«Department of Protocol Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Guidelines on Protocol Practice Department of Protocol Ministry of ...»
1. Appointment of the New Ambassador The request for the agrément of the new Ambassador shall be made either through the Diplomatic Mission in Thailand by sending a Note Verbale to the Department of Protocol or through the Royal Thai Embassy in the sending State. The request shall be accompanied by a curriculum vitae of the new Ambassador. The Department of Protocol will send a return note to inform the mission in Thailand or instruct the Royal Thai Embassy to inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the sending State of the agreement.
2. Arrival of the Ambassador-Designate The Diplomatic Mission shall inform the Department of Protocol at least seven-working days in advance of the arrival date and time of the Ambassador-Designate. The flight number, the names of the accompanying party and any other related information shall be provided so that appropriate arrangements and courtesies will be accorded.
The Ambassador-Designate will be received on arrival in Bangkok by a high-ranking protocol official provided that the time of arrival is during normal office hours, from 08.30 to 16.30 hours on weekdays. The Diplomatic Mission is responsible for transportation on arrival for the Ambassador-Designate.
3. Calling at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after Arrival The Ambassador-Designate should seek an appointment with the Director-General of the Department of Protocol at the earliest opportunity to submit copies of relevant documents required for the request for an audience with His Majesty the King and for granting the commencement of Ambassadorial duty.
The Director-General of the Department of Protocol will advise the Ambassador-Designate of the procedure to present the Letters of Credence to His Majesty the King. A non-resident Ambassador may submit the required documents through the Royal Thai Embassy in the country where the Ambassador currently resides.
4. Documents Required for the Request for an Audience with His Majesty the King and for Granting the Commencement of Ambassadorial Duties The Ambassador-Designate shall bring to the Director-General of the
Department of Protocol the following documents:
• A copy of the Letters of Credence;
• A copy of the Letters of Recall of the Predecessor;
• A copy of the written speech addressed to His Majesty the King;
• Two (2) passport-sized photos.
• If the Letters of Credence and the Letters of Recall are in any other language than English, they must be accompanied by an English translation.
• The speech must be written in English and should not be longer than two pages.
5. Request for the Royal Audience and the Commencement of Ambassadorial Duties
5.1 The Department of Protocol will submit the Letters of Credence and the other relevant documents to the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, together with the formal request for an audience with His Majesty the King for the presentation of the Letters of Credence.
5.2 The Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary will submit all documents to His Majesty the King.
5.3 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will inform the AmbassadorDesignate when the Letter of Notification from the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary has been issued. The Ambassador then can commence the official duties as from the date stated in the Letter of Notification from the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary.
This process normally takes at least 10 working days.
5.4 The Ambassador’s order of precedence is established by the date of assumption of duties as stipulated in the Ministry’s reply Note.
5.5 The Department of Protocol will confirm to the Ambassador the date of the Presentation of Credentials.
6. Ceremony of Presentation of the Letters of Credence
6.1 His Majesty the King has graciously designated His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn to represent His Majesty in granting an audience for the presentation of the Letters of Credence of the new Ambassadors.
6.2 The conversation with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince will be in English.
6.3 The Ceremony of the presentation of the Letters of Credence takes place at Ambara Royal Palace.
6.4 On the Ceremony day, the Royal Motorcade from the Palace and the Director-General or a senior official of the Department of Protocol will receive the Ambassador at the residence/Embassy and accompany him/ her to the Palace. The Royal Motorcade will be formed in the following
Note: For the non-resident Ambassador, the Royal Motorcade will receive him/her at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
6.5 Only the Ambassador will be invited to attend the Ceremony.
6.6 The attire for the Ceremony is a morning coat, a uniform or a national dress (a dark suit or business suit cannot be worn for the Ceremony). For women, a suit with a skirt sufficiently long to cover the knees shall be worn.
6.7 The Ambassador will carry the original Letters of Recall of the predecessor, the Letters of Credence and the written speech (addressed to His Majesty the King), put together in one envelope (white colour).
6.8 Upon arriving at the Palace Main Gate, only Royal vehicle will proceed to Ambara Royal Palace.
6.9 The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, who is in the white uniform, and the Ambassador are expected to arrive at Ambara Royal Palace prior to the Ceremony for rehearsal of the audience.
6.10 The Aide-de-Camp on duty and Royal Household officials will welcome and lead the Ambassador to the designated place in the Palace.
The Ambassador will then be introduced to the Senior Chamberlain and will be invited to the holding room.
6.11 In the Ceremonial Hall, those in attendance (the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.R.H Crown Prince’s Private Secretary and the Aide-deCamp) will be standing at each designated place until the end of the Ceremony.
6.12 After His Royal Highness the Crown Prince arrives and stands at the designated place, the Senior Chamberlain will lead the Ambassador and the Director-General of the Department of Protocol from the doorway of the Ceremonial Hall to their designated places in the Ceremonial Hall.
