Snapshot Of Key Legal Developments In Thailand.
Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Thailand - Regulatory & Compliance
8 October, 2016
Business Collateral Act Comes into Effect
The Business Collateral Act B.E. 2558 (2015) ("BCA") came into effect on 2 July 2016 and substantially added to the traditional and limited forms of security previously available under the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.
The key changes affect a number of areas, including what constitutes a valid security interest, retention of assets under security, non-court enforcement options, and the registration of security agreements.
Amendments to the Bankruptcy Act
The Bankruptcy Act has undergone recent amendments, focusing on improving the ability of SMEs and individuals to access rehabilitation proceedings provided for under the Bankruptcy Act. From 25 May 2016, the minimum debt has been reduced for natural persons, juristic bodies and partnerships, and private limited companies.
However, it should be noted that the rehabilitation process for these debtors will be different from the original rehabilitation process.
Process for Stay of Duty Payment
On May 24, 2016, the Customs Department announced Customs Notification No. 67/2559 re: Rules on appeal against duty assessment, request for a stay of duty payment and detention of goods under customs custody.
The right to request for a stay of duty payment pending appeal consideration is generally provided under Section 112 of the Customs Act B.E. 2469 (1926); however, the process to request such a stay is unclear. This recently issued Notification sets out the process required to be followed in order to request for a stay of duty payment during appeal consideration by the Customs Department’s Board of Appeal or the Court.
Establishment of a Corruption Court
On 16 August 2016, the Act to establish a Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases was published in the Royal Gazette and became effective the following day. The Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases will be a Court of First Instance and is intended to hear "Corruption and Misconduct Cases" against State Officials, as well as against other persons, whether as a principal, instigator, supporter or accomplice.
The establishment of a Corruption Court is expected to facilitate the trend towards greater enforcement of anti-corruption investigations and cases against officials and private parties who act as principals, instigators, supporters or accomplices.
Proposed Amendments to the Trade Competition Act
A draft amendment to the Trade Competition Act B.E. 2542 (1999) ("TCA") will soon be presented to the Cabinet for consideration. The amendment would introduce broad changes to the TCA and is likely to trigger greater enforcement, a trend which we have seen developing over the past 18 months.
In addition to providing additional power and authority to the Office of Thai Trade Competition Commission, significant changes include extending the scope of the TCA to cover certain state enterprises and affiliated companies of business operators, specifying the criteria for triggering the application of the merger control provisions and amending the penalties for violating the substantive prohibitions in the TCA. Importantly, the proposed amendments also provide for the establishment of a leniency programme in cartel cases, in line with international trends.
For further information, please contact:
Eng Beng SC, Partner, Rajah & Tann