BOI Promotion of the Motion Picture Industry

Thailand has been thriving as a destination for film production companies. Its beautiful natural scenery, exotic locale, and cheaper production costs make it an attractive option for many foreign filmmakers.

Another reason is that Thailand already has a developed film production infrastructure in place, which makes it less necessary to import equipment from outside the country. The Board of Investment (BOI) Thailand promotes the movie industry under Activity 7.17 (“Thai motion picture production, motion picture supporting services, or multimedia services”) of the “List of Activities Eligible for Investment Promotion” (BOI Announcement No. 2/2543). The BOI defines the scope of the eligible business activity in BOI Announcement No. Por 6/2547, which supersedes the previous Announcement No. 15/2543. The Announcement defines “motion pictures” as including documentaries and television programs, but specifically excludes commercials from BOI promotion. This is not surprising since the advertising business is a restricted business under category List 3 of the Foreign Business Act of B.E. 2542 (1999).

“Motion picture supporting services or multimedia services” includes the following activities: equipment rental services, film processing and film printing services, sound recording services, imaging services, coordinating services, and studio rental services. Furthermore, the BOI defines the scope of approved business activities in this category according to the minimum equipment and tools that must be used for each activity. Therefore, rental services for movie production equipment and props must have a camera, light set, electric generator and camera accessories.

Film processing and printing services must have a film development machine, film coloring machine, film cutting machine, and film cleaning machine. Sound recording services are required to have a digital sound recorder, digital sound editing machine, digital sound mixing machine and a standard recording room.

Imaging services are required to have “special equipment for motion picture production and TV programs that cannot be done by the camera, such as standard and high-definition digital video recording equipment, telecine, editing suite, digital composing and special effect creation equipment.” Coordinating services must include the services of coordinating with relevant government agencies for permits, location scouting, staff recruitment and acquisition of equipment for production.

A particularly important feature to discuss in regards to this topic is the BOI’s promotion of an 8 billion baht “Movie Town” industrial estate which is projected to be completed in Chiang Mai by 2014. In Announcement No. Sor 2/2547 (“Re: Investment Promotion Policy for Movie Industry”) the BOI has created a new promotion category specifically for the project under Activity 7.5.7 (“Movie Town”). Approved projects under the Movie Town category will be required to be located in the Movie Town industrial estate and also be required to have an indoor and outdoor studio and post-production services, such as film developing, special effects, computer animation, sound lab, etc.

Finally, movie projects eligible for BOI promotion will be exempted from import duties for machinery and receive a 5-year corporate income tax exemption regardless of BOI Zone. Approved projects located in Movie Town will be exempted from import duties on machinery and receive an 8-year corporate income tax exemption, also regardless of BOI Zone.


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Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.