Rules & Regulations

For foreign filmmakers to shoot features, video visions, television, or still pictures in the Kingdom of Thailand (for distribution, broadcast or advertisement), the following rules and regulations must be kept in mind.

Process of filming in Thailand

(Step 1 to 5 – Before arriving in Thailand)

Step 1 – It is in a foreign filmmaker’s best interest that a Thailand based film coordinator is hired to assist in all production matters pertaining to Thailand. This company or individual is best equipped to deal with the procedures involved in the granting of a filming permit.

The Thai film coordinator can help with the following processes:

  1. Enter into contracts and liaise with Thai government agencies for all legal purposes.
  2. Prepare all necessary documents to be considered by the Film Broad of Thailand including 25 copies of the full film script and 10 copies of the treatment for commercial and advertisements as well as the story board.
  3. Obtain advice on tax procedures, help acquire work permits, and assist with other related procedures.
  4. Make arrangements for accommodation, transportation, equipment, food, studio rental, local talent, and other related requirements of the foreign film production crew.

 

Step 2 – The foreign film production crew must request for an application (via their local Thai film coordinator preferably) to grant them permission to film in Thailand and must consequently fill in the form correctly and completely. Application forms for the purpose of acquiring filming permits can be both obtained and submitted in Thailand and abroad.

In cases wherein the foreign film production company would like to submit the afore mentioned application overseas, this can be done only through the following Thai agencies in company’s home country.

  1. Thai Trade Center
  2. Royal Thai Consulate or Embassy
  3. Tourism Authority of Thailand

 

If the foreign film production company wishes to obtain and submit the application in Thailand itself, this can be done at the Film Broad of Thailand. The applicant must complete and submit the application form in accordance to the pointers mentioned below before the commencement of their filming procedures.

The signature of the legally appointed Thai film coordinator as well as the foreign film production company representative is required on the application form.

In the case of still pictures, the photographer must inform the Film Board of Thailand before initiation of the filming processes. The photographer need not acquire a filming permit for such endeavours.

  1. For commercial advertisements and documentary films, the application form must be duly filled and submitted five days (working days) in advance to give the Film Board of Thailand adequate time to carefully consider it.
  2. For TV series, feature films, fictional stories and/or any docudramas, the application must be submitted fourteen days (working days) in advance.

 

Step 3 – The related documents that must be submitted alongside the application form include:

  1. Story board (for commercial films and photos)
  2. Treatment (for documentaries)
  3. Lyrics, title, and details of production relating to all musical elements (for music videos)
  4. Script, and synopsis either in Thai or English (for film)
  5. Shooting schedule (Locations and dates suggested for filming)
  6. Final script
  7. Complete list of filming locations and dates, listed on a daily basis that include government buildings, National Parks, religious compounds, and other such venues
  8. Complete itinerary
  9. Name list of the filming crew members, their roles, and passport details
  10. List of the VIP person to be interviewed (if any) and details of interviewers
  11. Copy of company and partnership (if any) registration, stating the purpose of the company
  12. List of all equipment to be utilized in the shoot, especially chemicals, military weapons, and explosives
  13. Copy of commercial registration

 

Step 4 – Once the permission to film has been granted, the Thai film coordinator or foreign film crew must apply for work permits of each member of the film production team before entering Thailand. The work permit applications may be obtained from the Department of Employment or the Alien Occupational Control Division. In the case where the film crew plans to stay for a period no longer than 15 days, work permit applications are not a necessity. In such cases the production coordinator/crew must inform the Film Board of Thailand, who consequently inform the Alien Occupational Control Division to grant a formal approval.

Step 5 – Export and import of consumables and equipment for filming should be carried out in accordance with the Customs Department regulations and rules including those on payment of taxes and bonds. However, in cases where the equipment is of a professional nature, it may be declared under ATA Carnet Agreement for temporary exemption from import tax and duty. It would be wise for a foreign film production company to check if their country (of origin) is a member of the ATA Carnet Agreement. If yes, then they have the privilege to declare their professional equipment under this ATA Carnet Agreement.

