Magna Carta Law Firm > Articles posted by Phonglert Kerdtem (Page 5)

CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

Charity Golf Tournament
JUNE 2016 – CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT

Charity Golf Tournament (1)

Magna Carta team headed by our CEO, Mr. Chalermwat “Pico” Wimuktayon, joined the Charity Golf Tournament organized by the Ramkamhaeng University Alumni Association Chonburi (RUAAC) headed by the Governor of Chonburi, Mr. Komson Ekachai. Mr. Charlermwat “Pico” Wimuktayon is also a part of the committee of RUAAC.  The event was held at Khao Kheaw Country Club last June 25, 2016.

Considerations for Divorce in Thailand

If you are unfortunate enough to be facing divorce in Thailand then you may find the procedures and regulations far different to that of say EU Nations or the USA.

In general, if you or your spouse are currently living in the Kingdom you can file for a divorce provided there are sufficient grounds. If the marriage was registered in Thailand and both parties agree then the process is mainly administrative.

An uncontested divorce can be obtained at the local District Office (khet/amphur). The application must be made in writing and witnessed by two people and registered with the relevant authorities. There is no requirements for any lawyers attendance.

 

Registering the Divorce

Registration is made at the District Office. Normally it is not possible to book an appointment.

You are required to take:

  • Completed signed documents
  • ID photo’s
  • Passports
  • The marriage certificate

What if the Divorce is Contested?

If either party contests the divorce, or you both can not agree on financial issues, division of assets or child custody, then a divorce may be filed with a Thai court. The reasons and grounds for a divorce has to be demonstrated personally in court.

Grounds for divorce include:

  • Separation of over three years
  • Adultery
  • Desertion of partner for over twelve months
  • Criminal misconduct
  • Prison
  • Insanity for over three years
  • Misbehaviour
  • Physical disability causing husband and wife unable to cohabitate
  • Incurable disease
  • Mental or physical abuse
  • A spouse has disappeared
  • A spouse has failed to provide proper maintenance and support their partner

 

How are the Assets Divided in Court?

Thailand is a “Community Property” jurisdiction. This means that separate property and assets acquired before marriage remain with their original owners. Property and assets acquired whilst in marriage are equally divided.  

However, the rules of division of property are complex and the court will decide according to these rules. Prenuptial agreements can alter the distribution of property during a divorce.

Debts incurred during the marriage are normally the responsibility of both parties.

 

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are legal in Thailand providing they meet the requirements of Thai Law. Thailand has it’s own requirements for registering a prenuptial agreement before marriage. If the agreement was taken in another country then generally the Thai courts will accept it as long as the agreement was legal in the originating country.

 

What if you are Living Outside Thailand

If you are now living abroad, the Thai court may potentially still have jurisdiction over a divorce action. Therefore a lawyer may still be able to file for a divorce for you even if you are living outside the country.

However, normally a plaintiff must appear at least once in person during the legal procedure.  

 

Divorce Settlements

An arrangement has to be made in a settlement if children are involved. If there is no provision made the court will determine the provisions.

In the case of adultery, normally the innocent spouse receives the benefits. The guilty party may have to pay living allowance as part of the agreement. However, the right is void when the party receiving the allowance remarries.  

 

Foreign Nationals

In general, foreign nationals may obtain a divorce in Thailand providing they can prove minimum residency requirements.
If the divorcing couple did not marry in Thailand then normally they do not qualify for an administrative uncontested divorce at the District Office. Providing they qualify a divorce may be applied for through the Thai courts.

Thailand Leads Hotel Residence Boom in SEA

Thailand leads hotel residence boom in SEA

According to new research by C9 Hotelworks, the Thai based consulting group. There are currently over 28,000 hotel-branded residential units for sale across the region representing 120 projects.

This led to Thailand becoming Southeast Asia’s number one in the field and exemplified the close association between global hospitality brands and property developers in Thailand. There is an estimated US $ 3.5 billion inventory for sale.

The rapid growth of traditional resort hotels cashing in on the real estate market has driven mass investment. The large hotel chains are using their weighty brand names to associate quality and service that is synonymous with their luxury chains. This in turn gives reassurance and an expectation of quality to the potential buyers.

 

Global Financial Crisis

During the global financial crisis, Asia like many other regions fell back to their core domestic market in terms of real estate. But more recently the progression has attracted an increasingly high volume of top tier developers with massive, large scale projects.

The differential between the average price of traditional urban Thai properties and resort destinations is significant. While urban prices of around US$ 7 sqm are still rising sharply the resort destinations are far lower at US$ 4sqm. Plus the latter offer a plethora of services and extras that are corresponding with a luxury brand.

