Legal Update January 2024

Thailand Legal Update January 2024

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Thailand Legal News

BOT bans prepayment fees for loans

Effective 1 January 2024, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has implemented a ban on prepayment fees for loans. This ban applies to all financial institutions under the supervision of the BOT, including banks and non-banks. However, there is an exception for mortgage refinancing within the initial 3 years. Furthermore, financial institutions can only charge restructuring fees for collateral appraisal when such information is essential for determining the appropriate debt restructuring terms.

Cabinet Resolutions

Extension of the deadline for issuing sub-legislation of the PDPA

As the government cannot issue the sub-legislation under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) within the deadline stipulated by the Act on Criteria for Drafting Laws and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Laws (within 2 years after the effective date of such law) with over 4 sub-legislations in the process of drafting, the Cabinet, as a result, approved an extension to such deadline, postponing it to 11 January 2025.

Visa-free entrance for Japanese businesspersons

Japanese persons entering Thailand from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026 for business purposes will be exempted from requiring a business visa (Non-B Visa) if the duration of stay does not exceed 30 days.

Updated measures for VAT refund for tourists (VRT)

Effective  1 January 2024 , goods priced not exceeding the revised threshold can request a refund directly , without having to show (declare) the goods to the authority at the airport on the departure date (the VRT form received from the store still has to be shown in all cases). The details of the revised threshold are as follows:

Measures Previous Threshold Updated Threshold
Customs declaration threshold THB 5,000

(≈ USD 140)

THB 20,000

(≈ USD 560)

*VRT officer declaration threshold for luxury goods (e.g.,  jewellery, electronics, and accessories, etc.) THB 10,000

(≈ USD 280)

THB 40,000

(≈ USD 1,120)

*VRT officer  declaration threshold for goods carried on board THB 50,000

(≈ USD 1,400)

THB 100,000

(≈ USD 2,800)

*Luxury goods and goods carried onboard prices above the threshold will have to be inspected twice, first by customs and second by the VRT officer.

Alcoholic beverages tax cut

The Cabinet approved the revision of the tax scheme for alcoholic beverages in order to boost tourism and spending as follows:

  1. Excise tax
Goods Value-Based Alcohol-Content-Based

(per 1 liter of pure alcohol)

Previous rate New rate Previous rate New rate
Grape wine and grape sparkling

not exceeding THB 1,000

0% 5% THB 1,500

(≈ USD 41)

THB 1,000

(≈ USD 27)

Grape wine and grape sparkling above THB 1,000 10%
Fruit wine and fruit-based fermented beverages with grapes or wine not exceeding THB 1,000 0% 0% 0 THB 900

(≈ USD 25)

Fruit wine and fruit-based fermented beverages with grapes or wine above THB 1,000 10%
Local liquor/fermented beverages and rice-based fermented beverages, with an alcohol content not exceeding 7 degrees 10% 0% THB 150

(≈ USD 4)

Fermented beverages with an alcohol content exceeding 7 degrees 10% unchanged THB 150

(≈ USD 4)

THB 225
Other fermented beverages 10% unchanged THB 150

(≈ USD 4)



  1. Customs duties
  • Wine falling under tariff categories 22.04 (made from fresh grape and grape must) and 22.05 (vermouth and vine made from fresh grapes flavoured with plants or aromatic substances) will be exempted from customs duties.

Royal Gazette

Extension for the reduction of land transfer/mortgage fees

The Royal Gazette has announced the extension of measures reducing registration fees for rights registration and ownership transfer of real estate in 2024. These measures entail a reduction in registration fees for real estate transfers from 2% to 1% and for real estate mortgages from 1% to 0.01% (only applicable for transfers and mortgages that take place at the same time). The reduction applies to the purchase and sale of various types of housing, including single houses, row houses, commercial buildings, and condominiums, both new and pre-owned. However, such measures will not apply to properties with a purchase price or capital assessment exceeding THB 3 million, or mortgage amounts exceeding THB 3 million per contract. These measures will remain effective until the end of 2024 unless further extensions are announced.

Criteria for considering countries with adequate data protection standards for the transfer of personal data

Under Section 28 of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), the transfer of personal data to foreign countries requires that the receiving country or international organization must meet adequate data protection standards, which is stipulated in this notification as follows:

  1. The destination country or international organization must have legal measures or mechanisms for personal data protection that align with Thailand’s PDPA; and
  2. There must be an agency or organization in place to enforce laws and regulations on personal data protection.

The transfer will be exempted from having to comply with the preceding provisions if it falls within the exception under Section 28 of the PDPA (e.g., for compliance with the law, with the consent of the data subject having been informed of the inadequate protection, necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party or to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract, etc.). The list of countries with adequate protection is still being reviewed by the PDPC.

Criteria and procedures for transferring personal data to foreign affiliated businesses

Under Section 29 of the PDPA, transferring personal data between affiliated businesses outside of Thailand can be done without complying with Section 28 if a Binding Corporate Rule (BCR) exists between the businesses. However, such BCR must be approved by the Personal Data Protection Committee (PDPC) and meet specific criteria outlined in this notification as follows:

  1. The BCR must align with PDPA and be legally binding for all affiliated parties, including data processors, recipients, transferors, employees, and related entities/persons.
  2. It must include clauses guaranteeing personal data protection and the rights of data subjects.
  3. The BCR must incorporate data protection and security measures that are in line with the minimum standards stipulated by the PDPA.

During PDPC’s approval process, the transfer of data can be done if there are appropriate safeguards in place, provided that such safeguards meet the same criteria as those for BCRs as detailed above.


We hope that we have been able to assist you with this information.
If you have any further questions, please contact us:

Lorenz & Partners Co., Ltd.

27th Floor, Bangkok City Tower, 179, S Sathorn Rd,

Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120

Email: [email protected]
+66 (0) 2 287 1882

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