EXCHANGE CONTROL REGULATIONS IN THAILAND
A Guide for the General Public
I. EXCHANGE CONTROL REGULATIONS
a. Rules and Regulations
The legal basis for exchange control in Thailand is derived from the Exchange Control Act (B.E. 2485) and Ministerial Regulation No. 13 (B.E. 2497) issued under the Exchange Control Act. These laws set out the principles of controls under which Notifications of the Ministry of Finance and Notices of the Competent Officer are issued.
The Bank of Thailand has been entrusted by the Ministry of Finance with the
responsibility of administering foreign exchange. The governor of the Bank of
Thailand shall appoint the officials of the Bank of Thailand as the Competent
Officers under the Exchange Control Act (B.E. 2485).
All foreign exchange transactions are to be conducted through commercial
banks and through authorized non-banks, namely authorized money changers,
authorized money transfer agents, and authorized companies, that are granted
foreign exchange licenses by the Minister of Finance. Any transactions not
conducted through the above-mentioned licensees require approval from the
Competent Officer on a case by case basis.
c. Currency Regulations
1. Foreign Currency
Foreign currencies can be transferred or brought into Thailand without limit. Any person receiving foreign currencies from abroad is required to repatriate such funds immediately and sell to an authorized bank or deposit them in a foreign currency account with an authorized bank within 360 days of receipt, except for foreigners temporarily staying in Thailand for not more than three months, foreign embassies, international organizations including their staff with diplomatic privileges and immunities, and Thai emigrants who are permanent residents abroad or working abroad.
Purchase of foreign currency from authorized banks is generally allowed upon submission of documents indicating international trade and investment. Companies in Thailand can engage in derivatives transactions with authorized banks to hedge against foreign exchange risk provided that supporting documents indicating future foreign currency receipts or obligations are submitted.
2. Local Currency
There is no limit on the amount of Thai baht bank notes that may be brought into the country. A person traveling to Vietnam, the People's Republic of China (only Yunnan province) and Thailand's bordering countries is allowed to take out up to THB 2,000,000. A person traveling to other countries is allowed up to THB 50,000.
Any person bringing into or taking out of Thailand Thai baht bank notes, foreign currency bank notes or negotiable monetary instruments in an aggregate amount exceeding 450,000 Baht or USD 15,000 or its equivalent must declare to a customs officer.
II. BANK DEPOSITS
a. Foreign Currency Account of Thai Residents
Thai residents are allowed to maintain foreign currency accounts with authorized banks, and deposit or withdraw funds from such accounts under the following conditions:
(1) Foreign currencies originating from abroad (foreign-source) can be deposited into foreign currency accounts without limit.
(2) Foreign currencies purchased or borrowed from authorized banks (domestic-source) can be deposited into 2 types of foreign currency accounts:
(i) Foreign currency accounts with future obligations: deposits can be made in an amount not exceeding future obligations to pay in foreign currencies to entities abroad. Such obligations include loan repayment to authorized banks.
(ii) Foreign currency accounts without future obligations: the total outstanding balance shall not exceed USD 5 million for both a natural person and a juristic person.
(3) Deposit of foreign currency notes and coins must not exceed USD 10,000 per person per day.
(1) For payment to entities abroad of the account holder's own obligations or its subsidiaries' obligations.
(2) For payment to authorized banks of the account holder's own foreign currency liabilities or its subsidiaries' foreign currency liabilities.
(3) For deposit into another foreign currency account of the same account holder.
(4) For conversion into another foreign currency, prior to depositing into another foreign currency account of the same account holder, or for payment to an entity abroad, or for payment of liabilities to an authorized bank.
(5) For conversion into baht.
Thai companies having export proceeds in foreign currency from overseas are allowed to transfer funds from their foreign-source foreign currency accounts to deposit into foreign currency accounts of their counterparties in Thailand for payment of goods or services.
b. Foreign Currency Account of Nonresidents
Nonresidents may maintain foreign currency accounts with authorized banks
in Thailand without limit. The accounts can be freely credited with funds
originating from abroad. Payments from Thai residents or borrowing from
authorized banks can be deposited subject to supporting evidences. Balances on
such accounts may be freely withdrawn.
Nonresident Baht Account
Nonresidents may open Thai Baht accounts with authorized banks in Thailand
(1) Non-resident Baht Account for Securities (NRBS): The account may be
debited or credited for the purpose of investment in securities and other
financial instruments such as equity instruments, debt instruments, unit
trusts, derivatives transactions traded on the Thailand Futures Exchange and
the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand.
