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Clearing Customs with Items for a Sanctuary

Clearing Customs with Items for a Sanctuary

Old May 15th, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Clearing Customs with Items for a Sanctuary

I have planned a trip to Thailand and I will be bringing an extra suitcase filled with items I am donating to an elephant sanctuary. The cost of shipping prevents me from sending the items from the US. There will be several bags (35 pounds total) of fossil shell flour, also called diatomaceous earth. It is not really earth or dirt. It is the skeletal remains of fresh water diatoms. It is a food grade product and is used for internal worm and parasite control in animals and also can be dusted on dogs and cats for flea and mite control. The product will be placed in plastic bags from a very large bag that I have purchased. It is a white grainy powder. I will label the bags. Do you think this will cause problems for me getting through customs? What should I do to make this an easier process?
This will be my first trip to Thailand and I sure don't want any trouble, but I really want to get these supplies to the sanctuary.
I have been using this forum to plan my trip and am so grateful for all the information I have gathered from you knowledgeable fordites.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 08:29 AM
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I think I understand your question to be about whether the content of the bags will cause problems. I can't help you in that respect but there is another aspect to this.
We took two electronic keyboards out to a childrens orphanage in India which had been donated by my daughters school. The airline carried them free of charge and we checked them together with our baggage.
In India they were the subject of intense interest from the customs officials who were supportive of us taking them to a childrens home. They then requested half the value of the items as import duty.
Don't take it for granted that the same won't happen to you.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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If the airline will let you check the "powder" as part of your luggage then I suggest you go through the goods to declare custom lane at Bangkok airport. Make sure you have the commercial invoice with you as well and if there's any tax then just pay it. If the custom agent did find the powder and you didn't declare it then it could you take you a while to clear it.

I would check before hand if the powder is allowed in Thailand as well. Ask the sanctuary in Thailand to check with the Thai Customs Department before hand as sometime you might be require to have a special license to import chemicals or food stuff.

http://www.customsclinic.org/index.php?lang=en
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Old May 15th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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FYI. Diatomaceous earth in Thai is "ดินเบา".
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Old May 15th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Thanks you all. Sounds like good advise. I will print the Thai word and enlarge it for a label.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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I think they have diatomaceous earth in Thailand but it is not the food grade. There are two kinds. One made from salt water diatoms is used in swimming pool filters and probably is available there. It can not be consumed. The other is from fresh water diatoms and it is the one that I do not believe they have yet that I want to bring with me.
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