Indulging in Thailand becomes more expensive

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After a long and secretive preparation phase, Thailand on September 16 finally introduced an amended excise tax law for taxes levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and others such as sugary drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks and green tea, a charge also known as “sin tax.”

Smokers are hardest hit since cigarettes prices face the highest increases under the new tax law with tax rates now at 20 per cent for cheaper and locally  produced fags and 40 per cent for more expensive, mainly imported brands, which translates into a price hike per pack of between two and 15 baht per pack, 

Wine, for which Thailand is already among the most expensive countries in the world, will rise further in prices. The tax per bottle of wine costing more than 1,000 baht will increase by 110 baht upwards. However, wine priced at less than 1,000 baht a bottle, most of it local, will be 25 baht cheaper.

Beer will cost 0.50 baht more per can or 2.66 baht more per bottle, while high-priced brands, mostly imported, will be between 0.99 and 2.05 baht cheaper.

Locally produced liquor will cost between eight and 30 baht a bottle more while imported liquor prices will be 0.80 to 3.50 baht higher, depending on the degree of alcohol content. Interestingly, imported beverages deemed “luxury liquor,” such as blended or single malt Scotch whiskies or bourbon whiskies will cost a little less, from three baht to 26 baht, also depending on alcohol content.

Sugary and carbonated drinks, as well as energy drinks are also subject to higher taxes, but with relatively small add-ups. Green tea is now taxed up to 2.05 more per bottle, and the tax on bottled or canned coffee drinks will be 1.35 baht more.

Somchai Poonsawat, director-general of Thailand’s Excise Department. had some words of comfort:

“We believe operators will not raise retail prices to the extent that it would become a burden on consumers,” he said,

He added that the tax hike should bring new inflow of about 12 billion baht ($360 million) into state coffers .

On the first day, there were varying observations on whether or to what extent retailers such as grocery stores, restaurants and bars are passing on the new tax burden to consumers. Some did raise retail prices, some didn’t (yet).

Critics say the price rise will drive those with lower spending power to consume cheaper and unhealthier rice liquor and low-end cigarettes, and retailers will face lower revenues.

There has been a noticeable rise in smuggling activities along the Thai borders to Malaysia and Cambodia in the past weeks, and “border trade” of foreign-made cigarettes and alcoholic beverages sold for up to 50 per cent cheaper has also shot up.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

After a long and secretive preparation phase, Thailand on September 16 finally introduced an amended excise tax law for taxes levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and others such as sugary drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks and green tea, a charge also known as "sin tax." Smokers are hardest hit since cigarettes prices face the highest increases under the new tax law with tax rates now at 20 per cent for cheaper and locally  produced fags and 40 per cent for more expensive, mainly imported brands, which translates into a price hike per pack of between two and 15 baht per...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After a long and secretive preparation phase, Thailand on September 16 finally introduced an amended excise tax law for taxes levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and others such as sugary drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks and green tea, a charge also known as “sin tax.”

Smokers are hardest hit since cigarettes prices face the highest increases under the new tax law with tax rates now at 20 per cent for cheaper and locally  produced fags and 40 per cent for more expensive, mainly imported brands, which translates into a price hike per pack of between two and 15 baht per pack, 

Wine, for which Thailand is already among the most expensive countries in the world, will rise further in prices. The tax per bottle of wine costing more than 1,000 baht will increase by 110 baht upwards. However, wine priced at less than 1,000 baht a bottle, most of it local, will be 25 baht cheaper.

Beer will cost 0.50 baht more per can or 2.66 baht more per bottle, while high-priced brands, mostly imported, will be between 0.99 and 2.05 baht cheaper.

Locally produced liquor will cost between eight and 30 baht a bottle more while imported liquor prices will be 0.80 to 3.50 baht higher, depending on the degree of alcohol content. Interestingly, imported beverages deemed “luxury liquor,” such as blended or single malt Scotch whiskies or bourbon whiskies will cost a little less, from three baht to 26 baht, also depending on alcohol content.

Sugary and carbonated drinks, as well as energy drinks are also subject to higher taxes, but with relatively small add-ups. Green tea is now taxed up to 2.05 more per bottle, and the tax on bottled or canned coffee drinks will be 1.35 baht more.

Somchai Poonsawat, director-general of Thailand’s Excise Department. had some words of comfort:

“We believe operators will not raise retail prices to the extent that it would become a burden on consumers,” he said,

He added that the tax hike should bring new inflow of about 12 billion baht ($360 million) into state coffers .

On the first day, there were varying observations on whether or to what extent retailers such as grocery stores, restaurants and bars are passing on the new tax burden to consumers. Some did raise retail prices, some didn’t (yet).

Critics say the price rise will drive those with lower spending power to consume cheaper and unhealthier rice liquor and low-end cigarettes, and retailers will face lower revenues.

There has been a noticeable rise in smuggling activities along the Thai borders to Malaysia and Cambodia in the past weeks, and “border trade” of foreign-made cigarettes and alcoholic beverages sold for up to 50 per cent cheaper has also shot up.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid