Bangkok – The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM Thailand) applauds the passing of the new Customs Act B.E. 2560 (2017) that was published in the Royal Gazette on May 17. The new law replaces the Customs Act B.E. 2469 (1926) and its amendments and is a result of many years of drafts, consultations, and debates.
The most notable changes in the new Act are the elimination of liability presumptions; the decrease in the percentage of fines claimed as rewards for whistleblowers and the introduction of caps to such rewards; the reduction of penalty fines; and the streamlining of procedures and imposition of deadlines for post-clearance audits and appeals.
AMCHAM Thailand, as a lead chamber along with other foreign chambers of commerce, has been working with the Royal Thai Government for the past 12 years on amending the outdated Customs Act of 1926 and advocating for a law that would increase the ease of doing business in Thailand and stimulate the economy. While the new law is a significant step in the right direction, AMCHAM Thailand urges for further reforms to the Customs Act that would bring it closer to international standards.
AMCHAM Thailand firmly believes that Thailand’s Customs Act should fully meet international standards established by the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (the Kyoto Convention) and that Thailand should become a signatory of the Kyoto Convention. More specifically, AMCHAM Thailand recommends an eventual elimination of the reward sharing scheme rather than a decrease in the percentage and a cap on rewards.
“We are pleased with the passing of the new Customs law. The changes to the reward sharing program will result in greater efficiency, transparency and trade facilitation. This improvement will bring Thailand’s Customs law closer to international best practices and in line with current free trade agreement trends. AMCHAM Thailand remains committed to maintaining a constructive dialogue with the Royal Thai Government in order to facilitate a fair, vibrant and business-friendly environment in Thailand,” says Jeffrey Nygaard, AMCHAM Thailand’s Board President.