On 4 January 2022, The Cabinet has approved in principle the Draft Announcement of the Ministry of Commerce on the Stipulation of Trademark and Copyright Infringement Goods are Prohibited to be Exported, Imported, and Transited Through the Kingdom B.E.  .… (“the Draft Announcement of Trademark and Copyright Infringement Goods”).

business cargo cargo container city

The purpose of this Announcement of Trademark and Copyright Infringement Goods is to improve the mechanisms to prohibit exports, imports, as well as transits through the kingdom of goods infringing trademark and copyright in accordance with the current situation which seeks to prevent intellectual property infringement at border crossings more effectively. Also, this is consistent with relevant current situations, laws, and international obligations, i.e. the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the Reginal Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The main points of this Announcement of Trademark and Copyright Infringement Goods are as follows:

  • Trademark and copyright infringement goods shall be prohibited from exporting, importing, and transiting through the kingdom, except in the case of carry-on items that are not unreasonably large amount and not for the purpose of commercial use.
  • The owner of a trademark or copyright is able to inform information on its trademark or copyright to a customs officer in accordance with the rules, procedure, and conditions prescribed by the Customs Department for the avail of inspection of goods which is under reasonable consideration that it infringes trademark or copyright of such owner.

Therefore, the Customs Department is able to take steps to improve the related procedures to comply with relevant international agreements as well as facilitate the operators who act in good faith to be able to pass customs clearance quickly.

On 7 December 2021, the Cabinet has approved to remain the rate of land and building taxation and the draft Royal Decree Stipulating the Rate of Land and Building Tax B.E. …. (“Draft Royal Decree”) as proposed by the Ministry of Finance and reviewed by the Council of State.

The Ministry of Finance considered and has approved to remain the rate of land and building taxas specified in the transitory provision, i.e., Section 94 of Land and Buildings Tax Act B.E. 2562 for the collection of land and building tax from 2022 onwards under the following reasons:

calculators on the table
  • Most taxpayers, under hearings arranged by the Fiscal Policy Office of the Ministry of Finance, agreed with the current land and building taxation e.g., basis tax calculated by assessed value, different rates of tax depending on the types of utilization, and tax burden of the taxpayers are reduced or remains the same as compared with the tax burden by house and land tax or land development tax.
  • Progressive tax rates are fair and appropriate to the current situation. This makes people with higher land or building values have a greater tax burden than those with lower land or building values. It also does not create an unreasonable tax burden.
  • Due to mitigation of  impact of covid-19 epidemic, the Royal Decree on Land and Certain Types of Land Tax Reduction B.E. 2563 and The Royal Decree on Land and Certain Types of Land Tax Reduction (No.2) B.E. 2564 have reduced the amount of tax at a rate of 90% of the amount of tax calculation, in which the taxpayer has not yet been aware of the full real tax burden. Therefore, the same tax rate should be remained for a while.
  • Due to changing of tax administration and procedure, the Department of Local Administration does not have the database of land and building tax of each taxpayer that can be efficiently processed the  taxes Collection.

The rates of land and building tax under the Draft Royal Decree are as follows:

Types of utilizationTax rates in percentage according to the value of land and/or building
(1) Land and building used for agricultural purpose0.01 – 0.1
(2) Land and building used for residential purpose0.02 – 0.1
(3) Land and building used otherwise than in (1) or (2)0.3 – 0.7
(4) Land and building left empty or unused as otherwise reasonable for its condition0.3 – 0.7

The Cabinet has approved for a Draft Notification of the Ministry of Interior Re: Permission for Certain Groups of Aliens to Remain in the Kingdom as a Special Case (“Draft Notification”) as proposed by the Royal Thai Police in order to assist the aliens extending their permission to stay in the Kingdom temporarily due to Covid-19 pandemic situation.

The groups of aliens permitted to extend their stay in the Kingdom under the Draft Notification are as follow:

five women sitting on tree trunk
  1. Aliens holding non-immigrant visa (include visa on arrival).
  2. Aliens allowed to stay in the Kingdom temporarily under the visa waiver program according to Section 13 of the Ministerial Regulations on Guidelines, Methods and Conditions for Examination, Exception and Change of Visa Type B.E. 2545 and its amendments.
  3. Aliens allowed to stay in the Kingdom temporarily under the Petroleum Act B.E. 2514 and its amendments, Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 and its amendments, Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand Act B.E. 2522 and its amendments or related notifications of the Ministry of Interior and that the period of permission for staying in the Kingdom will be expired on the date that this Draft Notification becomes enforced, such aliens will be allowed to extend their  period of remaining in the Kingdom until 31 December 2021.
  4. Aliens allowed to stay in the Kingdom more than 90 days and the notification for such 90 days period will be reached on the date that this Draft Notification becomes enforced, such aliens will be allowed to extend their notification until 31 December 2021.

