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Rajah & Tann Regional Round-Up

your snapshot of key legal developments in Asia

Issue 3 - Jul/Aug/Sep 2021



THAILAND

Relaxation of Limitations for Foreign Arbitrators or Representatives in Thai Arbitral Proceedings

Foreigners may now be appointed as arbitrators or representatives in Thailand, but are required to obtain visas or work permits, as the case may be. Pursuant to the Arbitration Act (No.2) B.E. 2562 (A.D. 2019) ("Arbitration Act (No.2)") which came into force on 15 April 2019, a foreign arbitrator or representative in an arbitration conducted by the Thai Arbitral Institute ("TAI") or the Thailand Arbitral Center ("THAC") may obtain a certificate issued by TAI or THAC for the consideration of Thai officials in their issuance of a work permit. After receiving such certificate, the foreign arbitrator or representative may begin to perform his/her duties without having to wait for the issuance of his/her work permit. Another alternative is to apply for Smart Visas for foreign experts working in the alternative dispute resolution ("ADR") sector by producing documents proving his or her expertise in ADR. 


Nonetheless, foreigners are still prohibited from acting as arbitrators or representatives in arbitration proceedings in Thailand where the dispute is governed by Thai law.


For more information, click here to read our Legal Update.


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Social Security Fund Contributions Reduced for Further Three Months Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

On 27 September 2021, the Royal Gazette published "Ministerial Regulation Prescribing the Social Security Fund Contribution Rate B.E. 2564 (2021)" to officially announce that the employers' and the employees' contributions to the Social Security Fund will be reduced from 5% to 2.5% of the employee's monthly wages (with the limit of THB 375 each month) for a further three months from 1 September until 31 November 2021. 


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Foreign E-service Providers Required to Register as VAT Registrants in Thailand

Since 1 September 2021, foreign E-service platforms and service providers, who (i) provide electronic services to non-VAT registered recipients in Thailand, and (ii) receive revenue from operating E-service platforms exceeding THB 1.8 million in one accounting period, are required to register as VAT registrants and pay VAT to the Thai Revenue Department. This new requirement was set out in the Revenue Code Amendment Act (No.53) B.E.2564 (2021), which was published in the Royal Gazette on 10 February 2021 and Act came into force on 1 September 2021. The relevant VAT registrants shall submit their first tax filing (P.P. 30.9) and remit the VAT to the Revenue Department by 25 October 2021.


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Measures to Alleviate COVID-19 Lockdown Policy for Employers and Employees

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Thailand, on 20 July 2021 and 3 August 2021, the cabinet passed a new resolution to relieve and alleviate the affected employees and employers in the "Maximum and Strict Controlled Areas", consisting of 29 provinces, including Bangkok. The COVID-19 relief measures include the following financial support from the Social Security Office ("SSO"):


Eligibility

 Quantum

 Employees rregistered under Secion 33 of the Social Security     Act ("SSA") working in nine types of businesses:
 1.  construction;
 2.  hotel and food services;
 3.  art, entertainment, and recreation;
 4.  service-based businesses;
 5.  wholesale, retail, and vehicle repair;
 6.  transportation and warehousing;
 7.  management and technical support services;
 8.  professional, science, and academic disciplines, and
 9.  information and communications.

 THB 2,500 per employee for a period of   one month
 Employers of the employees meeting the above criteria            THB 3,000 per employee with a     maxmimum of up to 200 employees
 Former employees registered under Section 39 of the SSA  THB 5,000 per employee
 Self-employed employees registered under Section 40 of the     SSA  THB 5,000 per employee



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Please note that whilst the information in this Update is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief at the time of writing, it is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and should not be treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.

 

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