Thailand leads the race at 37% with Indonesia 22% and Vietnam 18% also having considerable numbers. Malaysia and the Philippines 9% are also slowly growing with the same economic philosophy.

One key factor driving urban projects is the price of land. The projection forecasts calls for an increasing number of developers seeking associations and affiliations with major hotel group brands. This affiliation can offer between 20% / 30% premium in prices with the associated hospitality assets.

 

Phuket, Bangkok & Pattaya

The three top places in Thailand for such affiliated joint developments are Phuket, Bangkok and Pattaya. Together there are 44 developments with 5,000 units available for sale.

Another catalyst for the rising tide is the increasing demand by potential buyers for mix-use projects that contain hotel and real estate components. Large hotel brands can offer the facilities and luxury design, service that is almost becoming the norm for the buying market.

End users and in SEA now overshadows Traditional buyers. Asians are representing the largest buying segment showing a change in lifestyle living. Bangkok’s massive success story at the St Regis Residences demonstrated this, while a more recent Four Season’s development was also extremely popular.

Big Thai hotel and hospitality groups such as Minor, Onyx and Dusit are at the front end of this new economic push and are tapping into the movement both in Thailand and overseas. What is clear in looking at the landscape is that rapidly escalating land prices are driving developers to embrace mixed-use projects in increasing numbers, and often add in commercial, sporting and tourism attractions as part of broader lifestyle offerings.

 

Cost of Land

The facts and figures bear testament that the property market has a definitely changing face in Thailand and the SEA community as a whole.

Costs of land is partly driving this but it is more detailed than simply cost. The ability of global hotel chains with years of history and reputation have large input in the new growing market. Their brands associates with luxury, service and extremely high standards.

Together with their huge marketing awareness and past success, they are the perfect partners for developers to associate with and to provide the perfect dwelling solution.

It is the face of property development for the future in Thailand and throughout the whole region. Buyers are becoming more demanding and wish for more associated services alongside their actual living unit.    

 

Loan Assistance for Home Buyers in Thailand

Buying homes in Thailand has complications just like any other country in the world. Finding initial deposits and fulfilling the necessary legal and payment requirements is just as much a pain in Thailand as anywhere else, especially with the current world economic climate.

In October 2015 short-term intermediate measures were announced by Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong to help house buyers secure the all important and difficult loans. Hopefully this in turn will stimulate the real estate market which will drive further construction. Mr Tantivorawong declined to comment on the implementation of the land and buildings tax and when it might come into effect.

 

VAT Proposals

There is a proposal to increase VAT from seven to ten percent but it might be offset by the nationwide e-payment initiative being fully implemented. Added to this is the introduction to encourage businesses to have only one financial account.

The Minister also added that the real problem to people securing house loans at present was that the banks were reluctant to give out money during the current economic climate.

 

Press Rejection

Mr Tantivorawong went on to further say that this was not a matter that should have been brought to public attention by the press as nothing had been finalised and currently nothing has changed.

This confusion could prove to panic people and force delays in house buying while people hesitate for legislation. His concern was any uncertainty over the confusion and mix messages abounding.

Apisak reiterated that the draft of the Land and Construction tax is still very much under review by the ministry as the new Council of Economic Ministers had assigned more work and understanding to take place to enable fairness to all parties.

 

Land And Construction Tax

The former finance minister and the former deputy prime minister signed off on the bill before their replacements took office, but the new Council of Economic Ministers have decided to revise the bill before it goes in front of the new Cabinet. The Minister quoted that he hoped the revision would be completed by the end of 2015.

 

Loan Assistance

Due to all these delays and the uncertainty facing the ratification of the bill and the possible hike in VAT, Mr Tantivorawong said e-payments and the single account measures should be able to compensate for the income gained from the VAT increase.

He personally believes that the measures could compensate the missing revenue and there would be no need to increase VAT.

Due to the delay then short term loan assistance would be implemented to help people in the interim to aid their purchasing of homes.

The president of the Thai Condominium Association, Mr Prasert Taedullayasatit was quoted as saying that it would be better if low income buyers had financial assistance to help and make it easier to get mortgages. He highlighted that the low income market was only responsible for 10% of the overall Thai property market last year.

 

The Five Stimuli Package

Whilst the housing market faced all this confusion the government implemented five key strategies to bring stimulus to the economy.

  • Corporate income tax would be reduced from 23% to 20%
  • Corporate income tax and dividend tax exemptions will be provided for government venture capital funds for a period of ten years.
  • Real estate transfer fees will be reduced from 2% to 0.01% for six months and mortgage fees will be reduced to 1% for the same period.
  • The Government Housing Bank will receive 10 billion baht to provide assistance to low income earners.
  • First home buyers can deduct taxable income with 20% of home value for a period of five years.

