An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

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DuiDui49
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by DuiDui49 » May 28, 2015, 4:50 pm

"PHUKET: -- A new law, due to come into force in July, could mean an end to demands by officials for "unofficial fees" to issue permits, licenses or registration documents.

Here, Tippaya Moonmanee of law firm Duensing Kippen analyses the new law and how it works.

Historically, obtaining a license, registration, permit or any other form of government permission has often been frustrating and costly in Thailand.

Inefficiencies and the all-too-common "tea money" or "unofficial fees" charged by government officers to perform their administrative duties, stem from the broad discretion government offices have up to now generally been given to determine what an applicant must do or provide in order to obtain a license, registration, or permission.

Recently, however, the Thai government enacted a law that may significantly reduce, or even eliminate, such waste and untoward practices.

The Licensing Facilitation Act (2015) was formally published on January 22 this year and will take effect a couple of months from now, on July 21.

With a few notable exceptions (they include court procedures and licensing related to strategic military operations), the Act applies to all licenses, registrations, and permissions that Thai law requires or allows individuals to obtain.

It also applies to the government offices charged with issuing these documents.

Furthermore, the Act requires that all government offices involved must produce, and make available to the public, a manualthat details the procedure, timing, and specific requirements in order to obtain the licenses, registrations, or permissions that they administer.

This includes lists of all necessary documents that must be provided.

Significantly, once a manual is in place, Thai government offices covered by the Act will no longer have discretion to deviate from the requirements therein.

If, but only if, an application does not meet the requirements in the manual, an office may refuse an application.

However, in such a case the government office must make its refusal in writing to the applicant within the time required by the Manual.

This written notice must also explain why the office is refusing the application and detail how the applicant should revise the application to make it acceptable.

If an office is unable to make an initial determination on an application within the time required by the manual, that office must explain, within the following seven days and in writing to the applicant, why it was not possible to meet the deadline.

It must also send a copy of the explanation to an administrative oversight committee.

The written notice to the applicant must be repeated every seven days until the office provides its written decision on the application.

In the event any such office fails to comply with the Act's requirements "it shall be deemed that it commits or omits the commission of an act which causes damage to other persons; provided that such commission or omission was not caused by force majeure.”

This administrative law may not appear significant to some. And only time will tell how it will be implemented in practice. However, it is a welcome addition to Thailand's legal landscape.

We believe that, properly implemented, the Act has the potential to greatly improve administrative conduct and services in Thailand.

Source: http://www.thephuket...cials-52503.php


-- Phuket News 2015-05-28
"


Best regards
//DuiDui
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FrazeeDK
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by FrazeeDK » May 28, 2015, 8:05 pm

sounds good, too good.. Note that each office is required to develop a "manual" describing all requirements.. There's the kicker.. Developing such a manual will likely take forever...
Dave

jackspratt
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by jackspratt » May 28, 2015, 8:10 pm

Logically, by "office", they mean Head Office. Otherwise the new law is a nonsense.

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redwolf
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by redwolf » May 28, 2015, 9:39 pm

Bad news for mia nois & hot secretaries of officials, a dip in the pocket money sure to affect retail sales.

---

Here's the actual document in English:

http://www.opdc.go.th/uploads/files/255 ... T_2015.pdf

RW
AUT VIAM INVENIAM AUT FACIAM | ARCANA IMPERII | ALIS AQUILAE

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waanjai
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by waanjai » May 28, 2015, 11:07 pm

DuiDui49 wrote: If, but only if, an application does not meet the requirements in the manual, an office may refuse an application.
However, in such a case the government office must make its refusal in writing to the applicant within the time required by the Manual.
This written notice must also explain why the office is refusing the application and detail how the applicant should revise the application to make it acceptable.
If an office is unable to make an initial determination on an application within the time required by the manual, that office must explain, within the following seven days and in writing to the applicant, why it was not possible to meet the deadline.
It must also send a copy of the explanation to an administrative oversight committee.
The written notice to the applicant must be repeated every seven days until the office provides its written decision on the application.
Who shall read all these refusals in Thai language? Your wives? Who are so competent in bureaucratic affairs? :-"
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wazza
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by wazza » May 28, 2015, 11:38 pm

I would imagine the immigration mannual, would have an english translation to refer to ??

AHHH TIT

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Stantheman
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by Stantheman » May 29, 2015, 6:56 am

But does the terms "permits, licenses or registration documents" apply to extension of permissions to stay in kingdom from immigration office? That is going to be the main concerns for most members on this forum who are here on retirement or marriage visa.

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merchant seaman
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by merchant seaman » May 29, 2015, 7:08 am

perhaps they will come to the conclusion that it would be easier to just get rid of retirement and marriage visas altogether. Keep complaining and keep the emails going to your Embassy.
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noosard
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by noosard » May 29, 2015, 8:58 am

merchant seaman wrote:perhaps they will come to the conclusion that it would be easier to just get rid of retirement and marriage visas altogether. Keep complaining and keep the emails going to your Embassy.
What and give us citzenship instead
No think it will stay the same but you must have the correct docs
with I's dotted and T's crossed, no tolerance on slightly incorrect docs

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merchant seaman
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by merchant seaman » May 29, 2015, 9:05 am

More like leave and get out of "OUR COUNTRY".
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noosard
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by noosard » May 29, 2015, 10:24 am

Never happen
Make uncomfortable but too much money to lose

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Khun Paul
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by Khun Paul » May 29, 2015, 2:47 pm

As ' Stantheman ' has pointed out I read the edict a few times and I struggle to see where if at all this new law actually specifies Visas.
After rereading for a further two to three times I came to the conclusion. It doesn't at all, we are all jumping to a reasonable expectation that issuance of any documents by the Government is covered by this new law, but although it would be fantastic if this was the case, I see a flaw. In that this as far as I can ascertain reflects permits and other licences for working and carrying on a business etc , nowt to do with Immigration Law and the issuance /granting of Visas. I may be wrong but I am erring on the side of caution here, do not count your chickens just yet, le us wait and see.

