Bangkok Gems Fair Exempted From Import Duty
15 July 2013
Posted by: Author: Mary Swire
Author: Mary Swire
Thailand's Government has announced that it will lift existing 20 percent duty on imported gems and jewelry products that will be sold at the 52nd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair to be held in September this year.
Because of the tax exemption, foreign exhibitors will be allowed to bring in and sell gems and jewelry from other countries duty-free, while local exhibitors can reduce their selling prices after cutting down on the costs of imported parts and products.
"We are privileged to have the Government working alongside us so directly," says Somchai Phornchindarak, President of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) and Chairman of the Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand. "The Government has been with us every step of the way, helping to promote exports as well as developing overseas markets via trade fairs, road shows and exceptional exhibitions.
"The tax exemption involves a grace period of five days before and 15 days after the Fair. Products to be covered by the measure are pearls, precious stones and metals, imitation jewelry and coins.
The import duty-free incentive can only be obtained at the Fair by exhibitors endorsed by TGJTA. Sellers who are not endorsed will have to pay the standard 20 percent import duty, and 7 percent value-added tax (VAT) still applies to all exhibitors, local and foreign. However, the Fair will contain a "Zero VAT Pavilion," where buyers are exempted from paying the VAT imposed on rough gems and raw materials imported into Thailand for manufacturing.
Suttipong Damrongsakul, Chief Executive Officer of the Fair's Organizing Committee, said the move would significantly propel Thailand to become the "golden gateway to the gems and jewelry industry of the Association of South East Asian Nations – a region burgeoning with a 600m population."
Last February, the 51st Fair received over 30,000 visitors from more than 130 countries, including buyers from Dubai, Russia, China, Bahrain, Brazil and Canada. The bi-annual event is regarded as the world's fifth and Asia's second largest trade show in the gems and jewelry market. It already boasts total gross export revenues exceeding USD12.8bn.