Thailand: Control of “dual-use” items, weapons of mass destruction

"Catch-all control" and internal compliance program

"Catch-all control" and internal compliance program

The Ministry of Commerce announced a draft notification under the “Trade Controls on Weapons of Mass Destruction Act” to control goods related to weapons of mass destruction.

The “Trade Controls on Weapons of Mass Destruction Act” has been effective since 1 January 2020, and the draft notification is to be effective from the end of 2021.

Catch-all control measure

Under the draft notification, the Department of Foreign Trade will be authorized to employ a “catch-all control” that can be applied to exports, re-exports, transit, transshipments and technology and software transfer of “dual-use” items (items that can be used for both civilian and military applications and/or that can contribute to an increase in weapons of mass destruction) that may constitute a risk to peace and security.

If there is a considerable risk that the “dual-use” items in question may be used for the development, manufacturing, usage or storage of weapons of mass destruction, then the Department of Foreign Trade will be authorized to investigate the case and apply the catch-all control measures. The Department of Foreign Trade will have the authority to block any shipment of dual-use items that will be delivered to a high-risk end-user if the shipment of dual-use items is classified as risky and requiring control, and it will be able to block all activities in relation to such dual-use items.

Internal compliance program

The draft notification also includes an internal compliance program, as an internal control measure, required to monitor compliance with export control legislation. The internal compliance program is not a mandatory program for all exporters. If an exporter is certified with internal compliance program status, it will be considered credible and privileged when being investigated by the Department of Foreign Trade.

In order to implement the internal compliance program and facilitate the “Trade Controls on Weapons of Mass Destruction Act,” the Department of Foreign Trade also released a notification approving the internal compliance program with an effective date of 6 September 2021. This regulation will act as a guideline for exporters in Thailand to understand the internal compliance program.

The internal compliance program consists of six elements:

  • Responsibility and resources for implementing internal compliance program procedures
  • Screening processes
  • Training
  • Recordkeeping
  • Auditing
  • Reporting and corrective action

Approval from the internal compliance program will be classed on one of three levels—good, very good or perfect—depending on the number of elements that the exporters can show compliance with.

Because the internal compliance program is not a mandatory program, there is no penalty mentioned in the regulation for non-compliance. However, an internal compliance program certified exporter will be considered credible and privileged when investigated by the Department of Foreign Trade or authorities in importing countries.

Read a September 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Thailand

 

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