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Sun Legal Update: Setting Up a Food-Related Business Can Be Complicated

Sun Legal Sunbelt Update

The Department of Industrial Works announced that more than 1,000 new factories, mostly in the food industry, have been established over the past six months with investment of 56.3 billion baht.

Food-related factories may be eligible for Board of Investment status as the government designated the food industry as one of ten key growth engines in its “Thailand 4.0” economic model.

The government also created a food-optimized industrial park, known as Food Innopolis. Food Innopolis focuses on research, development and innovation and is located in the Thailand Science Park in Pathum Thani Province. It offers incentives such as corporate income tax exemption, special permit to own land and work permit/visa.

Setting up a food related business, including factories, requires considerable paperwork including Thai Food and Drug Administration approval and export licenses. Obtaining FDA approval requires the submission of ingredients for each product, each of which must have a license.

First, the business must apply for permission to produce on their premises, although not every food item requires such permission. Food produced for export only must have it.

The food industry is not only just a major contributor to Thailand’s economy, but is a big driver for exports, as well.

Coronavirus Update

Restrictions on visitors arriving to Thailand, including RT-PCR tests on arrival, have been lifted as May 1. However, visitors must still apply for a Thailand Pass QR code and have health insurance of US$10,000. Holders of a Thai work permit and Thai nationals won’t need the additional insurance.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced that it will seek the cancellation of the Thailand Pass system at the next meeting of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration this month.

Tourists could possibly complete their vaccination record on the TM6 arrival card. Currently, arrivals must still apply for the Thailand Pass but, with less documentation. The approval process should be faster than before.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, after the lifting of testing requirements, around 40,000-50,000 people registered for Thailand Pass in the first 12 hours.

Other measures that have been relaxed include alcohol sales at restaurants, allowing them to serve alcohol until midnight at venues with SHA Plus or Thai Stop Covid 2 Plus certifications. The TAT predicted that a million tourists a month will visit Thailand in the last quarter with the easing of entry requirements.

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