Alcohol sales and advertising in online platforms banned from today in Thailand

National –

The prohibition on the sales and the promotion of alcohol online finally begins today, December 7th, following the notification of the Royal Gazette in early September.

Reminded by the Royal Thai Police at a press conference last Friday, the new regulations include the sale or advertising of alcoholic beverages through all digital and social media platforms.

Those who violate the law will be subject to up to six months in prison and a fine of up to 10,000 baht or both, according to Police Colonel Siriwat Deepor, the deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police.

This legal measure, as mentioned in the notification, is adapted to the current situation of the increase in online business in Thailand and it is issued to prevent minors under the age of 18 from having easy access to buying alcohol and to reduce the accidents that may have been caused by alcohol.

Dr. Niphon Chinanonwet, Director of the Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, said at the conference that the ban is equally applicable to both small and large retailers and assured that only alcohol sales meant to be delivered remotely on social media platforms such as Facebook, Line, and websites were being prohibited.

The prohibition, therefore, excludes paying for alcoholic beverages via electronic channels at stores, restaurants, or any licensed establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. Questions have arisen, The Pattaya News notes, on if this will affect live streaming that has become popular in many Pattaya establishments and it appears the answer so far is No, as most venues advertise simply “drinks” and not specific alcoholic beverages and there is no delivery or consumption of a beverage outside of a licensed establishment.

Previous applicable laws will still be in effect in addition to the new regulations. Any attempts to persuade and introduce alcoholic products that are violating the Alcohol Control Act are subject to a maximum of a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to 500,000 baht or both.

Tax evasion cases will be penalized based on the volume of alcohol sold, while anyone selling to minors will be violating the Child Protection Act, the deputy spokesman concluded.

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