Legal Update Week 3 – 4 (15 – 28 January 2019)

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Thailand legal news

• 15 January 2019:
– New minimum wage rate for skilled workers (No. 8) dated 26 December 2018 was announced, for total of 19 professions including mechanical industry, art industry, logistic industry, furniture industry (effective on 1 January 2019). The rates are between THB 325 (Seamstress) and THB 825
(Jewelry maker) per day, depending on the employee’s skills and experience.
• 17 January 2019:
– The State Enterprise Policy Committee ordered the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) to cease and reconsider on the increase of bus fees
(planned to start on 21 Jan 2019).
– The board of BMTA agreed to install wi-fi on 2,800 public buses, expected to be completed within 6 months.
• 18 January 2019:
– The Excise Department revealed that there were 748 cases of tax evasion during 11 – 17 January 2019 (10.04 million fines), mostly liquors, tobacco, and
motorcycle.
– The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission planned to hold an auction for seven 700 MHz spectrum licenses in December 2019,
aiming to start 5G services in 2020.

• 19 January 2019:
– The Department of Employment has announced the re-interpretation of the Emergency Decree on Managing the Work of Aliens B.E. 2560. As a result,
Representative Persons of Representative Offices which are exempted from acquiring a Foreign Business License are required to obtain a work permit
from the Department of Employment.
• 23 January 2019:
– The general election will be held on 24 March 2019.
• 24 January 2019:
– The NLA aimed to pass approx. 100 draft bills before the general election. On the average, 10-15 bills will be reviewed each of the remaining weeks.
• 25 January 2019:
– The P.M. Prayut issued a special order under Article 44 to empower the Intellectual Property Rights Department (IPD) to suspend applications for
medicinal marijuana patents (from foreign pharmaceutical corporations). The approval of such will lead to monopolize and deter public to use marijuana for medical purpose, as the narcotic drugs law related to this issue is under the review of the NLA and has not yet been enacted.
– The Bank of Thailand expected the amended regulations governing auto title pleadge loan to take effect in February. These additions are including
cap on interest rates (28% per year) and practical guidelines for operators.
• 26 January 2019:
– Thailand Visa online application (Thai e-Visa) will be ready on 15 February 2019, firstly in Beijing, China and will be expanded to other provinces of
China on 1 March 2019. *e-Visas are now available in approx. 24 countries such as India, Malaysia, Myanmar, etc.
• 28 January 2019:
– Many plans to reduce severe traffic congestion in Bangkok will be proposed to the board of traffic in February 2019 e.g. allowing private individuals to
put wheel-clamps or tow away the vehicles, providing shuttle bus to BTS.

New Cabinet resolutions

18 December 2018:
• Approved Draft: Draft Personal Data Protection Act. Major concerns are:
– Extraterritorial effect: Overseas data controllers and processers can be subject to the PDPA if they offer any goods or services to data subjects in Thailand or monitor any behavior that takes place within Thailand.
– Collecting consent: Requests for consent must be clear and made in writing or via electronic means. Additionally, parental consents are required for minors.
– Data protection officer: monitoring personal data or systems.
17 January 2019:
• Approved Draft: Draft Escrow Account Act (No. ..) B.E. ….
– Extend the scope of escrow contract to cover all types of bilateral contract.
– Amend the section regarding deposit to support e-Payment and electronic transaction.
– Support escrow business on sale and purchase of condominium.
– Insert authorities and duties of the Escrow regulation Committee.
– Amend administrative penalties of escrow agent.

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