In pursuit of the Government’s effort to improve Thailand competitiveness under Thailand 4.0 framework, the Ministry of Labour issued the regulation called “Application for and Issuance of Work Permits and Notification of Employment of Foreign Workers (No. 2) B.E. 2560” which came into effect on April 1, 2017. The work permit book will now be replaced with E-Work Permit, which is filed electronically. All current work permit book issued under previous ministerial regulations, treaties or other investment promotions (such BOI and IEAT) will also be replaced by E-Work Permits. However, the replacement timeline of the current work permit book has not been specified, they are still valid until their expiration date.
Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) in cooperation with the Immigration Bureau (IMM) and the Department of Employment (DOE) also announced to launch a new system for online visa-work permit for BOI Companies through the E-Service channel, called “Single Window for Visa and Work Permit System”, in order to replace the current work permit book with a new electronic work permit. The foreign employees of BOI-promoted companies will have to use a smart phone or other electronic devices to register and download their electronic work permit from the DOE. This new system will be implemented from October 2, 2017. All BOI-promoted companies must register online for training on the new system and enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The Single Window system will become mandatory from January 1, 2018 for all BOI-promoted companies using the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) in Bangkok or the Immigration Office and Employment Offices in Chiang Mai and Phuket Provinces. And this Single Window system is supposed to be launched nationwide by October 2018.
Under the new Single Window system, the applicant will receive a confirmation e-mail and can book an appointment after receiving approval by IMM and the DOE in order to collect their visa and electronic work permit from the issuing authorities. Being able to book an appointment online will be more time-saving and require less paperwork to be prepared and submitted. For the final step, applicants must present themselves at the One Stop Service Center (OSSC) in Bangkok or the Immigration Office and Employment Offices in Chiang Mai and Phuket provinces to obtain their electronic work permit and have their visa stamped in their passport.
Additional BOI promotions for agricultural business
BOI approved the granting of special promotional privileges for investment in projects related to modern agricultural production and services for upgrading the country’s farm sector.
1. The privileges will be offered to businesses who apply technology particularly for information technology or engineering design, to help modernize production in the traditional farm sector will be entitled to a corporate income tax exemption for five years.
The privileges will also be granted to upgrading projects of the production methods and crop quality to achieve international quality standards, such as Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems Certification, will be entitled to a corporate income tax exemption for three years. The tax incentive, however, will be limited to 50% of the investment cost for the standard upgrade. Applicant for the above two categories are required to submit their applications by 2020.
2. For existing and new investors who invest in modern machinery and automation systems, they will be entitled to a corporate income tax exemption for three years, but the tax incentive will be limited to 50% of the investment cost. In order to support investors who use domestically made machinery, those who use locally made gear for more than 30% of machine-generated value will entitled to tax incentive from 50% up to 100%
The BOI approved an extension to submit BOI application until to year 2020 for investors who improve their machinery in order to save energy or promote the use of renewable energy
3. The BOI approved The investment categories in Group A1 and A2, which are eligible to receive the corporate income tax exemption for eight years, can apply for more privileges about tax exemption for additional 1-3 years if they continue to invest in science technology and human resource development.