Before its ban in 1934, cannabis was an essential part of the rural culture in Thailand. It was used as medicine, as fiber for clothing and even as a traditional spice for the Thai boat noodle soup. Under the Marijuana Act, B.E. 2477, released in 1934, the possession, usage and sale of cannabis was criminalized and punished. Although the climatic conditions to produce cannabis in Thailand are excellent and the value of the plant for agriculture is immense, Thailand followed the anti-drug course; as one of the original signatories of the International Opium Convention of 1912 (Den Hague) Thailand announced in 1976 the Narcotics Control Act, B.E. 2519 and its amendments in 1985 (Narcotics Act No. 2) and 1987 (Narcotics Act No. 3)
Thailand has introduced a new program to attract highly skilled experts and investors. This program shall target several industries and enhance the scientific and technological sector. SMART Visa and its privileges will help to recruit various talents, senior executives, entrepreneurs and investors for the country’s development in the fields of next-generation automotive, smart electronics, medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, future food technologies, automation and robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, digitization and health technologies.
On the 10th of May 2018, the Department of Employment (DoE) has published a letter to address the scope of the Work Permit under the Emergency Decree on Foreign Employee Management B.E. 2561 (the “Decree 2018”). It especially elucidated the question whether a foreigner who has been granted a Work Permit once is able to work in another type of work, for another employer, at another workplace or work condition in Thailand.
After an extensive legislative process, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has recently passed the new Land and Building Act (the “Act) comprising 94 Sections and introducing a new system on property taxation. With its announcement in the Royal Gazette, the Act will replace the old and outdated Land and House Tax Act B.E. 2475 (1932).
Together with their local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. Ltd. (“TAAP”), Mercedes-Benz Cars is going to invest over 100 Million Euros in the existing car plant and a new battery production factory in Thailand. The investment shall extend the existing car plant and increase the production portfolio by adding new models. The new battery factory will be established close to the car plant of Mercedes Benz, expand over 48.000 sqm. This project shall be realized until 2020; the production of the batteries shall start in 2019, according to Managing Director of TAAP, Veerachai Chaochankij.
The electronic machine tracking system (eMT) was developed by the Investor Club Association to assist companies, promoted by the Board of Investment (BOI), with privileges granted under Section 28 and 29 of the Investment Act B.E. 2520.
The purchase or sale of a property is a legal transaction with a far-reaching legal and financial impact.
To secure a prospective purchase or sale of property legally, both the buyer and the seller may enter into a so-called Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the intention to conclude a main contract later. The parties of such a MoU can sanction a breach of the intention to conclude the contract later, with legal consequences such as compensation of damages. If the MoU is worded correctly, it should not be possible to enforce the transfer of ownership of the property, or payment of the purchase price, on the basis of the MoU. However, it should strongly incentivize the parties to enter into the main contract, since a breach of the MoU would carry a contractual penalty, and compensation, if the parties agreed on such legal consequences in the MoU.
The Long Stay Visa Non-Immigrant O-X was approved in November 2016. It allows nationals from several countries to stay in Thailand for a period of maximum 10 years. The Non-Immigrant Visa O-X has a five years validity and can be extended for another period of five years. Nationals from the following countries benefit from this Visa: Japan, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Canada and USA.
Foreigners who reside in Thailand and want to drive a car or motorcycle in Thailand should apply for a Thai driving license. The Thai driving license is essential since the international driving permit is not valid for driving in the country of residence. The purpose of an international driving permit is to translate the domestic driving license, certify the validity of the driving license in the country of residence, indicate the categories of motor vehicles that are covered by the driving license and improve the road safety worldwide.
In March 2018 the Thai cabinet approved the amendments to the Royal Ordinance on the Management of Foreign Workers Employment B.E. 2560 (2017). The amendments were published on March 27, 2018 in the Royal Gazette and are known as the Royal Decree on Managing the Work of Foreigners (No. 2) B.E. 2561 (the „Decree“).