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Effective on 25 March 2024, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (“SET”) updated the requirements for acquisition, by a listed company or its subsidiaries, of the assets of a non-listed company (“Backdoor Listing”), and the requirements for the listing of securities of a company formed by amalgamation between a listed company and non-listed company (“Relisting”). These revisions aim to strengthen the consideration process and the required qualifications of companies proceeding with Backdoor Listing and Relisting, in order to maintain the same standards comparable to a new listing.

On 12 March 2024, the Cabinet approved in principle the draft Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (No..), B.E. (“New Alcoholic Beverage Bill”) as proposed by the Ministry of Public Health. The New Alcoholic Beverage Bill has now been forwarded to the Office of the Council of State for further consideration.

The Department of Climate Change and Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is pushing ahead with the second draft of the Climate Change Bill (“Bill”), which is currently undergoing the process of public hearing until mid-April 2024. It is expected that the Bill will be considered by the cabinet for approval in principle in June 2024.
The Bill lays out Thailand’s action plan for climate actions and, importantly, imposes obligations and penalties for the private sector for the purposes of advancing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Some of the key elements of the Bill are summarized in this article.

Following a new regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand defining new characteristics of bills (i.e., bills of exchange and promissory notes) that are considered securities, the Capital Market Supervisory Board of Thailand has amended the requirements for offerings of bills to match the new definition. The new offering requirements will come into effect on 16 March 2024.

The Ministry of Commerce has launched a public hearing relating to the draft ministerial regulation regarding the businesses which will be exempted from the requirement to obtain a Foreign Business License or Foreign Business Certificate. For this initial public hearing, approximately 11 businesses have been proposed to be exempted, with the aim to attract foreign investors and promote investments in Thailand.

To facilitate and support Thai residents’ offshore investments through local licensed intermediaries, the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a new notification to amend requirements on the existing Collaboration Scheme between Thai Intermediaries and offshore financial institutions in offering investments in offshore securities and derivatives denominated in foreign currencies to investors based in Thailand, effective from 16 February 2024.

On 25 December 2023, Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Committee (PDPC) published two subordinate regulations regarding cross-border transfer of personal data under the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019) (PDPA) in the Government Gazette. These two rules are (1) Whitelist Notification; and (2) the Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) and Appropriate Safeguards Notification, both of which will come into force on 24 March 2024.
Businesses may need to revisit which cross-border transfer option is appropriate for their specific circumstances, particularly considering whether their existing BCRs (for the Office of the PDPC’s approval) or appropriate safeguards (e.g., existing contractual clauses) are in compliance with the requirements set out by these new subordinate rules.