This stimuli is an attempt to provide financial help in this difficult period of uncertainty in the home buying market and whilst the economic slowdown is currently in effect.

The confusion of possible legislation concerning the rise in VAT has compounded the situation and the government is at pains to convince the market that this is only a suggestion and is not ratified.

ASEAN Loan Wars

Asean Loan Wars

ASEAN was established in 1967 in Bangkok and is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Member countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress and the development of its members to bring regional stability and protection.  

Since the formation of ASEAN, many external countries have been keen to grab the opportunity to take advantage of the association for their own political and commercial purposes and especially to cement their interests in the region. The main four countries vying for control are China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S.A.

China, Korea and Japan are obviously keen to grow their involvement with countries on their borders. It has also become recent American policy that their interest into Asia as a whole is accelerating. Recently two major events took place that amplified the economic interests of Japan and China within ASEAN.

 

BEJINGS LOAN AID PLEDGES TO ASEAN:

At the recent East Asia summit of November 2015 in Kuala Lumphur, China promised US$1O billion in loans to help infrastructure in Southeast Asia. This mammoth incentive was greeted with mixed reviews as some countries saw that it was a sweetener to deflect attention away from China’s controversial land reclamation program.

There was more money on the table as Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin pledged an extra US$560 million towards aid for underdeveloped and poorer ASEAN states. This was aimed towards the Philippines and Vietnam as the most tension over the China Sea disputes is with these two countries.

US President Barack Obama is also highly concerned with the slowly declining political situation over the South China sea land reclamations by China and extended an invitation to the 10 ASEAN leaders to visit the US in 2016.

 

JAPAN ANNOUNCES EASIER YEN LOANS TO ASEAN COUNTRIES:

At the same Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Japan made a counter move to that of the Chinese loan pledge. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will relax its Yen loan scheme for ASEAN countries to boost their infrastructure.

Tokyo’s move seems to be a countermeasure to that of China to monopolise the huge demand for infrastructure development in Asia. Japan felt undermined by China winning the lucrative Indonesian high-speed railway project earlier in 2015.

The counter move will make it easier for Japan to provide development funds to emerging countries by lessening the loan processing time. Abe also reiterates his investment initiative he announced in May to provide US$110 billion to promote quality infrastructure in the next five years. Also, this announcement coincided with the news that Japan will extend Y17 billion in loans to Cambodia for road development from Phnon Penh and Thailand.

Japan also pledged assistance to train 40,000 people in Asia, including ASEAN and India over the next three years in tandem set up a fund known as Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund to female entrepreneurship in Asia.

This counter move by Japan compounds the battle that wealthy Asian and Western countries intend to wage against each other for cementing their foothold and control with the ASEAN countries.

 

ASEAN ALLIANCE:

There has been much work within the ASEAN group of countries to enhance development and growth within the alliance. There were destructions of many barriers and red tape to allow free trade and commerce to develop including visa restrictions. This allows fellow members to work in other countries, as long as it is in eight designated sectors.

However, it will take a lot of work to develop other areas especially those that are politically sensitive. Such areas are; auto production and agriculture.

One of the biggest hurdles for development between ASEAN countries is corruption. And there is a big gap between the richer ASEAN countries and the less developed members. Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Brunei are far more wealthy than Vietnam, Cambodia, myanmar and Laos.

There is a perception that this friction between the two different groups is purely on wealth. Furthermore, there is also a misinterpretation that this is an exploitation by the less wealthy countries. The battle to include ASEAN countries in economic policies of external nations will increase as more and more nations see the value and potential of the region.

U-Tapao soon to become a Commercial Airport

U-Tapao soon to become a Commercial Airport

U-Tapao airport is to become a commercial airport in mid-2016.  Under the cooperation between the Ministry of Transport and the Navy, the airport is expected to have an annual turnover of 3 million passengers by 2017.

The Minister of Transportation has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Navy Commander to jointly develop the area, make commercial plans, improve the infrastructure, and prepare the budgets to enable the transition. The commercial airport will be managed by the Navy under the concept of “one airport, two missions”–the first mission being security; the second, provision of commercial services to relieve congestion at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang Airports, which have been experiencing rapid passenger increases.

The two parties have set up 3 committees to coordinate cooperation in developing the airport infrastructure, business plans, and public relations.

