Thailand

Key Contacts

Chatchai Inthasuwan
Tel: +66-2-266-6485 Ext 254 (chatchai.i@chandlermhm.com)

Nathee Silacharoen
Tel: +66-2-266-6485 Ext 223 (nathee.s@chandlermhm.com)

Ratthai Kamolwarin
Tel: +66-2-266-6485 Ext 223 (ratthai.k@chandlermhm.com)

Key Contributor

Liam Pisan

Chandler MHM Limited
7th-9th, 12th and 16th Floors Bubhajit Building
20 North Sathorn Road Bangkok 10500, Thailand
www.chandlermhm.com

On 15 April 2019, “Arbitration Act (No. 2) B.E. 2562”, an amendment to the Thai Arbitration Act, took effect in Thailand. The Amendment introduced provisions expanding the ability of foreign arbitrators and representatives to act in arbitral proceedings.

This Amendment comes as a response to Thailand’s somewhat negative reputation among foreign investors and those involved in arbitral proceedings. Thailand had a history of limiting foreign arbitrators and representatives in arbitral proceedings conducted in Thailand and governed by Thai law. The main purpose of the new Amendment is to make arbitral proceedings in Thailand more convenient by reducing the limitations on foreign arbitrators and representatives. The Thai government felt that Thailand would benefit from creating an arbitral environment that would increase foreign investment in Thailand and that would promote Thailand as a regional center for international arbitral proceedings.

The previous legal framework for arbitral proceedings in Thailand had two primary shortcomings:

  • First, Thailand had uncommonly difficult and time- consuming work permit requirements for foreign arbitrators. The resultant reluctance of foreign arbitrators to accept appointments in Thailand severely limited the arbitration choices of involved parties. These limitations of choice arguably contradicted the consensual purpose of arbitration and affected the ability of parties in dispute to select the most appropriate arbitrator or representative, especially when disputes became highly complex or technical.
  • Second, even when foreign arbitrators were  willing to  go throughtherequirementsfor a workpermit, parties could only appoint foreign arbitrators if they were acting in defense of a case, if the governing law were not Thai law, and if the award would not require Thai enforcement.

These difficulties frequently dissuaded foreign parties from conducting arbitral proceedings in Thailand. Many foreign parties would instead structure contracts to allow for arbitral proceedings in more “arbitration friendly” jurisdictions, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

The bill appears to correct both of these difficulties by allowing parties in arbitral proceedings to choose foreigners to act as arbitrators or representatives, without needing to first receive a temporary work permit. Under the Amendment, when an arbitral proceeding is conducted through official Thai agencies, such as the Thai Arbitration Institute (TAI) or the Thai Arbitration Centre (THAC), foreign arbitrators and representatives may now apply for a certificate from either the TAI or THAC for consideration by Thai immigration officials. The certificates will be valid for the same estimated period of the arbitration proceedings, with opportunity for renewal. For the duration of this certificate, the government will permit foreign arbitrators or representatives to reside in Thailand, authorize them to perform their duties in Thailand, and will issue them a work permit (all conditional on applicable laws pertaining to foreign workers andimmigration).

These new standards could make arbitration in Thailand more convenient for foreign parties, thus making foreign parties more willing to conduct arbitral proceedings here. Foreign arbitrators and representatives could be more willing to provide their services in Thailand, and foreign investors may similarly feel more willing to increase international trade and investment in Thailand. Thailand may even be able to benefit from possible arbitration tourism like Hong Kong and Singapore.


This publication is intended to highlight an overview of key issues for ease of understanding, and not for the provision of legal advice. If you have any questions about this publication, please contact your regular contact person(s) at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto or Chandler MHM Limited, or any of the Key Contacts listed in the far-right column.

