Deemed Retirement Age Now 60 – Right to Statutory Severance

The Labor Protection Act of 1998, Section 118, (LPA) requires all employers in Thailand to pay severance to employees who are “terminated” by the employer without legal cause (as described in LPA Section 119).  The Thai courts interpret “termination” to include scenarios …

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Mergers in Thailand – Soon To Become Reality?

By  Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya Thailand-based businesses looking to combine operations have been unable to take advantage of a tool found in many other jurisdictions – merger.  Instead, businesses have often been forced to choose from less attractive choices, such …

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Additional Changes to Civil and Commercial Code Proposed

By  Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya The Thai Office of the Council of State has made further proposals to simplify corporate administration by proposing a bill to amend the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC), the main statute governing the incorporation and …

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FCPA Enforcement under the Trump Administration

There has been considerable speculation about how vigorously the Trump administration will enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) given Trump’s past criticism of this law.  In 2012, Trump famously called the FCPA a “horrible law”.   But thus far senior …

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Online Company Registration Now Available

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Norrapat Werajong Thailand’s Department of Business Development (DBD) is gradually migrating its services to the digital environment.  Last year saw the introduction of electronic filing of the annual financial statements of private limited companies as discussed …

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New Alien Workers Law

The primary Thai laws and ordinances governing “aliens”, or non-Thai nationals, working in Thailand are the Alien Workers Act, B.E. 2551 (“Alien Workers Act”) and the Royal Ordinance on Bringing Alien Workers to Work with an Employer in the Kingdom …

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Finality of Awards: Investor-State Disputes. ICSID?

One of the key virtues of any dispute resolution mechanism is finality. Will the dispute resolution mechanism lead to a final result in a relatively short amount of time and avoid endless and expensive reviews, appeals and challenges?  If a …

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Electronic Filing of Thai Court Documents

By Auttasak Sulaiman and Sudthapa Thanathanya Filing court documents in Thailand has, until recently, required an in-person trip to the applicable court, which can be both time consuming and expensive for ongoing litigation involving multiple hearings.  While the Civil Procedure …

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Thailand’s New E-Work Permits Bring An End To Blue Books

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Suthasinee Neamsum Foreigners employed in Thailand are required to obtain an appropriate visa as well as a work permit.  Work permits are issued by the Ministry of Labor and take the form of a small, passport sized …

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Cabinet Approves Updates to Thailand’s Labour Relations Act

Thailand’s Labour Relations Act B.E. 2518 (1975) (“LRA”) governs the collective bargaining relationship between employers and employees as a group (such as employee unions or committees), not to be confused with the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) (“LPA”), which …

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Thailand’s Latest Efforts to Facilitate Business Operations – Bankruptcy Laws

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya This is our third and final installment highlighting efforts of the National Council for Peace and Order (“NCPO”) to facilitate business operations in Thailand.   The NCPO issued order no. 21/2560 on 4 April …

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Thailand’s Latest Efforts to Facilitate Business Operations – Work Rules, Public Company Management, Social Security

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya This is our second installment highlighting efforts of the National Council for Peace and Order (“NCPO”) to facilitate business operations in Thailand.  As mentioned in our first installment covering changes to the Civil and …

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Thailand’s Latest Efforts To Faciliate Business Operations – The Civil and Commercial Code

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya In a move aimed to facilitate business operations in Thailand, the National Council for Peace and Order (“NCPO”) issued order no. 21/2560 on 4 April 2017 with immediately effect to amend provisions of the …

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Former TAT Gov & Daughter Receive Lengthy Sentences – Thai Film Festival Corruption Case

The former Governor-General of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Ms. Juthimas Siriwan, and her daughter, Jittisopha Siriwan, were given lengthy prison sentences on 29 March 2017 in connection with kickbacks paid to procure contracts from Bangkok Film Festival from 2003 …

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Electronic Media And Corporate Governance – Thailand’s First Small Steps

One of the difficulties facing foreign investors in Thailand has been the requirement that shareholders (or their proxies) and directors be physically present at meetings for purposes of passing resolutions.  Circular resolutions, whereby the directors or shareholders pass a resolution …

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The Investment Promotion Act (No. 4) B.E. 2560

Originally, the Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (A.D. 1977) (“the Investment Promotion Act”) was enacted because the economic situation in Thailand was affected by a world economic crisis. Under the Investment Promotion Act, a board of investment (the “BOI”) was …

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Amendment to the Computer Crimes Act & Section 20

Amendment to Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act (CCA) was approved by the legislature in December 2016 and published in the Government Gazette on 24 January 2017, so will officially become law in May 2017. Few laws have attracted so much controversy; more than 300,000 …

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Death Penalty for Some Corruption Cases in Thailand?

