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MARCH 2015



a publication of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce


Calendar of events: 2014/2015 TCCC Executives Patron:

HE Philip Calvert Ambassador of Canada to Thailand

Officers: President – Peter van Haren Vice President – Derek van Pelt Vice President – John Stevens Treasurer – John Casella Secretary – Dean Outerson Executive Board: John Casella Surachit Chanovan Kobsak Duangdee Michael Howard Don Lavoie Ron Livingston Dean Outerson Jim Patterson John Stevens Peter van Haren Derek van Pelt

Embassy Representative: Yvonne Chin




6 MARCH 2015 Beaver Teaser SWAY Urban Eatery, Thonglor Soi 10 300 Baht net (including finger food)


25 MARCH 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Free of charge (members only)


25 MARCH 2015 March Canuck Connections Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Members 300 Baht net, Non-Members 500 Baht net (including finger food)


3-4 APRIL 2015 Beaver Invitational Charity Golf Tournament Phoenix Gold Golf Course and Amari Pattaya Hotel, Pattaya 4999 Baht net, including Friday night networking, Saturday golf, and Saturday night awards dinner


9 APRIL 2015 All Chambers Songkran networking TBA TBA

Sean Brady Sam Cohen Picharn Sukparangsee Peter Bessey

Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce 139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower 9th floor, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66(0) 2266-6085-6 Fax: +66(0) 2266-6087 Email: info@tccc.or.th Website: www.tccc.or.th

The Voyageur is the monthly magazine of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, covering all Thai-Canadian business, legal and social news of interest to the members and others who are active in expanding Thai-Canadian bilateral trade. Editor: Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Publisher: Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. 211 Soi Prasert-Manukitch 29, Prasert-Manukitch Rd., Chorakeabua, Ladprao Bangkok 10230 Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166-8 Fax: +66(0) 2943-7169 Design: Disraporn Yatprom Email: disraporn@scandmedia.com Advertising Contact: Mr. Finn Balslev, Marketing Director Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166 ext.116 or 08-1866-2577 Email: finn@scandmedia.com


Annual General Meeting (AGM) The Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) prior to our monthly Canuck Connections on Wednesday 25 March 2015 at the Eastin Grand Sathorn, Bangkok. The AGM offers an excellent opportunity for members to share your views and feedback, hear from the outgoing board about the performance of the chamber, and elect the new board that will help steer the chamber’s future activities. Voting is restricted to one vote per company or individual members. To ensure a quorum is reached it is important that voting members have paid their membership dues, and either attend the AGM or assign a proxy. Proxy forms can be obtained from the chamber office. Please submit the proxy by Wednesday 18 March 2015. Entry to the AGM is free to all members Board Member nominations for 2015/16 Should you wish to become more involved in steering the chamber, we encourage you to stand for board elections. You can request further information or express your interest by writing to ed@tccc.or.th The AGM is followed by our monthly Canuck Connections, sponsored by the Eastin Grand Sathorn. Entry: THB 300 for members, THB 500 for non-members (including finger food)


Exciting New Changes to Thai Board of Investment’s Incentive Schemes


s we all recognize and accept in Thailand, change takes take time and persistence. Throughout 2013, there was much speculation and discussion about planned dramatic changes to the Thai Board of Investment (“BOI”) incentive schemes that have offered BOI promoted businesses a range of alluring tax and non-incentives to attract investment in Thailand since 1997. These changes we set to take effect at the end of 2013, but with the ensuing political turmoil effecting the ability of the Thai government to effectively affect anything in the country, it has taken longer than planned for the new BOI policies to be introduced. Not surprisingly, this caused a backlog of roughly 200 foreign investment projects pending government approval. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), a.k.a. the military junta, has restored a measure of effectiveness in Thai government and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has laid out the strategy to promote foreign direct investment through 2021. The new strategy will focus on “technology” to support enhancements in Thailand’s digital economy, as the country needs to strengthen its competitiveness and overcome its reliance on low-cost labour. The new BOI policy, per the Announcement of the Board of Investment No. 2/2557 concerns the criteria for investment promotion rights and benefits in response to gradual changes in the Thai economy and the investment incentives being offered by other ASEAN countries. Activity-based Incentives: Activity-based promotions are stipulated in 2 separated groups based on their types of incentives, being Group A and Group B Group A: The BOI lists the Group A activities as high technology activities intended to bring significant development to the Thailand. The businesses in

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Group A are sub-categorized into 4 types of incentives, as follows:

on raw or essential material for 1 year, and other nontax incentives.

A1: 8-year corporate tax exemption without being subject to a corporate income tax exemption cap, exemption of import duty on machinery, exemption of import material or essential material for 1 year, and other non-tax incentives.

A4: 3-year corporate income tax, accounting for 100 percent of investment (excluding cost of land and working capital), exemption of import duty on machinery, exemption on raw or essential material for 1 year, and other non-tax incentives.

A2: 8-year corporate tax exemption, accounting for 100 percent of investment (excluding cost of land and working capital), exemption of import duty on machinery, exemption on raw or essential material for 1 year, and other non-tax incentives. A3: 5-year corporate income tax exemption, accounting for 100 percent of investment (excluding cost of land and working capital), exemption of import duty on machinery, exemption

Group B: The activities in Group B shall not be granted corporate income tax incentives, categorized in 2 sub-groups, as follows: B1: exemption of import duty on machinery, exemption on raw or essential material for 1 year, and other nontax incentives. B2: exemption on raw or essential material for 1 year and other non-tax incentives.

TCCC News Merit-based incentives

Section 3. Light Industry

Businesses that are considered to have a great impact to benefit Thailand or attract and stimulate more investment on activities at large shall be granted additional incentives on top of the activity-based incentives described above. These incentives are categorized into 3 types, as follow:

3. Creative product design and development center Section 4. Metal Products, Machinery and Transport Equipment 4. Manufacture of multi-purpose engines and equipment 5. Manufacture of trains or electric trains or equipment or parts (only rail systems)

1. Merit on competitiveness enhancement Exemption of corporate income tax for one, two or three year depending on the quantity of investment.

6. Manufacture of scientific equipment

receive an additional 1 year in corporate income tax exemption. receive an additional 2 years in corporate income tax exemption. receive an additional 3 years in corporate income tax exemption. 2. Merit on decentralization This “merit” is granted to projects located in the investment promotion zones found in 20 provinces, mostly in the northern and north-eastern provinces. These incentives include: exemption of corporate income tax for 3 years and additional tax deduction, the doubled deduction for infrastructure, installation, electricity, water costs, etc. 3. Merit on industrial area development Projects located within industrial estates or promoted industrial zones shall be granted 1 additional year of corporate income tax exemption, subject to the conditions in BOI announcement. However, not all of activities shall apply for the additional Merit-based incentives, based on the conditions below:

Section 5. Electronic Industry and Electrical Appliance -

Group A shall be granted all meritbased incentives.


Group B shall be granted only Merit on competitiveness enhancement and decentralization

List of newly promoted activities BOI promoted activities are divided into seven industry sectors. In order to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness, the BOI has specifically identified and added 7 new business activities in which it would like to promote their development within the Thai economy, as listed below. Section 1. Agriculture and Agricultural Products 1. Economic forest plantation Section 2. Mining, Ceramics and Basis Metals 2. Manufacture of advanced or ‘nano’ materials or products produced from advanced or ‘nano’ material

The table below summarizes the new incentives granted to promoted activities: Group

Tax Holiday

Machinery Import Duty Exemption

Raw Material Import Duty Exemption


8 years with no cap




8 year (capped)




5 years (capped)




3 years (capped)




(No tax holiday unless quality for merit)




(No tax holiday unless quality for merit)



No new activities added

Section 6. Chemicals, Paper and Plastics -

No new activities added

Section 7. Service and Public Utilities 7. Engineering Design Lists of cancelled Activities While the BOI has added 7 new business activities that it would like to promote within the Thai economy, it has also specifically identified and cancelled 52 previously promoted activities. The BOI feels that Thailand has already suitably developed competitiveness of these 52 activities within the Thai economy and/ or it no longer wishes to promote such businesses in Thailand, as listed below. Section 1. Agriculture and Agricultural Products 1. Hydroponics cultivation 2. Plantation of Eucalyptus 3. Manufacture of animal feed or mixes for animal feed 4. Manufacture of candy, chocolate, gum, carbonated soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, caffeinated beverages, bakery, instant noodles, chicken soup, chicken essence and bird’s nests 5. Manufacture of soybean oil Continued on page 6 March 2015



BOI Exciting New Changes to Thai Board of Investment’s Incentive Schemes Continued from page 5

6. Manufacture of flour that is not modified starch or starch made from plants that have special properties 7. Rice not using advanced technology 8. Manufacture of rubber bands, rubber balloons and rubber rings 9. Farm management 10.Manufacture of soil conditioner Section 2. Mining, Ceramics and Basis Metals 11.Mining or ore dressing such as mechanical preparation (except Potash) 12.Marble or granite mining 13.Smelting 14.Manufacture of ceramic tiles 15.Manufacture of pre-stressed concrete products for public utilities projects Section 3. Light Industry

23.Manufacture, repair or conversion of aircraft, including: aircraft parts aircraft equipment or onboard equipment

41.Retirement homes and care centers

24.Repair of vehicle parts, electrical parts or electronic equipment

43.Medium or low income housing

25.Repair of industrial machinery or equipment 26.Manufacture, repair or maintenance of containers 27.Manufacture of Completely Built Units (CBU) or Completely Knocked Down (CKD) for houses Section 5. Electronic Industry and Electrical Appliance -

No activities cancelled

Section 6. Chemicals, Paper and Plastics 28.Manufacture of industrial chemicals which are consumer products, such as: cleaning products, automobile lubricants, etc. 29.Manufacture of chemical fertilizers (excluding chemical fundamental fertilizers) 30.Manufacture of pesticides or herbicides

42.Long-stay business

44.Hospitals 45.Factory development for industrial plants and/or warehouses 46.Free Trade Zones and Free Zones 47.Design centers 48.Coating or thickening of pipes for petroleum 49.International schools 50.Hotel training institutes 51.Maritime training institutes 52.Tug boat services The BOI intends this strategy to attach importance on both inbound and outbound investment opportunities. It is hoped that this will help ease domestic resource constrains and enable Thailand to secure new business opportunities for the private sector as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) comes into effect. We all await with great anticipation to see these opportunities come rolling into Thailand.

31.Manufacture of paint, including: interior/exterior paint 32.Manufacture of body care products

16.Manufacture of carpets

33.Manufacture of consumer plastic products


17.Manufacture of trawling nets

34.Manufacture of general pulp

John Casella, Managing Partner

18.Manufacture of stationery or parts

35.Manufacture of general paper

19.Manufacture of artificial goods

36.Manufacture of general fiber or general paper articles

20.Manufacture of abrasive paper Section 4. Metal Products, Machinery and Transport Equipment 21.Manufacture of hand tools and measuring tools 22.Manufacture of electric–powered vehicles (Only those that cannot be registered under the Motor Vehicle Act of B.E. 2522)

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Section 7. Service and Public Utilities 37.Concession roads 38.Satellite telecommunications 39.Telephone services 40.Gas separation plants

Chutinun Wannapirun, Manager of Corporate Legal Services PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Limited PKF Audit (Thailand) Limited www.pkfthailand.asia and www.pkf.com For more information email: John.Casella@pkf.com or call +66 2 108 1591


Club Canada Thailand SNOWBALL 14 March 2015, Four Seasons Hotel It is with great pleasure that Club Canada Thailand is announcing the revival of its SNOWBALL on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Bangkok. Join us in this wondrous winter wonderland celebration. Enjoy the best of both worlds by taking a step out of hot and humid Bangkok into the beauty of a Canadian winter blizzard without the cold!

Expect an elegant evening, with snow, great raffle prizes, entertainment, dancing, the company of good friends and the chance to make new ones. Tickets are 3000 Baht per person and are on sale now! Tables seat a maximum of ten should you wish to invite friends to join you. If not, we can seat you with very nice, fun, and interesting people. We hope you are planning to attend this evening – the ticket price is inclusive of a

cocktail hour, 4 bottles of wine per table, and all after-dinner drinks. There will be an ice-beer bar – Borealis Iceberg Beer – made with the water from icebergs off the Newfoundland coast. It’s going to be truly wonderful!!! For bookings email: cctsnowballtickets@gmail.com All profits go towards supporting our charities. March 2015



the history and evolution of the world the thoughts and graphic narration of children 9 to 11 years

THE EARLY LEARNING CENTRE FAMILY OF SCHOOLS THE CITY SCHOOL Ages 3-11 years #18 Soi Arkaphat, Sukhumvit Road 49/4, Bangkok 10110 Tel: (662) 381-2919, 391-5901, 712-5338 Fax: (662) 391-1334

THE COUNTRY SCHOOL Ages 2-5 years #44, Samakee Road 20, T.Tasai, Muang Nonthaburi 11000 Tel: (662) 588-1063, 952-4147 Fax: (662) 589-4809

www.elc-bangkok.com culture and architecture

THE PURPLE ELEPHANT Ages 18-36 months #44 Soi 53/1, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 Tel: (662) 662-7653, 662-7654 Fax: (662) 260-5947

CHEZ NOODLES Ages 18-36 months #61 Soi Prommitr, Sukhumvit Road 39, Bangkok 10110 Tel: (662) 662-4570, 662-4571, Fax: (662) 662-4572


Member Profile

CEA: All-in-one service for C

In 2009, CEA secured 80,000 m2 of yard and warehouse space in the heart of Laem Chabang, Chonburi. This would serve as their head office and logistics base. Building on this success, CEA procured trucks, cranes, container handling equipment, forklifts together with a range of rigging and lifting equipment to complement their range of services.

ranes & Equipment Asia is a leading provider of project logistics services in the ASEAN region, specializing in industrial cargo. It was founded on years of experience in heavy lift, project logistics, sea and road transportation, cargo consolidation and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) prior to export. The company is designed to provide an “all-in-one service” that can be customized to meet project requirements. With over 120,000 square metres of lay-down storage and warehouse space located at Laem Chabang, CEA can well manage both cargo import and export. Its staff can provide you with full and concise cargo inventory documentation and meet your needs for load out Inspection Test Plan (ITPs) to ensure your cargo is handled according to your specific requirements. CEA maintains a fleet of mobile cranes, container stackers, fork lifts, haulage trucks and specialist transportation plus gantry cranes for yard and warehouse storage to hand.

Company History CEA was formed in 2000 by Kevin Fisher, its Managing Director. Working out of a shop house in Chonburi, Kevin had much experience in the Heavy Plant and Heavy Lift industry and put his knowledge into action when he formed CEA to provide services to the Oil & Gas sector. By 2006, the company had established itself into a niche market concentrating on the core

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Michael Parham business of engineering, executing heavy or abnormal load transportation and heavy lift solutions. In 2007, Andy Hall, Operations Director, was recruited by Kevin to join him in his vision to expand the company and move into the Project Logistics market. Andy’s operational and planning experience in the special projects industry was essential for the strategic growth of the company. In 2008, CEA were awarded several major oil, gas & mining construction projects in Australia as a project logistics service provider. By the end of the year, CEA’s workforce had grown to a complement of 30 with operational competencies sufficient to provide a total logistics solution.

Today, CEA has seen exponential growth in operations and employs over 250 staff providing a level of service that is unequalled within the ASEAN region. Kevin Fisher’s vision to be an industry leader and service provider for project logistics solutions is on course to be realized, as CEA has expanded its fleet of equipment with an asset portfolio over US$50 million. The strategic plan for the future is to replicate the success of the business in other regions. CEA have now expanded into Songkhla and Myanmar. John Hamilton has been recruited to manage operations and growth in Myanmar. CEA has also secured warehousing and operations yards in Thilawar Port, the main commercial seaport in Yangon. CEA offers services ranging from transportation to shipping and project logistics along with new services that include equipment hire and Modulift heavy lift equipment.

Making sense of the logistics Michael Parham is the company’s Regional Manager for Bangkok & Central Thailand.

Member Profile

your project solutions He’s originally from Portland, Oregon, where he was born and raised. He took his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. The school was conveniently located 50 miles from two major ski resorts, thus beginning a lifelong love of the slopes. In 1999, he moved to Guam to attend the University of Guam as part of a student exchange program. From there, work took him to Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Thailand once again. In his professional life, he’s worked in the household goods removal industry for three years and the freight forwarding and logistics industry, specifically project cargo for eleven years. Michael explained to the TCCC that Kevin Fisher, the company’s owner, was the project manager on the Sri Racha Harbour development on behalf of McConnell Dowell; finishing that project ten months ahead of schedule, Kevin took his hard-earned bonus and started CEA in 2000. CEA is a project-based company that is continuously looking for turnkey project solutions. The first major project it handled was the Core-Loc project for CITIC Pacific Mining in Western Australia. CEA was awarded the project over Italian-Thai Development (ITD), which involved manufacturing, transporting, shipping and dropping 10,615 Core-Locs (ranging in size from 3.9m3-11m3) into the seabed forming an artificial reef. Manufac-

turing and shipping these Core-Locs from ITD’s base in Saraburi proved too costly as it is 300km away from the Port but CEA’s facility is only 7km from the Laem Chabang Sea Port, which allowed them to secure this project over ITD. At its Laem Chabang facility, CEA set the concrete Core-Locs, consolidated them, preserved them, and made sure they were AQIS compliant prior to shipment to CITIC, a Chinese mining company, who had them dropped in the sea where they now act as a breakwater at Cape Preston in Western Australia. The company had a Thai-flagged break-bulk carrier on time charter for the duration of the project. It took 29 individual shipments to move 68,000 cubic metres of pre-cast concrete, which totaled to 163,200 tons. A second major project involved the quarantine, storage & transportation of 2,000 plus accommodation modules to Barrow Island, Western Australia for Thiess Decmil Kentz. The project started with the wrapping of modules at CEA’s Fabrication facility to ensure they were waterproof at sea; then AQIS compliance was ensured as each accommodation module was thoroughly cleaned and fumigated prior to ship loadout. Then after transportation from the storage yard to the seaport and the loadout vessel third Party AQIS inspection was performed. In total, 280,000 cubic metres were lifted and shipped from Thailand to Western Australia.

Michael considers “a project” three months or longer. After the ITD project, the work rolled in because CEA had no trouble with Australian Quarantine Inspectors, which can be quite strict, causing companies a lot of trouble and expense if they to bring in cargo that is non-compliant. The full complement of CEA’s services ranges from general cargo to quarantining, personal protective equipment, shrink wrapping, break-bulk shipping and roll-on roll-off shipping (RORO). The company is also asset-based, it owns over US$50 million worth of the equipment is uses, including its trucks and cranes. CEA’s staff is specially trained for certain jobs whether they be crane operators, safety personnel or flag men. It hardly sub-contracts any of its work. CEA knows its machinery and knows its people. Summing up, Michael says CEA is a project company and much more too; its niche focus is project logistics, project forwarding and project handling, especially when it comes to oversized, out-of-gauge heavy cargo worth millions of dollars, which costs half-a-million dollars to ship. “A lot of time and effort is put into these deliveries and the companies involved want to make sure they are done both properly and safely.” For further information contact: Michael@ceaprojects.com or visit www.ceaprojects.com March 2015


Member Profile

2015 NIST Golf Tournament a great success


IST’s 5th annual golf tournamentin collaboration with Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, set a new high for the event. Enjoying gorgeous weather while covering the course, the 35 teams that took part not only provided generous support for our community, but also had the opportunity to network and socialize. Regardless of the number of shots carded, the golfers all enjoyed the opportunity to pit their skills against the challenging course, as well as their peers. The competition gave way to a buffet dinner, live band and raffle in the evening as the sun dropped over the 18th green and fairway. The generosity of the event sponsors and donors ensured that most of the golfers were able to return home with a prize or trophy. The team winners this year, GE, claimed the Chairman’s Trophy. As a not-for-profit foundation school, our community largely depends on the support of individuals, groups and organizations that share our vision of changing the world through education. Thanks to our generous sponsors and golfers, proceeds from past tournaments have gone toward campus development at the school. This year we were fortunate to set a new record, with a total of THB 1,420,482 raised! These proceeds will not only ensure that we can continue providing a high-quality education to our students, but also continue positively impacting the lives of others. The entire NIST community extends a warm thank you to all of the sponsors, as well as Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa and Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas for providing lucky draw vouchers.

Winners of the 2015 NIST Golf Tournament with NIST's Head of School James MacDonald (center)

NIST Head of School James MacDonald and Head of Operations Nirut Chavanarodjanarugi with tournament participants

Flying Farangs hold charity game to raise cancer awareness The Flying Farangs hold an annual charity game for the Thai Red Cross. In late 2014 they staged a game in honour of Rudy Pospisil and his round- the-world bicycle ride to raise cancer awareness. The Farangs also veered from tradition when instead of holding a Team Canada vs. the World match, they split up the two into two teams called the “Guess Whos” and the “Bachman Turner Overdrives”. Nationalities represented in the game were Canada, the US, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Germany, England, & New Zealand. Before the game the teams lined up on their respective blue lines to listen to the Thai and Canadian national anthems, with the latter being belted out by Phil Haegeman as has been the custom in the last few charity matches.

A Canadian firefighter’s charity cycle around the globe

Photographs by Tadasma Nagayama

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Rudy Pospisil is a Canadian firefighter, cancer survivor, who is circumnavigating the globe by bicycle for cancer research. The chamber, in partnership with the Embassy of Canada to Thailand, the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, Manulife, Thanachart Bank, Bamrungrad International Hospital and Smiling Albino organised a charity bike ride that saw many chamber members and friends join Rudy on his journey from Ayutthaya to Bangkok. A fundraiser hosted by the Four Seasons hotel was also held. All money raised from the two events was donated to the Thai Red Cross research centres. You can check out Rudy’s progress by visiting his website at www.firefightercycle.com.

Business News

Obtaining a resident’s permit or visa in Thailand: C’est pas du gâteau ! With the Thai government making several announcements regarding residents’ visas over the past few months, it’s probably an opportune moment to explain the different types of permit or visa.


s well as education and marriage, there are four other main types of visa which allow you to reside in Thailand: Permanent Residence, Retirement, Business and Investment visas. These vary in terms of qualification criteria, length of validity and how long they take to issue. Permanent Residence Permit If you have had possession of a 1-year renewable visa for at least each of the last three years, you could apply to be a permanent resident. Of course, it’s not as simple as that: you have to have obtained those renewable visas through investment, work or having a Dependent Visa. Furthermore, you need to have had a work permit for at least three years, as well as having been paying tax in Thailand. You must also speak, read and write fluent Thai: in fact you’ll have to go through an interview entirely in the language. Should you meet these stringent criteria, you should also be well-prepared and extremely patient. Applications can only be made inside the window designated by the Immigration Bureau, and are restricted to a pre-determined annual quota per country. Plus, you may have to wait a long time before a permit is granted: the timeline depends on the current policy of the Immigration Commission and the Ministry of Interior. MBMG Group Legal Team has seen cases in which it has taken up to five years to grant a permit. There are two fees which you have

to pay the government for the permit: the first on application (THB 7,600 – around C$290) and the second, much more expensive payment (currently at THB 191,400 – almost C$7,500), is due once the application is approved. Retirement Visa The Retirement (Non-immigrant “O”) Visa, to give its full title, is for Canadians and other foreigners who are over 50 and have held a minimum of THB 800,000 in their bank account for at least the past 3 months; or transfer a retirement income of at least THB 65,000 (about C$2,500) into Thailand every month. This visa is renewable annually and to obtain it you’ll have to pay an initial fee of THB 1,900 (C$73) and, once received, you’ll have to apply for a re-entry permit. This is a relatively cheap and easy method of obtaining a resident’s visa; however it does mean that you cannot earn a wage in Thailand. Business Visa If you work for, or have an official job offer from, a company registered in Thailand, you could qualify for the Business (Non-immigrant “B”) Visa. For this to be considered, the firm itself has to have a registered capital of at least THB 2 million (around C$76,500). It also has to have four times as many Thai staff on its books as it has foreign staff – that means four Thai people to one foreigner’s work permit. The initial fee is also THB 1,900 but you’ll also have to pay for two re-entry permits: one valid for the 30-day period during which the application is being considered; the other when the visa is granted. If you apply for the Business Visa, you will be granted a 30-day visa during the consideration process. Once is-

sued, your visa will be valid for 1 year from the date of application. However, my legal colleagues tell me that a Business Visa is very narrow, in terms of the scope in which you can work in Thailand. Plus, the application process is complicated and requires a lot of documentation. Investment Visa Another way of obtaining a 1-year renewable visa is by transferring at least THB 10 million (roughly C$382,150) into Thailand. This can be done in the form of investing in a condominium; placing the money in a Thai bank account; buying government or state-run company bonds: or a combination of some or all of those three. The fees and the process are the same as those of the Business Visa. Whilst an Investment Visa application requires a lot of documentation, it is usually a smaller amount than that needed for the Business Visa. You should also note that if you are granted an Investment Visa, you will not be allowed to work or earn a salary in Thailand. Which visa is best? Given all the different criteria, costs and restrictions there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Finding the best visa for you really depends on your circumstances and reasons for wanting to live in Thailand. It may be helpful to seek legal advice to enable you to decide which type of visa suits you best. Paul Gambles is co-founder of MBMG Group and can be reached at: Tel: +66 2665 2536 e-mail: info@mbmg-group.com Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, I cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. My views may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation. March 2015


