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 for third party’s life, body and assets. Previously, there was a Ministerial Regulation issued pursuant to the Building Control Act that set out a requirement for certain types of buildings -including buildings with an area of not less than 10,000 square meters – to provide building insurance for third parties; but there was no penalty for failing to procure such insurance.
The amendment changes Thai law by imposing a penalty for failing to procure such insurance. The penalty is imprisonment for a maximum of three months, a fine of Baht 60,000 fine or both. In addition, there will be additional fine of up to a maximum Baht 10,000 per day imposed on a building owner that does not provide building insurance coverage to third parties (calculated until the building owner provides such coverage).
Also, previously under the BCA, any person was permitted to construct, modify or demolish a building without filing an application to obtain a permit from a local official, provided notice is given to the local official in the Building Control Commission’s form together with supporting documents, and prescribed certifications. The same concept still applies, but the amendment now makes a distinction between buildings that are high-rise, “extra-large”, that require “controlled” architects to work on them, and that are otherwise prescribed by ministerial regulations, which in turn require certification by suitably qualified architects. The amendment also elaborates on the requirements and the procedure for notification of the local official and compliance under the existing BCA. This includes specific deadlines within which the notifier is required to commence construction, modification or demolition and for the Local Official to complete inspections and issue notices.