According to the Bangkok Post Thai officials convicted in corruption cases involving more than one billion baht could face the death penalty. Previous Thai legislation provided for the death penalty for officials convicted of bribery, but the Bangkok Post reports …

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Mandatory Provident Fund Coming in 2018?

Like many other countries, Thailand faces a demographic crisis where a rapidly aging population is belatedly preparing for a long post-retirement life.  By some estimates, the proportion of those over 65 will be 19.5 percent in 2030 and 25 percent …

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New Court Established To Assist In Thailand’s Fight Against Corruption

The Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Offences represents Thailand’s latest effort in its battle against corruption.  The new court, established under the recently enacted Act on the Establishment of Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Offence B.E. 2559 (2016), …

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Rehabilitation Process For SMEs

The Bankruptcy Act has been amended to help small and medium size entities (SMEs) enter into the rehabilitation process in Bankruptcy Act No. 9 B.E. 2559 (2016) (“the amendment”), which became effective on 25 May 2016.  Debtor Various types of …

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Thai Anti-Corruption Law – An Overview

Douglas Mancill and Panpilai Issariyapruit Corruption has much the same effect on the development of a nation that cancer has on the life of a biological organism. Recognizing this, Thailand has various laws criminalizing corruption, recently enacted new anti-corruption laws …

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Severance Agreements and the FCPA

A recent U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) administrative proceeding against California based Health Net illustrates a challenge when documenting settlements with exiting employees in Thailand.  Heath Net used severance agreements that required employees to waive their rights to obtain monetary …

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FCPA: PriceSanond at BCCT/AMCHAM Anti-Corruption Conference

On 26 July 2016 PriceSanond’s Douglas Mancill spoke on the U.S. Foreign Corruption Act (FCPA) at a joint event of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand and the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand on anti-corruption laws. Mr. Mancill covered the …

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Brexit and Thailand

Most commentators and newspapers are predicting that while Brexit will affect the world economy generally, it will have little affect on the Thai economy specially.  Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center had this to say about Brexit’s likely affect on the …

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Whistleblower Receives $17 Million Award From U.S. SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it awarded $17 million award under its whistleblower program to a former company employee whose detailed tip “substantially advanced the agency’s investigation and ultimate enforcement action.” The award was the second largest since the …

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Agricultural Land Leases Off Limit to Foreigners

Amendments to the Agricultural Land Lease Act effective as of 30 April 2016 introduce a broad prohibition on “foreigners” from leasing land for agricultural purposes. The amendments define “foreigner” generally along the same lines as Thailand’s Foreign Business Act, with one …

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Thailand To Back Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)

While there has been much speculation over the past year as to whether or not Thailand would join the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Thailand now appears to be favoring a more Asia-focused trade proposal known as the Free Trade Area …

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SEC Proposes Fast Track Scheme For Public Offerings

In an effort to streamline the public offering process for listed companies with good corporate governance records, the SEC has proposed a set of new rules that will be subject to public comment until 19 May. Under the new rules, those …

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More Government Control Over Online Content?

As reported in the Nation, the Thai legislature is considering possible amendments to Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act that would allow the government to remove content on blogs, websites and social media platforms such as Facebook and Line if deemed “inappropriate” …

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Labour Department Goes Paperless For Work Rules

Late last year, the Department of Business Development introduced an e-filing service for the filing of annual financial reports, as highlighted here.  The Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (the Labour Department) recently took similar steps for filing work rules …

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When Employees Leave: What Employers in Asia/Pacific Need to Know about Protecting Company Rights and Confidential Information

PriceSanond partners Andrew Wynne and Pramote Srisamai recently authored the Thai section of a publication based on a 2015 webinar presented by a representative group of the Asia/Pacific members of the Employment Law Alliance focusing on “When Employees Leave: What Employers …

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NBTC Sets Targets for 4G Auction

