The Customs Department has successfully blocked 1,902 smuggling cases involving improperly-declared or illegal items worth Bt598.62 million from October 2018 to February 2019.
Tada Chumchaiyo, director of the Customs Investigation and Suppression Bureau, told a press conference on Friday that there was an increase in cases compared to the same period last year. The increased amount of confiscated items were fuel (diesel and benzene), alcohol drinks and wines, brand-name goods, automobile and motorcycle parts, he said. There was also a decline in the amount of confiscated farm produce, drugs and violations of the Intellectual Property Rights Law and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), he added.
Department spokesman and adviser on customs system development, Chaiyuth Khamkhun, said that the agency implemented three customs measures including the Pre-Arrival Processing (PAP), the "e-Bill Payment" electronic payment system and the e-Customs system that waived the use of customs declaration copies. The efforts were to improve Thailand's ranking in the World Bank's "Doing Business: Trading Across Border 2020" record.
The PAP, implemented since last May, is a submission of the cargo manifest and the cargo declaration data to the Customs Department prior to the cargo's arrival, which helps shorten the processing time period by 15-17 hours for air freight cargo and by 5-8 hours for sea freight cargo.
The "e-Bill Payment", in place since January 14, cuts short the business operation's time in contacting customs officials for payments by three hours and saves the expense by Bt433.74 per time. Foregoing the requirement to get a custom declaration's physical copy was estimated to save Bt30 million a year in paper procurement expenses.