods with reduced or eliminated tariff rates. In other words, FTA will provide tax privilege benefits which will greatly reduce costs for businesses.

In which Jewelry is under ‘Product Specific Rules’ (PRS) and also meet the Rules of Origin requirements, according to Thailand’s Trade Negotiations Department director-general.

15 countries with which Thailand has concluded11 bilateral or regional free trade agreements, namely, 9 ASEANMember States (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR,Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam), China,India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, while morebilateral and regional FTAs are ongoing negotiations.

If your jewelry company is operating in a country where multiple FTAs apply, and it is trading in jewelry and luxury goods designated in the FTAs, your company can select the most favorable tariff rate.

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Shipping – Export procedure

The primary difference between using CIF and free on board (FOB) shipping lies in who must pay for various shipping or freight costs—the buyer or the seller. You need to look into the options of buying the goods under the terms that are more favorable to your expenses.

CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) is an expense paid by a supplier to cover the costs, insurance, and freight of your order while it is in transit.

The seller (supplier)’s responsibilities include:

  • Purchasing export licenses for the product
  • Covering the cost of shipping
  • Insurance to protect the value of the order
  • Providing inspections of products
  • Covering the cost of any damage or destruction to the goods

The buyer might still have to pay additional fees at the port, such as docking fees and customs clearance fees before the goods are cleared.

Advantages of CIF for the Buyer

  • Save time in getting quotes and making arrangements for shipping
  • No need to research how to calculate duties, tax and customs payment
  • Only one bill to pay to the seller as all costs bundled together

Disadvantageof CIF for the Buyer

  • The potentially higher cost, but they may be willing to trade this off in exchange for not having to concern themselves with shipping quotes, paperwork, customs and tax.

FOB on an invoice stands for (Free On Board or Freight On Board) and refers to the point after which a business shipping products to a buyer is no longer responsible for the items.  The buyer is responsible for freight charges and assumes risk of transportation and is entitled to route the shipment.

Advantages of FOB for the Buyer

  • Save money by gaining quotes and choosing the cheapest for shipping
  • Decide which company will ship the goods
  • Control over shipping and can go directly to the shipping company for delivery details etc

Disadvantages of FOB for the Buyer

  • Hours can be spent making the arrangements and researching if you are new to this procedure.

Goods to be exported out of Thailand are subject to regular export procedures. All goods that are shipped out of the country must be cleared by the customs.

Coordinate with Freight Forwarders

They will help you understand the conditions of transit. They can also help you with any specific documentation requirements and customs clearance. Most importantly, they get your goods to market on time and cost effective. Here is the general practice for Thailand Export Clearance procedures.

Step 1

Pre-exportation Verification Process: File an Export Declaration: The first stage of export clearance procedures is to file an Export Declaration as prescribed by the Customs manually or through the EDI system.

Step 2

Prepare the following supporting documents:

  • Cargo report or air waybill (air freight)or bill of lading (sea freight)
  • Copies of the invoice
  • Packing list
  • Insurance mentioned on the invoice
  • Release form
  • Foreign transaction form if the import value exceeds 500 000 Baht
  • Certificates of Origin (if applicable)
  • Other relevant documents such as catalogs, product specifications, etc.

Step 3

Check the Declaration and Supporting Documents:  submit the Declaration and all supporting documents for examination by Customs at the point of export. The Customs officials will check whether the Declaration is properly made out, and the supporting documents required are attached.

Step 4

Collect Export Duties and Taxes (if any):  pay applicable taxes and duties.

Step 5

Inspect and Release Cargo: The last stage is to inspect and finally release cargo from Customs custody. The exporters submit the verified Declaration together with the payment receipt (if any) at appropriate warehouses. Customs inspectors then inspect the exported cargo against the Declaration made. If the goods inspected correspond to the Declaration made, the Customs inspectors will record the inspection result to the computer and release the cargo.

In case the exporters utilize the EDI green line process, they will electronically submit the Declaration as mentioned in 3.1 to the Customs Department. The Customs Department then reviews the electronic Declaration through its EDI system. If the Declaration is properly made out and classified as Green Line, the Customs Department will assign Declaration Number to the exporters who will directly proceed to warehouses for cargo inspection and release.

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Summary of jewelry imports

Thailand is a great destination which offers wide range of jewelry design with competitive price. Intended to avoid costly mistakes, it’s important to know the basics of importing process which involves further considerations and legislation. Amazing profit levels highly depends on sourcing the right supplier.