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has set targets to revise auction details for the 1800 and 900 megahertz spectrum in January 2015, and to make a new schedule for the auction in July 2015, reports The Bangkok Post. …

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NBTC Rejects DTAC’s 4G Proposal

DTAC’s request to develop its idle 25-megahertz band on the 1,800MHz spectrum to provide a 4G cellular service, has been rejected by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), reports the Bangkok Post. DTAC – Thailand’s second largest telecom – …

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Corporate Income Tax Reduced to 20%

The National Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to the Revenue Code reducing the corporate income tax rate to 20%. The reduction will start on the fiscal year beginning 1 January 2016.  The amendment is expected to be published in the …

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Trade Group to Propose Five-Year Professional Visa

In an effort to lure more highly skilled professionals to Thailand, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is reported to have prepared a proposal for five-year visas.  The Thailand Development Research Institute is also reported to be …

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Workplace Relations in Thailand

American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand 12 February 2016  Annual HR/Legal Update By: Pramote Srisamai and Douglas Mancill High Level Guidance on Thai Labor Law 1.       Generally The climate for workplace relations in Thailand is generally stable and hence favorable for …

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Permission Now Required For Supreme Court Appeals

Unlike the Supreme Court in the U.S., Thailand’s Supreme Court has provided a right of appeal for most cases heard by the Thailand’s lower courts. In particular, any factual issue heard by the Court of Appeals would be entitled to …

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New Article on Anti-Corruption Law in Thailand

Corruption has much the same effect on the development of a nation that cancer has on the life of a biological organism. Recognizing this, Thailand has various laws criminalizing corruption, recently enacted new anti-corruption laws and plans to expand the …

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Government Aims to Further Promote SMEs

In addition to its recent tax incentives targeting small and medium-size entities (SMEs) as reported here, the Thai government, through the Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Committee, approved a nearly 2 billion THB budget to finance SME related projects. As …

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Tax Incentives Offered to Qualifying SMEs

Thailand has an estimated 2.8 million small and medium size entities (SMEs), with many having multiple financial accounts and which use with the smallest one used in order to understate tax liability. Effective as of 1 January, 2016, SMEs and …

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Siriwans Claim Innocence

The Bangkok Post reported on 9 November 2015 that: “[f]ormer Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan and her daughter on Monday plead innocent at the Criminal Court to bribery charges in the Bangkok International Film Festival scandal.” Over five years …

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Telecommunications Overview

Up until relatively recently, telecommunications in Thailand were mostly operated by the government via state-owned enterprises but increasingly the private sector has come to dominate, with the major state-owned telecom operators – the TOT Plc (formerly the Telephone Organization of Thailand) …

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Amendment to Machinery Registration Act

The Act amends the Machinery Registration Act B.E. 2514 (1971), as amended by the Machinery Registration Act (No. 2) B.E. 2530 (1987), by: allowing private individuals who are duly licensed by the Central Machinery Registrar to inspect machinery in connection …

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Amendments to the Building Control Act

The Building Control Act,  B.E. 2522 (1979) (the BCA) has been amended by the Building Control Act (No.5), which took effect on 28 August 2015. The most significant change concerns the liability of a building owner who does not provide building insurance …

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Expansion of Thai Anti-Corruption Laws

Recent amendments to the Organic Act on Counter Corruption, B.E. 2542 (the “Organic Act”) have expanded the scope of Thai anti-corruption laws (the “Amendments”). The provisions of the Amendments that are most important or have received the most press concern: …

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Single Shareholder Companies in Thailand?

Thai law historically required that a Thai private limited company have at least seven shareholders. In 2008, a change in the law reduced the minimum number of shareholders to three. However, even this reduced requirement can create problems for foreign …

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Service of Process in Thailand and the U.S.

Civil lawsuits in most jurisdictions and cases start by filing a document often referred to as a complaint and then “serving” a copy of that document (and perhaps other documents) on the defendant. This is certainly true in Thailand and …

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What a Difference Discovery Makes

Discovery under the U.S. federal and state law is broad, providing plaintiffs with a variety of tools to assemble evidence for their cases, such as depositions, requests for production of documents, subpoenas, and interrogatories (written questions) and requests for admissions. …

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Service of Process – Thailand vs. U.S.

