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Thailand’s ETDA Set to Release Far Reaching Royal Decree on Digital Processing Processors Ensnaring Foreign Companies Supplying Thai Consumers

On 25 October 2021, the Thai Cabinet approved in principle the national Electronic Transactions Development Agency’s (“ETDA”) release of its Royal Decree on Supervision of Digital Platform Services Required to be Notified (“DPRD”) under the auspices of the Electronic Transactions Act B.E. 2544 (2001).

The Decree requires that the EDTA be notified by business operators intending to provide digital platform services to consumers in Thailand. Subject to further announcement by EDTA on specific criteria for exclusion, the Decree may exclude digital platform services already regulated by other specific government authorities, or any other types of digital platform services to be prescribed by ETDA.

For a digital platform service provider located outside Thailand but subject to the Decree, such service provider is required to appoint a local representative in Thailand without limitation of liability. The assumptions of ETD to deem that foreign business operators having business operation in Thailand include its services or products are delivered or identified using the Thai language, using ‘.th’ or having domain names with meaning to Thailand, or having Thai domain names,  offering payments in Thai Baht, using Thai law as a governing law for transactions on the platform, giving considerations to service providers in searching for IP addresses on internet for aiding consumers in Thailand in particular to have access to the digital platform services, having office, departments, personnel providing supports or assists users of the platform in Thailand; or issuing invoices to users in Thailand. Subject to further announcements by ETDA on specific types of operators which may not be subjected to the requirements, the ETDA may impose requirements to notify users on matters concerning formation, policies and/or procedures that the digital service providers must adhere to:

  • Terms of use, service suspension, fee calculation, considerations, service fees and relevant expenses;
  • Criteria for  display of rankings, or recommendations of products or services, as well as offering of advertisings;
  • Feedback mechanism and opinion of users on the platform;
  • Information center, complaints, claims, and dispute settlement;
  • Access and use of data;
  • Notice and takedown measures; and
  • Other conditions as prescribed by the ETDA.

Digital platform providers are additionally subjected to various reporting obligations under the DPRD. They must annually submit a report to the EDTA within 30 days of the fiscal year-end detailing their size, volume of turnover and level of compliance with the DPRD’s various requirements, stipulations and obligations in terms of its activities in Thailand. The EDTA is empowered to shut down any affected digital platform provider that fails to comply with the DPRD’s rules and regulations, and entities that continue to be in breach within 90 days of having received a notice or order from the EDTA to cease any violations may be struck off its approved list and permanently banned from conducting commercial activities in Thailand. The DPRD is still technically at the draft stage and making its way through review by the Council of State before the Thai cabinet approves it, after which it will be published in the Royal Thai Gazette and duly entering into force, which is expected to occur within the next few weeks.
 

The information provided in this email is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.

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Vinay Ahuja
Partner, Head of Regional Banking, Finance & Technology, India Desk and Indonesia Practice 
vinay.ahuja@dfdl.com

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Kraisorn Rueangkul
Partner
kraisorn@dfdl.com