(Step 6 to 9 – Filming in Thailand)

Step 6 – On entering Thailand, the foreign filming crew must inform the Film Board of Thailand of the same

Step 7 – On being informed of the foreign filming crew’s arrival, the Film Board of Thailand will nominate and appoint a Film Board of Thailand representative to accompany and monitor the film crew’s activities

Step 8 – The foreign film crew must inform the Film Board Of Thailand representative about the specific locations laid out in the shoot itinerary at least two days prior to filming there

(Step 9 – Departing Thailand)

Step 9 – Upon the completion of filming, the foreign filming crew must present all videocassettes, film rolls and still pictures to the representative of the Film Board of Thailand to affix their signature and seal of approval on them stating that the production was indeed legally completed. In order to export the film from Thailand, The Royal Thai Police must be paid an export permit fee at the following address – Film Censorship Section, Sub-Division 2, Registration Division, Royal Thai Police.

 

Important Notes

  1. A local Thai film coordinator has the ability to coordinate and carry out all of the application processes mentioned in steps 1 to 9 above together with all pre-production procedures that include the arrangement of local production crews, vehicles and filming equipment.
  2. In cases, wherein the foreign film production company hires a Thai film coordinator, this coordinator must inform the Film Board of Thailand of Thailand about their appointment in order to further work out details of their role.
  3. The film plot, script and film itself must not affect or subvert the culture, traditions, morals, public order, national security, environment, dignity, rules and regulations of any Thai government agency or the Kingdom as a whole. In the case of a breach in any of the above-mentioned areas that do not fall under the Film Board of Thailand’s jurisdiction, its Board may seek-out the concerned agency’s opinion.
  4. The film must be shot in accordance with the film plot, script and other details as agreed upon by the Film Board of Thailand.
  5. The Film Board of Thailand’s Secretariat must be informed of changes, if any, before carrying them out.

 

Detail on expenses for the foreign filming crew

Below are the detailed per day expenses payable to the Film Board of Thailand’s representative. Please note that these costs are subject to change in accordance with the Film Board of Thailands requirements as on the date of enquiry.

A Film Board of Thailand representative is appointed to oversee the film production processes from beginning to end, in accordance with the details laid out in the approved film script.

Films used for the purpose of public relation within organizations

  1. The Film Board of Thailand representative’s fee to oversee such a film shoot is ฿2,000 per person for a period of five days.
  2. The Film Board of Thailand representative’s fee for overseeing such a film shoot in a location far from their domicile is ฿4,000 per person for a period of five days.
  3. Foreign film production crews must incur the expense for accommodation, food, and transportation for the Film Board of Thailand representatives at a rate similar to that of the foreign film crew executives.

 

Commercial advertisements and documentary films

  1. A single Film Board of Thailand representative must be appointed to oversee the film crew activities throughout the filming processes.
  2. The fee for the Film Board of Thailand Representative is ฿2,000 per day. In the case, wherein the film crew travels to provinces outside of the representative’s domicile, the film crew shall be responsible for food, transportation, and accommodation expenses of the representative at a rate similar to that of the foreign film crew executives.

 

Docudrama, Feature Film, and TV drama

During the filming of Docudramas, Feature Films, and/or TV dramas, a Film Board of Thailand representative will be assigned in accordance with the filming schedules and number of filming units in the ratio of one representative per one unit for ten hours of filming. In case the filming duration is in excess of ten hours per unit, two representatives or more (depending on the workload) will be appointed per filming unit. The fee is ฿2,000 per person for a period of twelve hours.

  1. The Film Board of Thailand representative’s fee for overseeing such a film shoot in a location far from their domicile is ฿4,000 per person for a period of five days.
  2. Days for when a Film Board of Thailand representative is present but no filming takes place, the foreign filming crew pays them ฿500 per person per day.
  3. Documentaries produced via government agency invitations must bare special mention of the Film Board of Thailand in their produced material and must submit the complete application form issued by the government agency in question to the Film Board of Thailand.

 

An export fee of ฿100 per 100 meter of film is levied by the Thailand film censorship department, Sub-Division 2nd, the Registration Division, Royal Thai Police Department.

The income tax for each foreign filming crew member employed by the foreign film production company must be withheld. Calculation of such tax per payment is at the rate of five to thirty seven percent (depending on income earned). The tax withheld must be remitted within seven days of the month following the payment.

*Please note that all fees mentioned above are not the latest figures. Accurate quotes will be provided via email upon request*