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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by jackspratt » May 29, 2015, 3:30 pm

I agree with KP (and those before him).

Section 3 (from redwolf's translation) says:

This Act applies to the granting of all permissions or licensing as well as all registrations or notifications in which the applications for those are required by law or rules prior to do any activity.

and

“Laws related to licensing” means all laws with the provisions that require the granting of license prior to do any activity or business;

I can't see how anything there applies to immigration matters around visa extensions.

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waanjai
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by waanjai » May 30, 2015, 9:43 pm

If you take a closer look at the contents of the stamps given to aliens while they extend their original non-immigrant visa at the Immigration Offices in Thailand You will very often find the words "permission" or "permit to stay" in the Kingdom as the key words.

Clearly, these are licenses or permits that fall under the new act. But the Immigration Police will clearly state that the required manual for the permissions to stay in the Kingdom for Aliens is already in existence in form of the relevant National Police Orders that detail the various possibilities for an allien to receive a permission to legally stay in the Kingdom for a longer period than a visit as a tourist.

There are still a few licenses or permits in existence for which there is no manual yet. Two of them became more widely known even to the more upcountry farangs in the last year(s):

The certificate of residence issued by the Immigration Office on request. This is typically needed for buying a car or a motorcycle in your own name or for applying for a Thai driving licence in those cases in which the applicant does not possess a yellow housebook as certificate of residence.
The certificate of residence was not very often needed in the past as most of the time the Thai partner took over the role of the buyer in contracts. Since that changed the "free" certificate of residence changed into a certificate for which there was a fee of 500 Baht asked for.

In the last couple of years more and more aliens's passports expired due to an already long stay in the Kingdom. Thus it became necesssary to copy the relevant history of (the yearly) permissions to stay of the past into new passports. Not in all cases this was a very transparent history and easy job to do. So they started to ask for a new fee of 500 Baht for the transfer of older permimssions to stay from the outdated to the new passport. In some cases the alien did not have to pay the 1900 baht for the issuance of a complete new yearly extension for the new passport.

The forthcoming act will surely have the effect that in the future the Immigration Office will be able to create new receipt forms for officially recognizing the receipt of the fees collected - giving the aliens another piece of paper to look at at home.
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jackspratt
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by jackspratt » May 31, 2015, 8:15 am

waanjai wrote:If you take a closer look at the contents of the stamps given to aliens while they extend their original non-immigrant visa at the Immigration Offices in Thailand You will very often find the words "permission" or "permit to stay" in the Kingdom as the key words.

Clearly, these are licenses or permits that fall under the new act......................
I disagree - on the basis that I don't believe that residing in Thailand constitutes an "activity", and it is most unlikely to be a "business" (see the sections I quoted in my post above).

But we shall see. :D

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noosard
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by noosard » May 31, 2015, 8:55 am

I think it does include Immigration as thet are Thai Officials
Can not see why our beloved PM would except these guys to be allowed to continue being corrupt

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Khun Paul
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by Khun Paul » May 31, 2015, 10:06 am

No they are Thai Police Officers as opposed to Government Officials in the true sense of the word.

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noosard
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by noosard » May 31, 2015, 12:10 pm

Still they are not above the law
Might have more chance to bend it

Hammerheads
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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by Hammerheads » June 4, 2015, 9:26 pm

Will it stop the old bill flagging me over and passing a hand close to the gear lever demanding money for no reason at all? The last one who tried it took nothing after I asked my colleague to translate "that's odd, in England police would be regarded as criminals if they did this". Didn't realise how close I was "sailing to the wind" - just my complete stubbornness I guess.

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An end to 'unofficial fees' charged by Thai officials?

Post by sabaidee_mike » June 24, 2015, 12:04 pm

Just a note from Udon Immigration.
I visited last week to get a proof of Residence form. Officially Free.
It was 16:00, there was a large queue. They ushered me to the front and had me processed and done in 15 minutes.
Of course, the 500 baht "fee" was requested. And I obliged, not wanting to cause a fuss and actually happy to pay €15 for express service.
By contrast. I visited Phuket Immigration for the same, there is a lovely American member of the Tourist Police waiting to assist with filling forms etc. For Proof Of Residence you need the same as Udon, plus a form completed by the home owner in the Tambien Baan and a copy of their ID card. So a little more complicated. But there is no fee. That was made absolutely clear on notices in the waiting area and by the Tourist Cop. But of course, I had to take my place in the queue. 1 hour plus wait.
Also in Phuket. It is possible to obtain Car and Bike licenses without an International License or a Translation. I took my UK License to the Licensing office, along with a letter from Immigration, copies of Passport and Visa etc. I had to watch a 1 hour video on Traffic Regulations. In Thai with English subtitles. I was then ushered downstairs. Photo taken and 2 Licenses issued. 120 Baht each. 2 year validity. (I have 1 year Multi Entry Non-Imm O Visa). During the brief before the video. The Supervisor said it is also possible to get a Temporary license, valid for 3 - 6 months, with a Tourist Visa. Not a Visa Waiver. Start to finish, 3 hours. And copying service onsite at 2 baht per page.

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