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Ban on sales and promotion of alcohol online starts December 7

Tanutam Thawan

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From December 7 you’ll no longer, officially, be able to purchase alcohol online in Thailand, according to a posting in the Royal Gazette back in September, the Thai government will prohibit the sales and promotion of alcoholic drinks on every online platform from December 7.

The ban includes direct sales, promotion and introduction of alcoholic products online, but will not include electronic payments of purchases at retail stores, restaurants and bars.

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. The announcement said 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).

“The Royal Gazette had published the announcement of ‘Prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages via electronic sales nationwide’ on September 8 noting that alcohol has become more easily accessible online due to the popularity of social media platforms and specialist Apps.

“No person shall sell alcoholic beverages or provide services related to alcoholic beverages on electronic channels. Online payment for trading such beverages at actual stores are excluded.”

With Thai officials obsessed with the perceived evils of alcohol, Thailand already has a ban on the sale of alcohol before 11am, between 2 – 5pm, and after midnight. It’s also illegal to brew your own beer at home or to post pictures of branded alcohol online, either as a private citizen or as a company. But the government’s latest announcement, that drinkers won’t be able to purchase alcohol online that really ignited the Twittersphere and social media.

Deputy PM and the Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, told AP after a meeting of the alcohol control committee on November 7, that they’d agreed to draft guidelines, under the revision of the Public Health Ministry, to inform the Public regarding the Royal Gazette announcement of banning online alcohol trading.

“Violators of the new ban will be subject to up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.”

People will still be able to use electronic methods of payment, like bank transfers, when buying alcohol at stores, restaurants or other establishments, just not purchase from online portals.

The Ministry is going to launch a publicity campaign about the new bans in the week leading up to December 7.

 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Providing treatment for alcohol addicts would be better than laws that don’t do anything for part of the alcohol dependent society. And so the theatre play of governments around the world continues.

  2. Avatar

    MikeD

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Excellent idea. I applaud the PM for making this decision. I see Many High School students are buying alcohol online as a way to get around laws. Ordering online encourages people (students and others) to order larger quantities of alcohol. Contributing to bad habits. This will help curtail that activity.

    • Avatar

      Eamon Guerrini

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 4:14 pm

      I find it hard to believe you actually personally have seen many high school students buying alcohol on line, it is a strange occupation looking over students shoulders while they make purchases on their phones.
      In my experience I have seen many very young kids being sent to the local shop to buy alcohol for their parents, no questions ever being asked by the shop owners.
      So high school students would probably never need to order alcohol on line.
      It is just another silly and illogical rule the same as the no alcohol sales between 2pm and 5pm which has little effect as most small shops and off licences ignore it.
      The alcohol that does most damage to the Thai people is LowCow which probably kills more people in Thailand than road accidents and probably is not available on line anyway..

  3. Avatar

    John

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Does this mean the online bars begging for drinks will stop or are they exempt

  4. Avatar

    Andy

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Amazing Thailand. Dictator controlling people in any way he can only invent. Why not to ban motorbikes? It will save thousands of lives.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 10:37 am

    I suppose buying online might dodge the tax,
    I cannot understand this ban on on alcohol sales in stores at certain times of the day..
    Why?
    Why when alcohol is available in the bars all day?
    It seems the government just delights on dreaming up new bans.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 11:35 am

      … and it’s only on small amounts – if you want to bulk buy you still can!

  6. Avatar

    Richard Thomas

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 9:45 am

    So whilst every other government in the world is encouraging contactless shopping by promoting online sales to lessen the spread of Covid18, the Thai government is forcing people into shops and supermarkets if they want to buy alcohol. Control of the people is clearly more important than the containment of Covid19.

    • Avatar

      The Thaiger

      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 10:33 am

      I don’t think the government is “forcing” the people to drink alcohol. Not yet anyway.

  7. Avatar

    Ian Fleming

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    The online liquor stores mostly cater to adults who want to purchase specific (frequently quite expensive) wines and liquors that they cannot find in local shops…

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