Many companies that operate in Thailand under promotion by the Board of Investment (BOI) are encountering unique challenges during the COVID-19 crisis. Delays to logistics systems and fund remittance services, among other factors, have impeded their ability to comply with the conditions and regulatory duties imposed under their BOI investment project. The office of the BOI has therefore issued BOI Announcement No. Por. 4/2563 on May 12, 2020, which provides relief measures to qualifying BOI-promoted companies, to help mitigate the impact on their operations. The relief is generally in the form of much-needed time extensions to certain operational requirements, which are summarized below.
Extension for General Promoted Companies
All BOI-promoted companies with operation commencement deadlines that fall between March 1 and June 30, 2020, are granted an automatic six-month extension from the due date. During the extended period, these companies will still be entitled to the rights and privileges granted under the BOI promoted project(s).
Extension under BOI’s Measures for Improvement of Production Efficiency
BOI-promoted companies that have deadlines for importing machinery and commencing operations between January 1 and June 30, 2020, under the BOI’s Measures for Improvement of Production Efficiency, are eligible for a six-month extension. To qualify, they must apply for the extension by August 31, 2020. If approved, only machinery imported during the extension period would qualify for import duty exemption.
BOI-promoted companies under the same scheme whose deadlines do not fall between the dates above may also apply to extend their deadlines for importing machinery and commencing operations. However, approval would depend on whether they can present evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on their business, subject to certain exceptions.
Extension of Certification Requirements
All BOI-promoted companies with deadlines for obtaining international standards compliance certifications (e.g. ISO 9002, CMMI, etc.) between March 1 and June 30, 2020, are granted an automatic four-month extension from the due date.
Temporary Waiver of Operational Cessation Application Requirement
Temporary business cessation of more than two months usually requires preapproval by the BOI. The new relief measures waive that requirement for BOI-promoted companies that cease operations for more than two months between March 1 and June 30, 2020, provided that they submit an online notification to the BOI. Foreign experts and technicians employed by companies using the waiver will not lose their BOI work permit and visa during the cessation.