Hi ThaiMike and Mrs ThaiMike,
I hope this might be helpful...
When I was recently doing my research on moving to Thailand I was given to understand from official (and anecdotal) sources that I would have to pay duty on my best option: coming in on an 0-A retirement visa. I arrived on the O-A late last December, with my shipment following (intact!) at my house here two weeks later.
These next four lines are cut and pasted from an initial email from my shipper:
Personal computer: 7% of CIF (cost of goods + insurance + freight cost) value
Stereo, Camera, sport equipment: 17.7%
Pictures/paintings, TV, CDs, DVDs, desk, chair, book case: 28.40%
Kitchenware, glassware, clothes, linens, mattress: 39.1%
For info, I personally brought in some audio equipment by 'plane over a couple of trips but ended up shipping 87 boxes of personal effects and household items, including furniture, a fridge, a treadmill, 2 x TVs, 2 x PCs, burglar alarm, dehumidifier, full toolboxes, ornaments, statues, wall art, lots of kitchen stuff including gadgets such as bread-making machine, coffee machine etc., lots of books, hundreds of DVDs and CDs, plus clothes, shoes, linen and many other things I can’t remember now.
I was up-front and declared/insured everything. The container wasn’t inspected. Sorry I can’t recall the overall declared/insured value right now (without digging through one of the above boxes!) but I know I paid c. USD2,000 in duty. To be honest I couldn't and still can't be bothered to work out how this was calculated but I'd been expecting to pay more, especially as there were quite a few high value individual items, and when I think that I have moved my whole life over here I think that was pretty reasonable.
By the way, I moved from Hong Kong using an international shipping company, incidentally comprising mostly Dutch staff, who very efficiently spoon-fed me through the entire process. If you want to/can PM me and would like more info I’d be happy to help if I can.