The Cabinet has approved a Draft Ministerial Regulation on Waiver of Renewal Fee for Travel Agency Business License and License to be Tour Guide B.E. …. (“Ministerial Regulations”) proposed by Ministry of Tourism and Sports as tourism is one of the sectors most caused effected by Covid-19 pandemic and that the government would like to assist business operators and tour guides in reducing their expense in operating their businesses.

four boats on sea

The main issues of Draft Ministerial Regulation are as follow:

  1. Waiving of renewal fee for travel agency business license of 2,000 baht per time and renewal fee for travel agency business license (branch) of 1,000 Baht per time for 2 years from the date that this Ministerial Regulation become enforced.
  2. Waiving of renewal fee for license to be tour guide of 200 baht per time for 5 years from the date that this Ministerial Regulation become enforced.

On October 25, 2021, the Cabinet has approved in principle on a draft Royal Decree on Supervision of Digital Platform Services Required to be Notified B.E. …. (“Draft Royal Decree”) in order to maintain the financial and commercial stability and provide protection to consumers and digital platform users.

The main issues of the Draft Royal Decree are as follow:

  1. Digital platform services are the service in providing a digital platform medium linkage between digital platform users and consumers by using computer network.
  2. Digital platform users are individuals or entities who offer products, services or properties to consumers via digital platform services regardless of whether they have registered for membership or account with the digital platform providers. Those have objectives related to trade, business, handcraft or profession. In addition, there might be more than one party of digital platform users on each digital platform.
  3. The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) will be responsible and supervised the digital platform services required to be notified.
  1. The Draft Royal Decree will be applied to the digital platform service providers providing their services to the consumers in Thailand regardless to whether they have their establishment in Thailand or not. In case that the providers do not have their establishment in Thailand, they have to appoint their representative in Thailand and that such representative shall have its power in conducting any act on the digital platform providers behalf without any limitation on its obligations.
  2. The digital platform provides are required to notify to ETDA prior to commence its operation via electronic mean except the digital platform services fallen under other laws and regulations or under the announcement of committee. Also, they are required to notify to ETDA once they would like to stop its operation.

Currently, the Council of State is reviewing the Draft Royal Decree and it will be published and become enforced after the Cabinet grants its final approval.

On 19 October 2021, The Cabinet has approved in principle of the draft Notification of the Ministry of Interior regarding the Permission of Foreigners Granted Thailand Privilege Card to Stay in Thailand for Working as a Special Case (“Draft Notification”) and the draft Rules and Conditions for Allowing Foreigners Received Thailand Privilege Card to stay in Thailand for Working as a Special Case (“Draft Rules and Conditions”) as proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and considers this matter as an urgent matter.

beige temple reflecting on body of water

The main points of the 2 drafts are as follows:

  • Draft Notification
    1. The aliens who receive Thailand Privilege Card under the conditions as specified in  the Ministry of Interior’s Notification regarding permission of certain classes of aliens to stay in Thailand as a special case dated 22 February 2013 and have minimum investment of USD 1,000,000 per year, in a specified business, including their spouses and their under-20-year-old children, can request to change the type of visa to Non-Immigrant Visa for a term of 5 years throughout the investment period in the Flexible Plus Program.
    2. The aliens whom their types of visa have been changed as mentioned above, can apply for a work permit under the law on foreigners working management.
    3. The termination of the permission of aliens and their dependents to stay in Thailand according to this Draft Notification is under one of the following cases:
      • The minimum investment, in a specified business, does not reach USD 1,000,000 within one year from the date of entering into the program;
      • The work permit has been terminated under the law on foreigners working management; or
      • Such aliens have presumably into believing that their behavior that is danger to society, have been issued a warrant of arrest by a foreign government, being deported by the Thai government or foreign governments, or being revoked the right to stay in Thailand.
  • Draft Rules and Conditions
    1. Aliens must be a special member holding Thailand Privilege Card:
      • For the remaining members, Thailand Privilege Card must be validity at least 5 years; or
      • For the new members, they must apply for Thailand Privilege Card with a minimum card value of 1 million Baht and the validity of the card is for more than 10 years.
    2. An alien must receive a special Privilege Entry Visa (PE).
    3. An alien must invest in Thailand within 1 year from the date of requesting to join the Flexible Plus Program or from the date of approval to be a special member with a total investment value not less than USD 1,000,000 which consists of 3 types:
      • Investment in real estate according to the rights of foreigners;
      • Investment in a limited company or a public limited company; or
      • Investment in stock exchanges such as ordinary shares, debentures, or investment units which has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    4. An alien must have all qualifications under the law on foreigners working management.

