The Thailand Law That Could Influence Firms

Thailand has been involved in in depth discussions relating to the amendment of its current customs law, which is known as Customs Act, B.E. 2469 (1926). The Thai law has undergone a quantity of alterations with regards to its customs provisions and policies. In order to exercise far better handle more than the goods moving by way of Thailand or transshipment, Thai law created a distinction in between goods crossing the Thailand border and the goods getting imported into Thailand.

The distinction between the two kinds of goods is important due to the fact it determines the amount of taxes and other needs, and also what Thai customs would or would not do with the goods. Prior to these terms had been introduced, the inspection duty of Customs officers was unclear, as a result of which inconsistent customs inspections started affecting both business and customs operators.

The new customs act: What companies can expect from the new Thai law?

Considering that a big portion of Thailand’s revenues come from the country’s import and export activities, any alterations in a law regulating such activities will affect organizations. Just like adjustments in the enterprise law in Thailand generate a butterfly impact getting national and international consequences, changes in the Thai customs law will also have a considerable influence on the country’s import and export operations.

After years of discussions, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) finally approved the draft Customs Act, which the country proposed for much better customs manage. Thailand’s New Customs Act will consolidate and replace all provisions and versions of the Customs Act, 1926, and is expected to be presented to His Majesty the King for consideration within 20 days after the NLA provides its approval. When the draft act is accepted and signed by the King, it will be announced in the Royal Gazette and enforced inside 180 days from the date of the announcement.

The New Customs Act will probably exercising significant influence on businesses locally and globally. The amendments to the existing Customs Act, 1926, entails provisions relating to customs audit policy, statutory penalties and fines, rewards-and-bribes regime. Firms ought to note the following modifications:

*Statutory penalties and fines imposed for duty evasion are lowered to .five to four times the duty shortfall (four occasions the cost, insurance coverage and freight value plus current duty charges). Such offences might also call for imprisonment up to ten years or the aforementioned penalty.
*”Negligence” and “willful intent of fraud” should be deemed and approved by Customs even though figuring out duty evasion offences.
*To comply with record-retention specifications, Customs to carry out post-clearance investigations and audits inside a limited period of 5 years following the export/import date.
*Rewards to officers and bribes to informants have been revised, the reward threshold is pegged at 5 million baht per case.

As the statutory fines and penalties are lowered significantly, a lot more customs cases could reach courts. Additionally, the post-clearance audit and investigations should be carried out within 5 years, as opposed to ten years before the amendment. Such a move could minimize potential claims and liabilities.

The provisions of the draft customs act have not been published however. But Customs will increase its post-clearance operations just before the new act is enforced. The principal objective is to wrap up as many pending cases as achievable primarily based on the current reward-and-bribe scheme. Companies that have not been audited or investigated in the past few years could be faced with one in the close to future. Such businesses need to prepare themselves for sudden investigations and audits by conducting internal compliance audits and testimonials of the export and import operations so that potential concerns and risks can be assessed.

Below the new Thailand law, organizations can opt for a voluntary disclosure if potential troubles and risks are identified so that they can seek protection from any future investigations and audits. Thailand’s customs has extended the date of its Voluntary Audit Programme (VAP) till December 31, 2017. This could assist organizations in Thailand to mitigate numerous liabilities and risks as penalties and fines are typically waived under the VAP.

Thai company law also includes provisions that seek to avoid offences committed by people and organization organisations. But ahead of thinking about the VAP, businesses must cautiously contemplate the eligibility portion of their offences. The new Thai law could put far more pressure on customs to monitor and avoid offensive operations such as smuggling of goods, fraudulent evasion of duty and other import/export restrictions, which renders a business ineligible to join the VAP.

When the new Customs Act is enforced, big modifications in Thai customs and trade situation are expected by the end of this year. In the light of such alterations, organizations have to prepare themselves and comply with the new provisions of the Act so as to avoid any legal complications.
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