27 Jul Thailand Legal Update – Petroleum Act and Consumer Protection Act
Acts and regulations posted in the Royal Gazette in June 2017 including amendments to the Petroleum Act, new regulations under the Consumer Protection Act and from the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
1. Amendments of the Petroleum Act and Petroleum Income Tax Act
To comply with the national energy stability plan and secure Thailand’s petroleum reserves, the amended Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Income Tax Act came into force on June 23, 2017. Now instead of just concessions, the government can implement joint-production ventures (JPVs) and hire of service contracts. The government, however, preserves its exclusive rights to all petroleum and the discovery and manufacturing of all petroleum shall be done via concession, JPVs or hire of service contracts. For joint-production ventures, certain precedents must be met, e.g., minimum amounts of capital have been set and all expenses shall be borne by the private joint party. However, all expenses relating the petroleum business may be deducted from the overall revenues of petroleum products, but not exceeding 50% of the expenses per each fiscal year. Each party to the JPV may sell its own products, but the private joint party in the JPV is eligible to sell on behalf of the government. For hire of service ventures, all petroleum obtained under this type of contact will solely belong to the state. The government is empowered the control over exploration and decision making and a hire of service contract will have a maximum duration of three years. The amended Petroleum Tax Act supports the new JPVs and hire of service contracts and contains other revisions that support the interests of the producers. JPVs will be liable for a maximum corporate income tax of 20% of net profits.
2. A qualified Association and/or Foundation eligible to represent consumer claims under the Consumer Protection Act 2017.
The new ministerial regulations which came into force on June 23, 2017 directing applicants for the associations and foundations which can represent consumers in their claims under the Consumer Protection Act to give full rights and authority to anyone filing a complaint or in the prosecution of violations of consumer protection rights. The main objective is to strengthen the laws of consumer protection and prevent unjust and unfair competition. The committees of associations and foundations must be qualified according to the given criterion and not contain any prohibited characteristics under the governing law. In procedures related to lawsuits, it’s compulsory for associations and foundations to comply with the rules governing the filing cases or prosecution as detailed by the Consumer Protection Board. If a petition is not approved, the foundation or association may resubmit a new petition.
3. Announcement by National Anti-Corruption Commission Prescribing the distribution of the Internal Government section and the authority of the power in the division of the Government Auxiliary Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (10th Edition) B.E. 2560
The National Anti-Corruption Commission announced regulations empowering the government with the authority to investigate cases of suspected fraudulent conduct in the reporting of corruption which includes a system of process of intelligence and the monitoring of situations and information, corruption, and the media. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has the authority to investigate and undertake actions, analyze and evaluate information relating to corruption; facilitate relevant facts by electronic means; proceed with security protection; and investigate into the ownership of assets.
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