On 29 September 2021, the Cabinet has approved a draft Announcement of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) regarding Limitation of Numbers of Alien Annually having residence in Thailand as proposed by MOI.

The aliens under nationality of each country having residence in Thailand of the year 2021 will be limited to not exceeding 100 persons per country and stateless aliens will be limited to not exceeding 50 persons.

low angle photography of high rise building

This Announcement is structured to be in accordance with Section 40 paragraph one and Section 41 of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979) and Section 5 paragraph one of the Immigration Act B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended by the National Council for Peace and Order Announcement No. 87/2557 dated 10 July 2014.

On 27 September 2021, the Government Gazette website has published the Ministerial Regulation Determining the Rate of Contributions to the Social Security Fund B.E. 2564

The reasons for the promulgation of this Ministerial Regulation are to alleviate the burden of employers and insurers in accordance with the current economic and social situation affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak.

The main point of the said Ministerial Regulation is to adjust the rate of contributions to an appropriate rate that the government, employers and insurers under section 33 shall pay to the fund for compensation for injury or sickness, disability, death, childbirth, child allowance, old age, and unemployment according to the list of contribution rates annexed to the Ministerial Regulation as follows:

1. From 1 September 2021 to 30 November 2021, the rate is to be in accordance with Schedule A below.

PayersContribution rate in percentage under the insured’s wages
Contributions for compensation for injury or sickness, disability, death, and childbirth 
Government1.5
Employers1.5
Insurers1.5
Contributions for compensation for child allowance and old age 
Government1
Employers0.95
Insurers0.95
Contributions for compensation for unemployment 
Government0.25
Employers0.05
Insurers0.05

2. From 1 December 2021 onwards, the rate is to in accordance with Schedule B below.

PayersContribution rate in percent of the insured’s wages
Contributions for compensation for injury or sickness, disability, death, and childbirth 
Government1.5
Employers1.5
Insurers1.5
Contributions for compensation for child allowance and old age 
Government1
Employers3
Insurers3
Contributions for compensation for unemployment 
Government0.25
Employers0.5
Insurers0.5

On 14 September 2021, The Cabinet approved in principle of a drafting royal decree, issued by the virtue of, Revenue Code on tax exemption regarding urgent support to the expenses incurred for COVID-19 testing kits (“Antigen Test Kit”) as proposed by the Ministry of Finance and the draft royal decree was sent to the Office of  Council of State for further proceedings as an urgent matter.In this regard, the Ministry of Finance considers that in order to continuously and effectively alleviate  COVID-19  epidemic situation. It is, therefore, appropriate to set tax measures to support entrepreneurs that must buy the Antigen Test Kit for their employees as the government announced for reopening of various businesses on 1 September 2021.

Expenses for purchasing of the Antigen Test Kit can be used for deduction of corporate income tax for 50 percent of the expenses paid for the Antigen Test Kit for employees from the date of publication in the Government Gazette until 31 March 2022.

On 14 September 2021, the Cabinet has approved the draft Ministerial Regulation Prescribing the Advertisements of Goods or Services Being Unfair to Consumers or May Cause Negative Effects to the Society as a Whole B.E. …. (“Draft Ministerial Regulation 1”) and the draft Ministerial Regulation to Repeal the Ministerial Regulation on the Advertisements of Alcoholic Beverage and Caffeine-Containing Drink in Cinemas and Billboards B.E. 2547 B.E. …. (“Draft Ministerial Regulation 2”) as proposed by the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) and considered by the Council of State.

person holding clear drinking glass with orange liquid

The main points of the amendment of ministerial regulations are as follows:

  1. The Draft Ministerial Regulation 1   

The advertisement of goods or services containing these following messages are considered as the messages that are unfair to consumers or that may cause negative effects on the society.

  • Business operators will provide a giveaway or a prize by gambling arrangement or give free gifts or give rights or benefits for free.
  • The sale of condominium units that have not been registered as condominium according to the law without specifying the details according to the conditions prescribed by law.
  • The sale of lands by dividing the sale into sub-plots, whether selling only the land or sell the land with the building, without specifying the details according to the conditions prescribed by law.
  • Messages using or referring to facts about the King, Queen, heir-appointed, or regent which has been used without permission, unless it is a message as prescribed by law.
  • The Draft Ministerial Regulations 2

Since there are currently laws containing consumer protection provisions that specifically regulate the advertising of alcoholic beverages and caffeine-containing beverages such as Alcoholic Beverage Control Act B.E. 2551 and Food Act B.E. 2522, this said ministerial regulations shall be repealed in order to have laws as necessary and not hinder one’s careers.