Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Delay sought for building inspections


Delay sought for building inspections


Local industry groups want the government to delay implementation of a new building inspection law. Pramon Sutivong, the chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that many building owners still did not fully understand the requirements set out under the new law.

The law, enacted by the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, requires nine types of buildings to be inspected, including high-rises of more than 23 metres, buildings with areas of over 10,000 square metres or community buildings with capacity of more than 500 people.But business groups say a lack of inspectors, standards in inspection fees and inspector qualifications will complicate compliance. Rules requiring owners to maintain blueprints also are problematic for many older buildings.

Mr Pramon, who led a meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking yesterday, said a working group was reviewing the inspection law. Recommendations would be forwarded to authorities later with the aim of improving flexibility in enforcement, he said.

The committee also proposed establishing a permanent body to help promote business ties between Thailand and the European Union.

''To have a Thailand-EU business council would be an advantage for both sides, as many EU members do not have their own chambers of commerce in Thailand now,'' Mr Pramon said.

''Building a closer relationship with the EU would also benefit Thailand, particularly as talks proceed towards an EU-Asean free trade agreement in the future.''

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