Agri­cul­tural Land Leases Off Lim­its to For­eign­ers

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Legal Updates -

Amend­ments to the Agri­cul­tural Land Lease Act ef­fec­tive as of 30 April 2016 in­tro­duce a broad pro­hi­bi­tion on “for­eign­ers” from leas­ing land for agri­cul­tural pur­poses.

The amend­ments de­fine “for­eigner” gen­er­ally along the same lines as Thailand’s For­eign Busi­ness Act, with one ma­jor dif­fer­ence: ju­ris­tic en­ti­ties ( such as lim­ited com­pa­nies or part­ner­ships) which have as lit­tle as 25% non- Thai own­er­ship will be con­sid­ered “for­eign”.

The amend­ments do not ap­ply to for­eign­ers who are pro­tected by treaty or re­ceive Board of In­vest­ment pro­mo­tion. Sig­nif­i­cantly, there is no grand­fa­ther­ing clause in the amend­ments, thus they crim­i­nal­ize struc­tures that were le­gal be­fore the amend­ments went into ef­fect. Par­ties do, how­ever, have three years to com­ply with the amend­ments, mean­ing “for­eign­ers” will have a pe­riod to di­vest hold­ings that were le­gal un­der prior law.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Price­sanond at shel­wig@ price­sanond. com.

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