But the Ministry of Commerce would like to remind the country’s merchants that selling alcohol as part of a gift set is against the law in Thailand.
Anyone who fails to comply with the law will face imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to 10,000 baht.
Since 2008, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Stop Drink Network Organisation (SDN Thailand) have run a campaign entitled “Giving Liquor = Curse” (ให้เหล้า = แช่ง).
The campaign suggests that giving someone alcohol as a gift is equivalent to putting a curse upon them because alcohol is the root of many accidents and diseases. You wouldn’t give someone a curse for Christmas, would you?
Of course, buying alcohol and presenting it to someone as a gift is not illegal in and of itself. Only if it comes in basket form packed with other goodies.
According to Section 30 of the Alcohol Control Act (2008), anyone who offers a gift basket containing alcohol will be imprisoned for up to six months and fined 10,000 baht.
Sellers who offer overpriced gift sets – whether they contain alcohol or not – face up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of up to 140,000 baht, according to the Prices of Goods and Services Act (1999).
The Ministry of Commerce says any gift baskets should be properly labelled with information regarding the products, size, price, and expiration dates.
Officials are known to take spot checks on seasonal gift baskets to ensure that no one is getting ripped or receiving out-of-date produce…
“The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is committed to protecting consumers against low quality or expired products that some retailers may try to bundle in the gift baskets. Retailers are also required to display the list of each item in the basket along with their prices to let customers know what they are buying and that each of them is priced correctly.”
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