Filming in thailand
Rules and Regulations
In order for foreign production companies to film features, television, video visions or still pictures in Thailand (for broadcast, advertisement or distribution), the following rules and regulations apply.
(Step 1-5: Before arrival in Thailand)
Step 1: It is advised that a Thai based coordinator be hired to assist the foreign production company. This company is best able to adhere to procedures that must be followed before a film permit is granted.
The coordinator can assist with the following procedures:
- Enter into agreements with and liaise with government agencies for all legal documentation.
- Prepare all required documents for consideration by the Film Broad including 10 copies of the story board and treatment for commercial advertisements, and 25 copies of the full script for feature films.
- Obtain work permits, advise on tax payments and other procedures.
- Arrange for on-the-ground transportation, accommodation, food, equipment, local talent, studio rental and other requirements of the foreign production crew.
A partial list of coordinators is provided in this book. We strongly recommend foreign production companies to use local coordinators.
Step 2: Request an application for permission to film in Thailand and fill in the form completely. Application forms can be obtained and submitted both in Thailand and form overseas offices of agencies listed on the proceeding page
A. If the application is made abroad, it can be submitted through the following agencies in your country:
- Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate
- Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
- Thai Trade Center
If the application is made in Thailand, forms can be obtained from the Film Broad of Thailand and resubmitted to the same office. The applicant must submit the application form according to the schedule as set in B before commencement of filming.
Signature of the foreign applicant and authorized coordinator in Thailand is needed on the application form.
B. For still picture, the photographer has to inform the Film Board before commencing work. The photographer does not need a Film permit.
- For documentary film and commercial advertisements, the application from should be submitted 5 working days in advance for the Film Board to consider the application.
- For feature films, TV series, docudramas or any fictional stories the application should be submitted 14 working days in advance.
Step 3: Related documents, which must be submitted along with the application form which include:
- Treatment (for documentaries)
- Story board (for commercial photo and films)
- Synopsis, and script either in English and Thai (for film)
- Title, lyrics and detail of production relating to the music (for music videos)
- Final Script
- Shooting Schedule [date and location (s) suggested for filming]
- List of filming dates and locations, listed on a daily, including government buildings, religious compounds, National Parks, and other venues.
- List of VIP person to be interviewed and details of interviewers
- Name list of crew/position/passport no. of each member of crew
- List of all equipment to used in the shoot, especially military weapons, chemicals, and explosives
- Copy of partnership and company registration, stating purpose of the company
- Copy of commercial registration
Step 4: After permission to film is granted, the film crew or the local coordinator must apply for crew work permits before entering Thailand. Work permit applications can be obtained from Alien Occupational Control Division, Department of Employment. If the film crew intends to stay for a period not exceeding 15 days, no work permit applications are necessary. The production crew/coordinator must only inform the film Board. The Film Board will then inform the Alien Occupational control Division for formal approval.
Step 5: import and export of equipment and consumables for filming should be in accordance with Customs Department rules and regulations including those on bonds and payment of taxes. However, if the equipment can be regarded as professional equipment, it can be declared under ATA Carnet Law for temporary import exemption from duty and tax. Check if your country is a member of the ATA Carnet Treaty. If so, you have the right to declare your professional equipment under the ATA Carnet law.
(Step 6-9: Filming in Thailand)
Step 6: Upon arrival in Thailand, the filming crew should inform the Film Board of Thailand
Step 7: The Film Board will appoint a Film Board Representative(s) to facilitate the film crew
Step 8: The film crew is required to inform the Film Board Representative(s) specific location shoot schedule at least 2 days prior to the date filming
(Step 9: Departing Thailand)
Step 9: Upon completion of filming, the crew is required to present all film rolls, videocassettes and still pictures to the Film Board Representative(s) t o affix signature on the film case and to receive an approval seal authorizing the production was legally completed. I order to take the film out of Thailand, export permit fees must be paid to the Film Censorship Section, Sub-Division 2, Registration Division, Royal Thai Police.
- A coordinator can carry out and coordinate for the application throughout the whole application process (step 1-9) and also for pre-production processes including arranging for production crew, equipment and vehicles.
- In case the applicant does hire a Thai coordinator, the coordinator should notify the Film Board of Thailand to work out details for further or coordination. (Appendix B)
- The film script, plot and the film itself should not subvert or affect the traditions, culture, morals, national security, public order , environment, rules and regulations of government agencies or the dignity of Thailand. If a breech is made in any area mentioned above not under Film Board jurisdiction, the Film Board may seek the opinion of the concerned agency(s).
- The film must follow the film script, the plot and details as agreed to by the Film Board.
- The Film Board Secretariat must be notified of any change(s) in advance of implementing the changes.
DETAIL ON EXPENSES FOR THE FOREIGN FILMING CREW:
1) Expenses of the Film Board Representative(s) for each filming:
A Film Board Representative(s) is assigned to oversee film production from beginning until end, in line with details of the approved script.
A. Film used for public relation purposes within organizations
The Film Board Representative(s) fee for overseeing the film shoot is at the rate of 2,000 Baht per person for a period of 5 days. and/or The Film Board Representative(s) fee for overseeing the film shoot in a province where the representative(s) has to travel from their domicile to the production site is at the rate of 4,000 Baht per person for a period of 5 days. Foreign production crew must bear the expense for transportation, accommodation, and food for the Film Board Representative(s) at the same rate as that of executives of the foreign film crew.
B. Documentary film, and commercial advertisement
One Film Board Representative shall be assigned to oversee the film crew throughout the filming. Fee for the Film Board Representative is 2,000 Baht per day. In case, the film crew travels outside the province in which the Film Board Representative is present, the film crew is responsible for transportation, accommodation and food expenses of the Representative at the same rate as that of executives of the foreign film crew.
C. Feature Film/Docudrama/TV drama
The Film Board Representative(s) will be assigned according to the number of filming units and to the filming schedule. One representative per 1 unit x 10 hours. In case filming exceeds 10 hours per unit, 2 representatives (or more depending on the workload) will be assigned per filming unit. The fee is 2,000 Baht per person for a period of 12 hours. In case the Film Board Representative(s) has to travel outside of his domicle, the same condition as A applies. For days when a Representative is present but there is no filming, the production crew pay 500 Baht per person per day. Documentary(s) produced through government agency invitation must acknowledge the Film Board of Thailand and submit the completed application form provided by the government agency to the Film Board.
2) An export fee of 100 Baht per 100 meters of film is charged by the film Censorship Section, Sub-Division 2nd, the Registration Division, Royal Thai Police Department
3) Income tax for each talent and crew member engaged by the foreign production company is to be withheld. Computation of income tax for each tax payment is at the rate of 5-37 percent (depending on income earned). Withheld tax should be remitted within 7 days of the month following payment. For more information contact the Revenue Department
For more information and concerned application forms for filming in Thailand, please contact Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://www.mfa.go.th/web/2676.php)