Thai import duties may be cut

Thailand import duties may be cut in a move to make the nation a more attractive shopping destination for foreigners.

The Thailand Customs Department is mulling a reduction of import duties on luxury items like clothing and accessories. While Thai retail prices overall are regionally competitive, import duties on so-called luxury items and a seven per cent sales tax make luxury branded goods, and items like fragrances, more expensive than elsewhere.

Thailand Customs Department director Kulit Sombatsiri says the department is studying the implications of the move to ensure it will not affect local businesses, and might limit the reduction to selected products that Thailand does not make.

This move follows a proposal from the private sector that claims the reduction would boost tourist spending, the Post Today reported. Import duties are 30 per cent for most luxury items.

Other major Asian shopping hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore do not impose import duties on luxury items.

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