The Ambassador will stand on the right side of the Senior Chamberlain while the Director-General of the Department of Protocol will stand behind the Ambassador. Then, all will make the first bow to salute His Royal Highness the Crown Prince after which the Ambassador and the Senior Chamberlain will advance 6 steps and make the second bow while the Director-General of the Department of Protocol proceeds to his designated place.
6.13 The Senior Chamberlain will present the Ambassador to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. The Ambassador will then bow and proceed towards His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and bow.
6.14 The Ambassador will hand the envelope containing the Letters of Credence, the Letters of Recall and the written speech to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince. Having handed the Royal Reply in the envelope to the Ambassador, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince will converse with the Ambassador for an appropriate period of time. At the end of the audience, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince will shake hands with the Ambassador who will then bow and step backward to the right side of the Senior Chamberlain and make another bow.
6.15 Upon leaving the Ceremonial Hall, the Ambassador, together with the Senior Chamberlain on the left side, will walk backwards 6 steps while the Director-General of the Department of Protocol will step to the rear of the Ambassador. Then they will make a bow and walk towards the doorway.
6.16 The Royal Household official will lead the Ambassador to the room next to the Ceremonial Hall where the Ambassador will sign a visiting book. After that, the Ambassador will be ushered back to the holding room.
6.17 As the Ceremony concludes, the Ambassador is invited to a small vin d’honneur at which a congratulatory toast will be proposed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs followed by a photo session.
6.18 After the photo session, the Director-General or a senior official of the Department of Protocol will escort the Ambassador back to the Royal vehicle and leave Ambara Royal Palace for the residence/Embassy in the same procession.
7. Termination of Mission The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be notified of the termination of the tour of duty of the Ambassador. The Ambassador, who wishes to seek a farewell audience with His Majesty the King of Thailand and the Royal Family, shall submit the Note Verbale requesting for a farewell audience with His Majesty the King and the Royal family members through the Department of Protocol at least 10 weeks before the departure date. For the Royal Audience, the Ambassador shall wear a dark suit or a national dress. For women, a suit with a skirt sufficiently long to cover the knees shall be worn. Should the Ambassador wish to have the spouse present at the audience, a request should be made in the Note Verbale, and a curriculum vitae of the spouse should be attached.
On the leaving day, the resident Ambassador will be sent off by a high-ranking protocol official provided that the time of departure is during normal office hours, between 08.30 to 16.30 hours on weekdays.
A Diplomatic agent, who has been stationed in Thailand on official duty no less than two years, may be bestowed with a Royal decoration on completion of his/her term of duties on reciprocal basis. The class of the Royal decoration will be corresponded with the rank of a Diplomatic agent during his/her official stay in Thailand.
The class of the Royal decoration is categorized as follows:
Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities In accordance with international practices, the privileges and immunities accorded to staff members of the Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations in Thailand are based on the principles of non-discrimination and reciprocity, and are governed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 and by the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act B.E. 2527 (1984), the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act B.E. 2541 (1998), which implement the said Conventions, as well as the agreements concerning privileges and immunities of the United Nations’ Specialized Agencies and certain other International Organizations to which Thailand is a party. The purpose of these privileges and immunities is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the efficient and effective performance of the official function of the missions/organizations. It is also important to note that the said Vienna Conventions will only be eligible to expatriate staff of the mission. The locally-recruited staff will not enjoy the privileges and immunities.
The content in this part is generally compiled from legal documents, rules and regulations and practices of the Kingdom of Thailand. It should be considered as a reference tool and a set of general guidelines for staff members of the Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations as well as their households stationed in Thailand, rather than a legally binding document.
1. Diplomatic Immunities
1.1 According to Article 29 and Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable and shall enjoy immunity from the criminal, civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving State.
1.2 Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, the
followings are inviolable:
1.4 The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity. The premises of the mission shall also be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.
Therefore, the receiving State shall accord full facilities for the performance of the functions of the Mission.
1.5 The Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations that wish to request for extra security measures, should submit a Note Verbale informing their request to the Department of Protocol so that the Department could coordinate with the Thai authorities concerned to increase security measures and other protection facilities for the Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations on various occasions such as the National Day Reception hosted by the Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations. Moreover, the Department will also provide related protection measures to the Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations in time of crisis. The Missions are also encouraged to establish direct contacts with the police in the vicinity on security issues.
1.6 It is important to note that according to Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 and Article 55 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. Diplomatic and consular immunities do not relieve diplomatic and consular personnel of the duty to discharge all private financial obligations incurred during their stay in Thailand.
2. Firearms Members of Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts and International Organizations, who wish to possess firearms with a justified security reason, shall submit a request to the Department of Protocol for the importation, exportation, registration and licensing of firearms. The Department of Protocol will consider the request on a case-a-case basis.