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The government implemented three rounds of foreign exchange deregulation which took effect on 22 May 1990, 1 April 1991 and May 1992 respectively. The deregulation was intended to make funds for international business transactions freely available and remove the requirement for prior BOT approval. Generally, foreign currency exchange transactions may now be processed through commercial banks.

 Importing and Repatriating Personal Funds

Foreigners in Transit 

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency a foreigner in transit, may bring into or take out of Thailand. There is no restriction on bringing Thai currency into Thailand, but BOT approval is required to take more than Baht 50,000 to other countries per trip or Baht 500,000 to neighboring countries and Vietnam per trip.

 Residents

Residents may bring an unlimited amount of foreign currency into Thailand, but must sell it to a commercial bank and convert it into Baht or deposit it in a foreign currency deposit account opened with a commercial bank within seven days from the date of arrival.

 Exchange Control on Trading
 
Imports

Most payments for imports can be approved by commercial banks. The banks require that documents such as invoices, bills of collection and, when appropriate, import permits be submitted to ensure that the transaction is bona fide before approving the payments. To pay for imports, importers may make payments by either withdrawing the foreign currency from their own foreign exchange currency deposit accounts at a commercial bank or by purchasing foreign currency from a commercial bank. Importers may now purchase foreign currency from a commercial bank or draw foreign currency from their own foreign currency deposit account in an amount not exceeding the value of the goods imported.

Unless otherwise provided under exchange control relations, any importation of goods above a certain value requires the importer to submit a bill of lading to the BOT through the Customs Department.

 Exports

Exports are not free from exchange restrictions, However, export proceeds above a certain value must be obtained within 120 days and must be sold to a commercial bank, converted into Baht, or deposited in a foreign currency deposit account at a commercial bank within 15 days from the date of acquisition. For any export of goods above a certain value, the exporter is required to submit a bill of lading to the BOT through the Custom Department, unless otherwise provided under exchange control regulations.

 Foreign Currency Deposit Accounts

Foreign currency deposit (FCD) may be opened by residents and non-residents at a commercial bank. Non-residents include branches or agents abroad of individuals residing in Thailand, but not branches or agents, in Thailand, of individuals residing abroad. Residents of Thailand include branch offices of foreign companies in Thailand, foreign subsidiaries in Thailand and resident individuals. Deposits into a foreign currency deposit account may require BOT approval, unless certain conditions are met.

 Non-Resident Baht Account

A non-resident may open a non-resident Baht account. Commercial banks can receive Baht into a non-resident Baht account where the money, which represents the exchange value of remitted foreign currency, is transferred from another non-resident account, or is it payment for goods, or where foreign currency is converted to Baht upon withdrawal from non-resident FCD. Baht withdrawal may be made in all cases.

 Importing and Exporting Investment Funds

 Importing

Remittances of funds to Thailand for investment and foreign loans are liberally permitted. However, foreign exchange inflows in the form of capital and loans must be surrendered to commercial banks or deposited into a foreign currency deposit account within seven days of the date of importation.

 Exporting

Repatriation of investment funds, dividends, and profits as well as repayments and interest payments on loans may now be freely made by submitting the relevant documentation to a commercial bank and, if the amount to be remitted is US$ 20,000 or more, a foreign exchange transaction form must be submitted to the commercial bank for approval. However, certain cases require prior approval from the BOT by submitting a foreign exchange transaction form and relevant documents through a commercial bank.

 The remittance of offshore loan into Thailand is not subject to any restriction, and repayment of principal and interest can be made simply by purchasing foreign currency at any commercial bank. A commercial bank is authorized to approve such requests, upon presentation of a foreign exchange transaction form if the amount to be remitted is US$ 20,000 or more.

 A commercial bank may also grant approval for remittances for payments under sale and purchase agreements, hire of work or service agreements, and franchise and license purchase agreements. However, if the amount to be remitted is US$ 20,000 or more, a foreign exchange transaction form must be submitted to a commercial bank.

 Securities, promissory notes, and bills of exchange may be sent abroad without restriction. Dividend payments to foreign shareholders may be processed and authorized by commercial banks, without limit, with the required supporting documents. In addition, commercial banks may also authorize the remittance of branch office profits and the remittance of capital upon terminating the business. Supporting documentation must be provided.

 Exchange Control and Promotes Businesses

Under the Investment Promotion Act, foreign investments in promoted industries are accorded incentives and privileges, including a guarantee of repatriation of profits, dividends, interest and imported capital.

A promoted individual or investor in a promoted activity can be granted permission to remit or take out foreign currency relating to the return of capital and payment under loans and other contracts.

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