(2) Non-resident Baht Account (NRBA): The account may be debited or
credited for general purposes (i.e. other than investment in securities) such
as trade, services, foreign direct investment, investment in immovable assets,
The total daily outstanding balances for each type of account shall not
exceed THB 300 million per nonresident. Transfers between different types of
accounts are not allowed.
III. TRADE AND SERVICES
Export proceeds in an amount equivalent to USD 50,000 or above shall be
repatriated immediately after payment is received and within 360 days from the
export date. The proceeds must be sold to or deposited in a foreign currency
account with an authorized bank in Thailand within 360 days of receipt.
Importers may purchase or withdraw foreign currencies from their own
foreign currency accounts for import payments upon submission of supporting
documents. Letters of
credits may also be opened without authorization.
All proceeds from services in an amount equivalent to USD 50,000 or above
shall be repatriated immediately after payment is received and within 360 days
from the transaction date. The proceeds must be sold to or deposited in a
foreign currency account with an authorized bank in Thailand within 360 days of
Outward remittances of amounts properly due to nonresidents are permitted
for items of a non-capital nature such as service fees, interest, dividends,
profits, or royalties provided that supporting documents are submitted to an
authorized bank. Traveling expenses or educational expenses of residents are
also freely permitted upon submission of supporting documents.
IV. FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
Transfers in foreign currency for direct and portfolio investments in
Thailand are freely permitted. Proceeds must be surrendered to an authorized
bank or deposited in a foreign currency account with an authorized bank in
Thailand within 360 days.
Repatriation of investment funds and repayment of overseas loans can be
remitted freely upon submission of supporting documents to an authorized bank.
For repatriation of investment funds, evidence of sale or transfer of such
investment shall be submitted. For loan repayment, evidence of inward
remittance of such loan and loan agreement shall be submitted.
V. CAPITAL TRANSFERS BY THAI RESIDENTS
Direct Investment and Lending Abroad
(1) A Thai company is allowed to invest in an overseas business entity
whose shares are held by the Thai company by not less than 10%, or to invest or
lend to affiliated business entities abroad as necessary.
(2) A Thai company is allowed to lend to non-affiliated business entities
abroad up to USD 50 million per year.
(3) A Thai natural person is allowed to invest in an overseas business
entity whose shares are held by that person by not less than 10%, or to invest
or lend to its affiliated business entities abroad as necessary.
Fund transfers for such investment or lending to business entities abroad
must be in foreign currencies only, whereas fund transfers for investment or
lending to business entities in Vietnam or Thailand’s neighboring countries for
trade and investment in Thailand or those countries can be in foreign currencies
or in Thai Baht.
Portfolio Investment Abroad
(1) Institutional investors, namely Government Pension Fund, Social Security Office, provident funds, mutual funds (excluding private funds), securities companies, insurance companies, specialized financial institutions, Thai juristic persons with assets of at least THB 5,000 million, companies listed in the Stock Exchange of Thailand and brokers in Thailand Futures Exchange (TFEX) are allowed to invest in foreign securities without limit. Such investment shall not exceed the limit set by the supervisory authority, directors or managements of each institutional investor.
(2) Thai juristic persons or Thai natural persons having deposits or investments in securities or derivatives of at least 50 million Baht but less than 100 million Baht and at least 100 million Baht (Qualified Investor) can invest in foreign securities without the need to go through investment agent in an aggregate amount not exceeding USD 1 million and USD 5 million per person per year respectively
(3) Other investors can invest in foreign securities through investment agent , such as securities companies, authorized banks, private funds and derivatives brokerages, without limit provided that such investment shall be subject to the guidelines of and not exceed the limit set by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Transfers for Other Purposes
(1) Outward remittances to Thai emigrants who are permanent residents
abroad provided that funds are derived from their own assets, from their
families or relatives, or from their inheritances are allowed up to USD 1
million per recipient per year for each purpose. Fund transfers to public for
donation are allowed up to USD 1 million per person per year.
(2) Purchase of shares, warrants and options of related companies abroad
under employee benefit plans is allowed up to USD 1 million per person per
(3) Purchase of immovable properties abroad is allowed up to USD 50 million
per person per year.
Any person purchasing, selling, depositing, or withdrawing foreign
currencies with an authorized bank shall notify details of foreign exchange transactions to the
authorized bank. After conducting transactions, the
authorized bank will issue an evidence of
such transaction as prescribed by the Competent Officer to such person.
Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department
Bank of Thailand