Customs Department: Austcham members to benefit from Trusted Traders Programme
On the 10th of January, a number of Austcham Directors, including Chris Larkin, Peter Emblin, and Alan Polivnick met with a delegation of officials from the Thai Customs Department, led by Kulit Sombatsiri, the Director General.
In this substantive meeting, Khun Kulit outlined new measures which would facilitate faster and more transparent processing for Australian importers into Thailand – designed to minimise bureaucratic blockages and effectively creating a virtual ‘green channel’ for selected Australian importers. This ‘Trusted Traders Programme’ will be exclusively available to a select group of importers who are members of Thai based Chambers of Commerce.
As the programme is rolled out, Austcham members who import into Thailand will soon be offered exclusive access to the system which is designed to give priority clearance and certainty to trusted Australian importers with excellent track records with the customs department.
At the meeting, the directors also presented a written submission to the customs department, based on extensive feedback from Austcham members. The submission focused on a number of key issues facing Australian businesses in Thailand including consistency in customs procedures and directives, as well as illegal smuggling and intellectual property issues surrounding the branding of Australian and New Zealand produce sold into Thailand.
Deputy Prime Minister Meeting
On the 12th of January, Austcham Director Christopher Larkin presented to Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong at Government House on issues relating to the government’s efforts to support the Digital Economy in Thailand. Other Austcham members who also attended included Glenn Andrews from Siteminder and Simon Wetherell from SW Consulting.
Attending with the Deputy Prime Minister also were officials from counterpart Ministries, such as Labour, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Digital Economy.
The meeting discussed a range of issues, in particular, easing restrictions around foreign investments in start-ups who wish to base themselves in Thailand. Mr Larkin pointed out in his presentation to the Deputy Prime Minister that Thailand has quickly become a destination of choice in Asia for Location Independent Professionals as well as firms wishing to use Thailand as a creative base and a global meeting point for their workers. However current government policy was not supportive of encouraging and engaging this new sector fully, and as a result Thailand stood to lose out to countries like Singapore and Indonesia which have begun to see these independent knowledge workers as a valuable resource.