The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand
EEC Act Comes Into Effect
The EEC Act, officially titled “the Eastern Special Development Zone Act” was enacted on May 10, 2018, published in the Royal Gazette on May 14, 2018, and came into effect on May 15, 2018.
The EEC promoted scheme spans 110,000 rai, and covers 30 industrial zones in 3 provinces – Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong.
There are ten targeted industries for the EEC: next-generation automotive; intelligent electronics; high-wealth and medical tourism; advanced agriculture and biotechnology; food processing; robotics; aviation and logistics; biofuels and biochemical; digital; and comprehensive medical and health services.
The key benefits for businesses operators in the Special Economic Promotion Zones (“SEPZ”) within the EEC include one or more of the following:
- The right to own land to operate the approved business activities in an SEPZ within the EEC, without seeking approval under the Land Code, and the right to own condominiums to operate the approved business activities or to live with an exemption from the restrictions under the condominium law.
- The right to bring foreigners with certain special expertise and knowledge which will be beneficial to innovation-based technological development to work in the SEPZ.
- The right to an exemption or reduction of corporate income tax not exceeding the right as specified in the Investment Promotion Act or the National Competitive Enhancement Act for targeted industries.
- The right to be exempted from the exchange control law, and to use foreign currency for payment of goods and services between business operators.
- The right for foreigners with certain special knowledge or abilities to be considered for receiving tax deductions, and special rights regarding immigration law and other laws.
- The right to lease land in the SEPZ within the EEC for up to 50 years to develop and promote the targeted industries, whereby this lease can be renewed for 49 years afterwards.
- The right to be exempted from the customs law, partly or wholly, in imports or exports.
Qualified foreign professionals may be able to work in the SEPZ within the EEC in certain professions which normally require Thai nationalities or licensing.
- The mandate to approve license applications under several laws, such as the factory law and the building control law, being transferred to the Secretary of the Eastern Special Development Zone Policy Committee to bypass legal restrictions regarding foreign investment.
- Further regulations relating to a number of provisions in the Act are to be subsequently determined and issued by the EEC Policy Committee.
The EEC Act is expected to build up investor confidence in Thailand’s economic potential. The Thai government will now expedite five infrastructure projects, including a high speed rail to link up 3 airports, Don Muang, Suvarnbhumi and U-Tapao, development of Map Ta Phut seaport, Laem Chabang seaport, and the creation of the MRO hub.
For more information, please contact the EEC Office Thailand. Tel. 02-033-8000, website: https://www.eeco.or.th/en
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