Ministry set to revise commerce laws

Ministry set to revise commerce laws

Move aims to raise competitiveness

Rice is one of the crops the government has opted to address in terms of its agricultural policies. (Photo: Yongyuth Phuphuangphet)
Rice is one of the crops the government has opted to address in terms of its agricultural policies. (Photo: Yongyuth Phuphuangphet)

The Commerce Ministry looks set to revise more than 40 commerce-related laws, with the aim of creating greater convenience for the public, farmers and entrepreneurs as well as improving the country's competitiveness.

According to Keerati Rushchano, permanent secretary for commerce, in line with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin's policy, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai has instructed all agencies within the Commerce Ministry to proceed with amending the laws under the ministry's responsibility.

Mr Keerati would serve as the chairman of a law amendment committee to facilitate business operations. The objective is to facilitate convenience for the public and the private sector in conducting business and various other activities. It also aims to improve the efficiency of government officials and employees.

The plan will be divided into two phases, covering laws at the level of acts and secondary-level laws.

In the first phase, or the "Quick Win" plan, Mr Keerati said for laws that are acts, four of a total of 28 versions require urgent amendment comprising the Copyright Act; the Geographical Indication (GI) Act; the Thai National Shippers' Council Act and the Export and Import of Goods Act.

Mr Phumtham, centre, has instructed all agencies within the Commerce Ministry to proceed with amending the laws under the ministry's responsibility.

As for secondary-level laws such as ministerial regulations, ministerial l announcements and departmental announcements, Mr Keerati said they could also be amended within 100 days, specifically those that benefit the public. The goal is to amend and improve 31 versions within 100 days (Quick Win). The remaining laws will gradually be amended within 6-18 months.

Mr Keerati said the Commerce Ministry is scheduled to complete amendments of the Copyright Act; the Geographical Indication (GI) Act; the Thai National Shippers' Council Act and the Export and Import of Goods Act, by Dec 31, as a New Year's gift to the public.

In planned amendments of the Copyright Act, for example, the protection of performers' rights would be upgraded to cover sound recordings.

Currently, protection only covers live performances.

The new amendment will provide comprehensive protection for sound recordings, promoting soft power, a key policy of the government.

It also aligns with the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and is in accordance with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which stipulates that members must become members of the WPPT, and Thailand is in the process of preparing for membership.

In addition to the planned commerce-related law amendments, Mr Keerati said the Commerce Ministry would also concurrently organise public hearings and discussions with all stakeholders to gather additional input for necessary amendments to laws or related regulations.

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