Thailand to regulate the security industry

by Stephen Frost, Bangkok International Associates

Introduction In March 2016, the Security Industry Business Act (2015) will come into force to regulate the security industry in Thailand. In this article, we consider the main provisions of the Act. 

Definitions: The Act contains the following definitions: 

security business means the business of providing security by arranging for licenced security operatives to safeguard the lives, bodies, or property of persons, by receiving money or any other benefits in return: but excluding provision of security services by government agencies as prescribed in regulations.

security company means a company licenced to operate security business.

Regulatory authority A Security Business Supervision Board will be set up as regulatory authority to draft and issue regulations under the Act, and to issue licences to companies that operate security services and individual security operatives. Foreigners are not eligible to be members of this regulatory committee. 

Requirements to operate a security business The requirements to operate a security business are as follows:

  • Only a company may operate a security business. 
  • The company must obtain a licence to operate such a business, licences are issued for four years renewable; licences can be suspended/terminated for breach of obligations
  • Thais must hold more than half of the shares
  • Thai nationals must be more than one-half of the directors
  • The name of the company must include the word “security” 
  • An agreement to supply security services must be in writing and contain certain specified information. If it does not, it is invalid
  • A security company must comply with the standards of security services prescribed in regulations
Standards of security services Standards of security services to be supplied are as follows:
  • Supervision and inspection of security operatives.
  • Daily recording of events in the places under responsibility.
  • Coordination centre to be set up to advise on the carrying out of duties of security operatives.
  • The communication devices provided by the security business for communication between the coordinating centre and security operatives
  • Knowledge of security services and regular training for security operatives
Reporting obligations
  • The names of security operatives and any replacements must be notified to the regulator
  • A security company must submit an annual report to the regulator
Security operatives All security operatives must: 
  • obtain a licence, renewable every three years
  • hold Thai nationality, and be aged over 18
  • have completed education up to ninth grade
  • complete a training course at an establishment recognized by the regulator and any refresher courses: this rules will not apply to operatives working prior to the Act coming into force, for a period of three years
  • not have been sentenced to imprisonment for offences relating to life and body, property, sex, gambling, or narcotics, except for offences committed through negligence or petty offences, or where a period of three years has lapsed after the serving of such sentences prior to the date of applying for licence, provided this does not apply to sex offences.
  • not have had his/her licence revoked for two years before the date of applying for any new licence
  • Observe certain specified duties, including to assist the police 

Fees payable: The fee payable by a company to obtain a licence is 50,000 Baht and 1,000 Baht for each security operative. These fees are also payable upon licence renewal. 

Enforcement The Act contains provisions for suspension and revocation of licences, appeals against such action, and fines, or in some cases, imprisonment, for breach of particular duties imposed under the Act. The directors, manager, or any person responsible for the operations of the company are also liable to punishment, where the breach was due to their orders, act or omission.

Unlicenced security operatives are also liable to fine or imprisonment.

In general, where a company breaches its duties under the Act, its directors, manager, or any person who is responsible for its operations is liable to the same punishment as the company. 

Comment It is surely welcome that a degree of regulation of the security industry will now apply for the first time, particularly to exclude those with criminal records and to impose training requirements. However, the proposal for minimum educational requirements and Thai-only nationality requirements may be difficult to apply, as immigrants and those with low educational attainment have traditionally obtained work in this sort of industry. In addition, the increased wage costs for those with higher educational attainments, the compulsory training obligations, and licencing fees, are likely to be passed onto the customer by way of increased charges. The age of low-cost security services may now be over in Thailand!

©       Stephen Frost, Bangkok International Associates Ltd.  2016

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Bangkok International Associates is a general corporate and commercial law firm. For further information, please contact Stephen Frost by email at sfrost@bia.co.th or telephone (66) 2 231 6201/6455.

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