Business News

Thailand Proposes an Inheritance Tax T

hailand’s Prime Minister and head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) General Prayuth ChanOcha announced plans to reform Thailand’s tax system. As part of the reforms, the PM proposed an inheritance and property tax. The new taxes are expected to address the income disparity gap between Thailand’s rich and poor. In 1933 Thailand had initiated a scheme for the collection of inheritance taxes, however, due to strong opposition the scheme was scrapped in 1944. Since then many similar proposals to incorporate inheritance tax into Thailand’s tax system have been considered, however, none of the proposals became written into law. The current version of the proposed bill is called the “Draft Bill on Inheritance and Gift Taxes” and has been approved by the NCPO and forwarded to the Council of States for their review and approval. Should the bill be passed by the Council of States, it will then be submitted to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for ratification. What is an inheritance tax? An inheritance tax is a tax that is levied on a person(s) who inherits money, property or other assets from the estate of a person who has died. An inheritance tax is assessed on the beneficiaries of the deceased estate. Some countries that have an inheritance tax include:

ful, it is likely that the inheritance tax will be implemented in 2015. on or after 15 February 2008 What can we expect from the Draft Bill on Inheritance and Gift Taxes? It is expected that revenue from a successful implementation of inheritance tax into Thailand’s tax system could be significant. Despite the proposed inheritance tax rate being a closely guarded secret, some experts believe that progressive rates are likely to be implemented on domestic assets that are passed to heirs, such as land, houses, buildings, bonds, shares, securities, monies in savings accounts and vehicles. At this point it is unknown what assets, if any, will be exempted from the inheritance tax. It is however, expected that a list will be provided via a Royal Decree upon the implementation of the inheritance tax. The inheritance tax is expected to apply to (i) an individual who is a Thai national, (ii) an individual who is not a Thai national, but has domicile in Thailand, (iii) a juristic person who has its head office in Thailand for three consecutive years before the date it is entitled to the inherited assets or (iv) an individual who is not a Thai national, but is to receive inherited assets located in Thailand. From what is currently understood, the draft bill proposes that an individual who receives assets via disposition by will or intestacy with a net value under THB 50 million will be exempt from the inheritance tax. Assets exceeding a net value THB 50 million but below THB 200 million will be subject to 10% and individuals who inherit assets with a net value exceeding THB 200 million will be subject to a rate of 20%. It is not clear how the assets will be valued and if any additional relief will be granted.

(Inheritance tax) (Inheritance tax)

Some jurisdictions formerly had inheritance taxes, but have since abolished them: on the sale or transfer of assets.

sale of transfer of assets

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What tax planning is available to Thai residents in light of the new proposed inheritance tax? At this stage it is difficult to know for sure what the final bill will look like. However, based on the experience of other jurisdictions with an inheritance tax, residents will typically seek planning on:

managed after death. For example, the assets may not pass until a certain age or year is reached.

from potential future creditors

efficient structure such as a trust in a tax favorable jurisdiction where no inheritance will be applied to the assets. We trust that you find our tax updates and article helpful. If you would like to discuss the inheritance tax or any other tax issues in Thailand with one of our tax lawyers, please feel free to contact us.

Jack Sheehan Partner jack.sheehan@dfdl.com

The draft bill provides certain tax exemptions for an individual or organization who receives the assets via a will and declares an intention to use the inherited assets for the purpose of religion, education, public interest or government. The inheritance tax proposal, if successful, could result in Thailand’s wealthy seeking to realize assets or transferring assets before the law becomes effective. Only time will tell if the draft bill makes it into Thai law, but for now, it seems that the NCPO are insistent in bringing reform to the country. If success-

Nipaporn Supha-Utchaichan Senior Tax Lawyer nipaporn@dfdl.com

ISB Grade 2 - 1966

International School Bangkok Bringing out the passion in each of us since 1951. www.isb.ac.th

Profile for CanCham Thailand

Voyageur March 2015  

Voyageur March 2015