Thailand Introduces Blockchain-Based Tax Refunds for Oil Exporters

On Nov. 25, director-general Patchara Anuntasilpa told the Bangkok Post that the Thailand Excise Department will change its current tax refund practice by introducing a blockchain-based tax payback system, which it hopes to implement by the middle of 2020.

The Excise Department in Thailand is poised to introduce a new way of refunding overpaid taxes to oil exporters by using blockchain technology.

One of three blockchain-based pilots

Patchara explained that the future tax payback system will require oil exporters to pay excise tax and claim overpaid taxes after they have shipped the fuel. Blockchain technology will make it more efficient for the department to inspect the tax payments, he added.

Currently, oil exporters are required to submit documents for a tax waiver, and the inspection is not as thorough as it could be, according to Patchara.

The Excise Department will reportedly collaborate with the Krungthai Bank to develop the blockchain-based tax refund system, which is one of three pilot projects. The other two projects involve e-bank guarantees, annual fee payment for liquor and tobacco, and playing card distribution licenses.

Oil and gas firm develops blockchain-based renewables platform

In September, the Thailand-based multinational energy conglomerate PTT and blockchain energy nonprofit Energy Web Foundation announced that they will build a blockchain-based renewables platform. The two parties were in the midst of developing a regional solution based on the Energy Web Chain, which will also be compliant with the International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-REC) Standard, which certifies renewable energy sources.

In 2018, Thailand reportedly produced about 28 million megawatt-hours of clean electricity, while just 0.16 million I-REC MWhs were issued. EWF CEO Jesse Morris said that the new blockchain-based platform will help to connect supply and demand for the certificates.

Thai Customs Department Plans to Use IBM’s Tradelens to Track Shipping

Thailand’s Customs Department intends to use IBM’s Tradelens blockchain solution to track shipping in Thai ports.

According to an announcement published on Aug. 28 on the Thai Customs Department’s official website, the country plans to use Tradelens, a blockchain logistics system. Local news outlet Bangkok Post reported the next day that the platform is expected to streamline operations by managing shipment tracking and information sharing.

Thailand’s push for innovation

The Tradelens platform is the joint project of transport giant AP Moller-Maersk and IBM. The decision to adopt it in the country is reportedly part of a broader Thailand 4.0 modernization initiative. The new system will digitize formerly paper-based shipping processes, which is expected to result in instantaneous and immutable end-to-end data.

Patama Chantaruck, vice-president for Indochina expansion and managing director of IBM Thailand, said that he expects the system to benefit the stakeholders of the global logistics ecosystem. He commented on the development:

“TradeLens will provide the Thai Customs Department with an automatic and immutable tracking tool, which will lead to a more secure, transparent, efficient and simpler workflow, with near real-time information sharing from a diverse network of ecosystem members.”

Instant information sharing

Chantaruck believes that Tradelens will send shipping data to customs authorities as soon as the containers leave the port of origin, which in turn would allow for more time to prepare to receive shipments and perform fraud and forgery checks. The system will be first implemented at the Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri and later at Bangkok’s port.

As Cointelegraph reported in July, maritime shipping firms Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd have also joined blockchain tracking platform TradeLens. Martin Gnass, managing director of information technology at the firm, commented at the time:

“Now, with five of the world’s six largest carriers committed to the platform, we can accelerate that transformation to provide greater trust, transparency and collaboration across supply chains and help promote global trade.”


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