To address the urgent need regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 which has prolonged since the beginning of this year, the Office of Board of Investment has launched the recent relief measures under the Announcement No. Por. 4/2563 (“Announcement”) on 12 May 2020 in accordance with the Investment Protection Act B.E. 2520 (1977). In order to mitigate impacts suffered by business operation and properly adjust the regulatory requirements accordingly, four measures are approved under this Announcement, primarily providing a temporary relaxation upon the deadlines and procedural requirements under investment conditions imposed by Board of Investment (“BOI”) on the promoted businesses. Any business which is eligible for the promotion of BOI could be entitled to such relief to the extent where the relevant conditions are fulfilled thereof.
1. Extension as to the importation of machinery and commencement of full operations for promoted businesses under the Measures for Improvement of Production Efficiency Scheme
Under such promotion scheme, promoted businesses which has their deadlines for the machinery importation and the request for commencement of full operations due during the period from 1st January to 30th June 2020 could extend their deadlines for 6 months. Any business operator who wishes to obtain this entitlement shall apply to BOI for this extension within August 2020. Upon BOI’s approval, the eligible applicants are additionally entitled to an exemption of import duties on machineries during the extended period.
For promoted businesses under this same scheme whose deadlines fall between other periods, there are opportunities for them to be granted this extension, provided that they are required to submit appropriate evidence in relation to the impacts suffered from the pandemic for BOI’s consideration.
Nevertheless, any promoted business which was previously approved with a deadline extension to fulfill operational capacity as per indicated requirements shall not be entitled to this relief.
2. Extension as to the submission of request for commencement of full operations
For promoted businesses that are obliged to submit a request for commencement of full operations in the period between 1st March to 30th June 2020, such deadlines could be extended for 6 months from the former due date. Likewise, the business operators are required to apply to the BOI in order to obtain the extension under this measure.
After approval, their privileges remain as the previous conditions and will not be altered by virtue of this Announcement during the extended period. In that regard, the business operators shall be granted with both their tax and non-tax privileges, such as exemptions of corporate income tax, permits regarding foreign skilled workers and experts, and any extension of exempted periods of import duties on raw material or essential materials used in production for export.
3. Extension as to the requirements of international certifications or other equivalents certification requirements
For promoted businesses that are obliged to obtain international certifications, such as ISO 9002, CMMI or any other equivalent certifications, with due deadlines that fall between 1st March to 30th June 2020, their deadlines are automatically extended for a period of 4 months without any requirement to notify or submit a request to relevant officers.
4. Submission of request for temporary business cessation
In general, temporary business cessation of more than two months requires BOI’s prior approval. However, if the business operators have temporarily ceased their operations under promoted businesses for a period of more than 2 months between 1st March to 30th June 2020, they can merely notify such cessation via BOI’s online platform without obtaining any official permission.
Additionally, these business operators do not have obligations to notify the terminated employment of foreign skilled workers or experts that are entitled to privileges for visas and work permits during this temporary business cessation. If the visas and work permits have expired, the business operators can apply for a permit extension as usual.