The Transport Minister said publicity would be expedited for the use of the airport by both domestic and international airlines while transportation systems would be improved to enhance road and rail connections to the airport.  On the service side, he said preparation was under way to liaise with Thai Airways International for personnel support in case the Navy cannot meet the requirements.

According to the Navy Commander, the Navy has made an initial investment of over 200 million baht in the construction of a new passenger terminal, which will be opened on June 1, 2016, and has set an annual target of 3 million passengers by 2017, compared with the current annual average of 200,000.  Meanwhile, a number of commercial airlines have shown interest in operating flights to and from U-Tapao because of its strategic location for touring passengers and the expectation that the extension of their services will increase their per-flight numbers of passengers.

Magna Carta is the leading law firm in the seaboard region of Eastern Thailand. With highly experienced personnel, modern facilities, extensive knowledge of and proven track records in business and legal practices in Thailand in general and in the country’s Eastern Region in particular, and with head office in Pattaya (just 30 kms west of U-Tapao Airport and 130 kms southeast of the capital city of Bangkok, and in the center of Thailand’s leading tourism and industrial hubs), Magna Carta is in a unique position to help you succeed in whatever venture you plan to undertake. Our contact e-mail address is [email protected]

The original “Magna Carta” 1215

Original Magna Carta 1215
The Original Magna Carta 1215

Magna Carta Law Firm in Pattaya, Thailand, is celebrating their 11th year of business operations this year. It is also the 800th anniversary of their namesake, the Magna Carta (meaning “Great Charter”), which was a seminal legal document signed by King John of England and his rebellious nobles on the 15th June 1215 and which set out the rights of the individual to restrict the absolute power of the monarchy. In short, it was the cornerstone of the English ‘Constitution’, thus, the establishment of the principle that every individual, including the King, was subject to the law of the land. It promised, amongst other things, that all free men had the right to justice and that there must be no illegal imprisonment without a fair trial.

The Magna Carta 1215 was an important historical legal document. They subsequently use this as the starting point and the basis for defining the rights of the individual against the state. Its principles are at the heart of many modern countries’ democratic constitutions.

The Lawyers at Magna Carta Law Firm today also stand by these basic principles. They seek to uphold justice and the rights of their clients in all its forms. Armed with all the skills, they commit to achieving a legal solution for any problem or issue faced by their clients, whether it is advising them in the purchase or sale of a property or a business; protection of their rights against the vagaries of the criminal justice system; the recovery of monies and assets through the civil courts; obtaining a fair division of assets in a divorce; and even in death, ensuring a correct distribution of client’s assets according to their previously stated wishes.  

Indeed, Magna Carta offers a personal and dedicated service in all legal matters. This is carried out by a strong team of both qualified Thai Lawyers and foreign Legal Consultants. The entire team aim to achieve the desired outcome for every client.

Our Initial consultation is FREE!

E-mail: [email protected] for any legal enquiries

Telephone: 038 373735 for more information about our services

 

Amendments to the Foreign Business Act to be proposed to the Cabinet

Amendments to the Foreign Business Act to be proposed to the Cabinet

investment2The Commerce Ministry’s Department of Business Development (DBD) will propose that the Cabinet modernize the Foreign Business Act (FBA) and get Thailand ready for the seamless ASEAN market.

The amendment will focus on concession in order to provide fair competition for Thai and Foreign Business Investors. Furthermore, this will facilitate business growth, and eliminate the nominee issues.

Under the amended law, there will be streamlining of business regulations and foreigners will find the Thai environment more conductive to investment.

In addition, Thailand will be capable of competing under the coming regional integration, which will allow investors from the ASEAN countries to own up to 70 percent of certain service businesses.

 

 

New, Stricter Rules Established for Thailand’s Transportation

A common criticism of Thailand’s transportation such as that directed against hired car or taxis is that the drivers overcharge their customers by taking indirect longer routes. Pattaya City is among the areas affected.  As many tourists have experienced unsatisfactory customer services, a new regulation to control misbehaving drivers has been established.  In addition, drivers repeating the misconduct will be suspended for 3-7 days; and if they still fail to change their ways, their services will be permanently banned.

For more information please call Chonburi Transportation Authority Office Hotline number 1556.

DSI Crackdown on Thai Nominee Shareholding

DSI Crackdown on Thai Nominee Shareholding
Crackdown on Thai Nominee Shareholding

The Department of Special Investigations (DSI) had a meeting about a crackdown on foreign businesses who practice Thai nominee shareholding. This crackdown is to effectively control Thai companies.

Their objectives are for the Aliens coming to the Kingdom of Thailand, to operate their businesses according to the rules and regulations.

For more information please visit : https://www.dsi.go.th/