Thailand’s Ministry of Industry (MOI) has issued a notification adopting the polluter-pays principle for generators of industrial waste in factories. The Notification of the Ministry of Industry on Management of Waste or Unused Materials B.E. 2566 (2023), enacted under the Factory Act B.E. 2535 (1992), marks a pivotal shift in the responsibilities and liabilities of factory operators as waste generators, which under the new notification no longer end when the waste is collected by a third-party waste processor. The notification, which was first issued in May 31, 2023, took effect on November 1, 2023, after the expiration of a grace period set by the MOI.
The new MOI notification extends waste generators’ responsibilities and liabilities for management and disposal of waste from the time the waste is generated until it is properly and completely disposed of. These responsibilities include delivering the waste to the waste processor and overseeing the waste disposal processing, as well as undertaking proper measures in the event of failure by the waste processor, accident, or loss of the waste.
Similar to the rules under the previous MOI notification on factory waste, the transport of waste outside the factory premises for disposal still requires permission from the Department of Industrial Works (DIW). However, the permission under the new MOI notification can now be applied for either electronically via its customer registration system (“i-Industry system”) or in person at the DIW.
The MOI’s adoption of the polluter-pays principle for industrial waste heralds a significant shift in waste management liability and the costs of pollution prevention to the waste generators, who now need to ensure compliance with the rigorous criteria and compliance procedures outlined in the new MOI notification.