Related Articles by Firm
New regulation on the prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages online
In line with evolving trends in technology, certain entrepreneurs and retailers have started using online channels to sell alcoholic beverages, which makes it difficult to ensure the sale of such beverages is in accordance with existing laws ...
Nok Air Rehabilitation Proceedings – Updates for Creditors and Lessors
As the global travel industry continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, many companies are now beginning to seek protections under various insolvency regimes ...
Thai data privacy act exemptions
A cabinet resolution has approved a draft Royal Decree on temporary exemption of PDPA enforcement for some organisations and businesses.
Procurement of power from community-based power projects
These projects are intended to help generate and distribute income to local communities and promote their participation in local power projects.
Updated standards for e-meeting security
The Emergency Decree requires that electronic meetings follow the security protocols set forth under a notification from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
Waste to energy projects in Thailand
A brief overview of the legal issues related to the development of a municipal solid waste to energy project.
Scrutinising CP Group’s acquisition of Tesco
The decision of Thailand’s competition authorities will set a precedent regarding merger control and provide clarity on market definitions.
PPP projects in Thailand’s EEC
Thailand will continue to aggressively move forward with legislation that streamlines implementation of important PPP projects. This legislative trend presents new opportunities for foreign and local investors alike, with a focus particularly in Thailand’s infrastructure sector ...
Community-based power projects in Thailand
A feed-in tariff scheme for power generated by community-based projects has been approved.
Thailand Plus incentives under BOI
The two new incentives encourage companies to move from overseas to Thailand.
Thailand’s OTCC issues first industry-specific conduct guidelines
Guidelines on the conduct between wholesale and retail business operators and their trade partners announced by the Office of Trade Competition Commission.
Amendment to the Consumer Protection Act 
The Act strengthens the law relating to the safety of products and services.
Personal Data Protection Act published in the Government Gazette
Business operators should ensure that their businesses comply with the PDPA.
Update on Stamp Duty regulating electronic transactions
A new notification requires parties who enter certain electronic transactions to pay stamp duty in cash.
Ministerial Regulation removing back office services from the Foreign Business Operations Act announced
Certain back office service businesses will no longer require a foreign business licence.
Developments in Thai M&A
Corrupt practices, environmental breaches and merger filing are becoming more significant priorities for clients ...
Thailand: Projects and Energy
Commentary on the latest developments in the Thai projects and energy sector ...
Secondary laws under the Trade Competition Act BE 2560
The enactment of these five Notifications represents a significant leap of progress.
Thailand Update: Amendment to Work Permit Law
In response to criticism, the government decided to amend the Emergency Decree on Managing of Foreigners with relaxed penalties ...
Leasing of residential buildings − A contract-controlled business
The Contract Committee of The Consumer Protection Board recently announced a new Notification which designates the lease of residential property as a “contract-controlled business”.
New Mining Regulations for Thailand
On 30th January 2018, the Ministry of Industry issued a new notification regarding prohibited actions for foreigners ...
Mergers and acquisitions in Thailand
A number of factors are making Thailand a target of choice for international and regional investment ...
Thailand Anti-Corruption Update
National Anti-Corruption Commission Guidelines to Supplement Section 123/5 of the Organic Act on Counter Corruption ...
Amendment to the Thai Civil and Commercial Code
Part IX: Combination of Limited Companies ...
Thailand: Amendment to the Public Company Act
The National Council for Peace and Order has considered the lack of clarity on conditions, procedures and time limitations related to the laws governing business operations ...
Thailand: The Act on the Amendment to the Civil Procedure Code (No. 30) B.E. 2560 (2017)
There are a number of amendments to the current Civil Procedure Code (CPC) as part of its legal execution ...
Projects & Energy Special Report: Thailand: New Minerals Act
A new Minerals Act (BE 2560 (2017) was published on March 2, 2017 and took effect on August 30, 2017 (180 days after the publication date) ...
Thailand: ERC Announcement - Purchase of Electricity From Hybrid-Renewable Energy Small Power Producers
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued an invitation to bid for the sale of electricity from Hybrid-Renewable Energy Small Power Producers (SPP) on 4 August 2017 ...
Thailand: New Amendment to the Labor Law
The Labor Protection Act B.E. 2541 (“LPA”) was first enacted in February 1998; the LPA has been amended several times ...
Thailand: Extension of the Reduced VAT Rate
Value added tax (VAT) is an indirect, non-cumulative, consumption tax levied on the supply of goods or provision of services in Thailand ...
Thailand: Ten year visa extension
Due to the rapidly increasing number of foreign senior-citizens seeking Thailand as a retirement destination, Thailand’s Cabinet recently approved the ten-year retirement visa extension ...
Thailand: The New Trade Competition Act
On 24 March 2017, the National Legislative Assembly (the “NLA”) in Thailand passed the final reading of the draft Trade Competition Act ...
Thailand: Amendment to BOI Act to create new BOI benefits
The Thai government has recently been promoting “Thailand 4.0”, which refers to creative and innovative industries ... as a master plan to pull Thailand out of the middle-income trap and toward becoming a high-income country ...
Energising Thailand’s M&A sector
With a focus on the energy and natural resources sector, Chandler & Thong-ek Partner Ratana Poonsombudlert answers our questions on Thailand’s M&A present and future
Related Articles
Are you ready for the global tax reform?
A brief discussion on how MNCs should respond to the OECD’s new measures relating to Automatic Exchange of Information and Transfer Pricing issues
Vietnam: Remarkable changes in the new Law on Enterprises
On June 17, 2020, the National Assembly officially passed a new Law on Enterprises to replace the current Law on Enterprises ...
Copyright and remote learning in the time of Covid-19
On August 15, 2020, Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones to defer the opening of classes from August 24, 2020 to October 5, 2020 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic ...
Related Articles by Jurisdiction
PPP projects in Thailand’s EEC
Thailand will continue to aggressively move forward with legislation that streamlines implementation of important PPP projects. This legislative trend presents new opportunities for foreign and local investors alike, with a focus particularly in Thailand’s infrastructure sector ...
New regulation on the prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages online
In line with evolving trends in technology, certain entrepreneurs and retailers have started using online channels to sell alcoholic beverages, which makes it difficult to ensure the sale of such beverages is in accordance with existing laws ...
Latest Articles
Are you ready for the global tax reform?
A brief discussion on how MNCs should respond to the OECD’s new measures relating to Automatic Exchange of Information and Transfer Pricing issues
Sanctions and Investigations Q&A
Asian-mena Counsel sought wise counsel on the key issues in these risk-heavy areas from those with expertise at leading International law firm Baker McKenzie, and two thought-leading GC’s ...
Anti-corruption compliance in India
In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in how corporate India addresses corruption, according to Manjula Chawla, Chandni Chawla and Ashna Gupta, of Phoenix Legal ...