Online alcohol sales banned from today

That ban on sales of alcohol online kicks in today. Announced 3 months ago, the actual ban starts from today. The Royal Thai Police and Public Health Ministry reminded us about the start of the new law on Friday, that prohibits the sale or advertising of alcoholic beverages through digital and social media channels.

“From Monday, December 7, the sale and advertisement of alcoholic beverages online will be prohibited. Direct selling, persuading consumers, introducing products or other related services via digital channels that enable sellers to complete a sale without meeting the buyer face to face is now banned.”

Selling and buying beer, wine and spirits online has become more popular, but the Thai PM says that internet alcohol sales are harder to control than sales at local liquor stores. He noted last month that it’s difficult to check that the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act are being followed online, like no alcohol sales before 5pm or on certain holidays (although many local stores didn’t follow the rules anyway).

But the new prohibition doesn’t include paying for alcoholic beverages via electronic methods at stores, restaurants or establishments that serve alcohol.

“This prohibition applies to all retailers and wholesalers, regardless of the size of company. This law is not a ploy to cut off sales channels for small businesses as some say.”

In reality the ban will have little effect on people’s access to alcohol, other than preventing the ordering online. The purchase and payment of alcohol at bars and other establishments, including restaurants, remains unchanged.


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