Thai Government Hotel License Amnesty Announcement

One of Thailand’s leading international legal advisors, namely “Baker Mckenzie Thailand” has issued a information alert (June 2019) informing interested parties that “Thailands National Council for Peace & Order” has issued Order No. 6/2562 on the 12th of June, 2019 whereby the Thai authorities agree to temporarily cease the enforcement of certain town planning and building control regulations on hotels.

Thailand has a huge amount of non-licensed hotels, which have operated under the radar for years and growing safety and building concerns such as a lack of fire safety systems in many of these non-licensed hotels, and the governments obvious loss of tax revenue from these hotel businesses has pre-empted this reaction from the government.

In essence this temporary suspension by the government comes into effect on the 12th of June, 2019 and ends on the 18th of August, 2021 and targets buildings which were built before the 18th of August, 2016and are currently being operated as hotels without function/meeting rooms.

Under Order No. 6/2562 certain types of hotel operators can be released from criminal prosecution/liability for their non-compliance of the following laws:

  1. The usage of land in violation of regulations under the Town Planning Act, B.E. 2518 of 1975.
  2. Operating a hotel business without a license under the Hotel Act, B.E. 2547 of 2004.
  3. Modifying a building and using or changing a buildings usage without first obtaining a permit under the Building Control Act, B.E. 2522 of 1979.

In order to qualify for this amnesty, non-licensed hotel operators must first inform the authorities of their existence, and secondly, improve their fire safety systems before the 9th of September, 2019. Naturally other criteria, procedures and conditions are likely to follow and further clarification is expected from the authorities.

The Governments primary goal is to work in partnership with these non-licensed hotels, and to allow them sufficient time to become fully compliant, and to finance these compliancy costs by allowing these non-licensed hotel operators to continue to operate their businesses without the fear of any criminal prosecution.

This recent action by the Government has been broadly welcomed by Thailand’s hospitality sector, and is being seen as a much needed initiative.