Civil lawsuits in almost jurisdictions and cases start by filing a document often referred to as a complaint and then “serving” a copy of that document (and perhaps other documents) on the defendant. This is certainly true in Thailand and …

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Thailand Tackles Transfer Pricing

On May 7, 2015, the Cabinet approved amendments to the Thai Revenue Code aimed to clarify Thailand’s position on transfer pricing.  Previously, the only guidance on transfer pricing has come more informally in via Revenue Department instructions (namely, Departmental Instruction …

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What is the Department of Industrial Works

The Department of Industrial Works (DIW) (กรมโรงงานอุตสาหกรรม) is a department under the supervision of the Thai Ministry of Industry (MOI). When the MOI was spun off from the Ministry of Commerce in 1942, the DIW was one of the first …

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What is the Thai Customs Department

Tax and duty collection in Thailand dates back to the Sukhothai period and continued throughout the Adyudhaya and Rattanakosin periods.  A new era of Thai Customs commenced in 1874 during the reign of King Rama IV and the “Customs House” …

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Thai Courts Open To Class Action Litigation

Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly has enacted legislation amending the Civil Procedure Code to permit class action litigation that will take effect 240 days after publication in the Government Gazette.  Generally speaking, a class action is a type of collective litigation …

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New Mortgage Laws Impose Hurdles For Mortgagees

Mortgages in Thailand may be granted over most any kind of immovable property provided that they are in writing and registered with the appropriate authority. Mortgages over real property are perhaps the most common form of mortgage, and Thai subsidiaries …

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New Obstacles For Creditors Seeking Guarantees From Thailand

A bill proposed by Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which has since been approved by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), reduces the potential liabilities faced by persons in Thailand providing guarantees or mortgaging their real property for …

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New Article on Class Action Lawsuits

Please see our new article highlighting new legislation providing for class action lawsuits in Thailand here. For more information on litigation and dispute resolution in general, please see the knowledge section of our website here.

Thai Immigration Cracks Down on Visa Overstays

Foreigners who stay in Thailand beyond the period prescribed in their d visas may now effectively be “blacklisted” from re-entering Thailand either temporarily or permanently, depending on the length of their overstay and whether the overstay is voluntarily admitted to …

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Thai Customs Department Implements Amnesty Program

The Thai Customs Department has recently set up an amnesty program referred to as the Voluntary Audit Program (VAP), inviting entities that may have inadvertently underpaid import duties to pay such duties without any additional surcharge or penalty that would …

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Revenue Department Targets Tax Dodgers

Facing tax revenues short of target, the Thai Revenue Department has announced it will launch investigations into possible income tax evasion. As reported in the Bangkok Post, the investigations will focus on owners of residential properties worth 40 million THB …

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What is the BOI?

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) is a Thai government agency established to promote investment in a wide range of targeted business activities in Thailand. It provides investment information and services for investors, and grants various incentives and promotions for company projects …

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What is the Department of Intellectual Property?

The Department of Intellectual Property (the “DIP”) (in Thai: กรมทรัพย์สินทางปัญญา) is the government agency responsible for intellectual property (IP) matters, from creation to commercialization to protection against and suppression of IP violation to human resource development and to investment. To …

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What is the Land Department?

The Land Department (in Thai: กรมที่ดิน) is the government agency responsible for issuance of land title deeds, registration of real estate transactions in Thailand and land topography and cartography matters. As a matter of legal formality and for the legal …

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Summary of International Road Carriage Act

The International Road Carriage Act B.E. 2556 (the “IRC Act”) is a new law on international land transport that will become effective on 18 March 2014 (90 days after its publication in the Royal Gazette).  The IRC Act does not …

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Personal Tax Rate Reduction Approved by Royal Decree

The Thai Cabinet approved a bill to reduce personal income tax rates, as previously reported on our site here. The bill provides that the new rates will be retroactive starting January 1, 2013.  Recognizing that the bill would not be …

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What is the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)?

Tourism plays a very important part in the Thai economy, accounting for roughly 6% of the country’s GDP. And despite the difficulties in recent years,the clear long term trend has been for significant increases in the number of foreign tourists …

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New Article on the Department of Business Development

Access our new article providing information on the Department of Business Development (DBD), probably one of the most important departments for business persons doing business in Thailand, by clicking here. The Corporate/M&A and Investment Related Laws sections of the Knowledge part of our …

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