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February 13, 2023

Thailand Reissues Regulation on Gifts to State Officials

Thailand’s Office of the Prime Minister has issued a new regulation titled Giving or Receiving Gifts of State Officials B.E. 2565 (2022). This regulation, which took effect on January 13, 2023, repeals the previous 2001 version and updates certain provisions to be in sync with Thailand’s primary anticorruption law, the Organic Act on Anti-Corruption B.E. 2561 (2018).

The regulation prohibits state officials’ family members from receiving gifts from people who are dealing with the officials’ respective agencies. It also prohibits state officials from giving gifts to their supervisors and their supervisors’ family members. An exception, carried over from the previous version of the regulation, is provided for gifts on limited “customary occasions” valued at THB 3,000 or less.

There are some notable revisions in the definitions of the new regulation. The term “gift” is now clearly defined to include “training” or “seminars.” In addition, the term “family members” now includes spouses living together “as husband and wife,” even if not legally married. For example, the common-law spouse of an officer considering a license application is not allowed to receive a gift from or attend an overseas seminar organized by the applicant.

The regulation also provides:

  • Guidelines for state officials to self-report in case of violation by a family member;
  • Instructions on how to deal with the gifts received in violation; and
  • Disciplinary actions for violation.

Importantly, the regulation continues to prohibit the receipt of gifts by state officials’ family members but does not expressly criminalize the giving of gifts by private parties. However, all who deal with government officials should take note of the updated regulation to avoid creating a situation that might violate the rules.

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