Currently, there are 2 draft acts to amend Alcohol Control Act B.E. 2551 (2008) (“Act”). One is presented by Mr. Charoen Charoenchai and his proponents (“Draft Act Proposed by Mr. Charoen”) and another is proposed by the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee (“Draft Act Proposed by the Committee”).
The Draft Act Proposed by Mr. Charoen remains in the public hearing process. The public hearing will need to be taken place for no less than 15 days from 23 June 2021. Until now, it is still waiting for comments from all related governmental agencies and private entities (i.e. Excise Department, Office of the Alcohol Control Committee, Ministry of Public Health, Office of the Higher Education Commission, Royal Thai Police, Department of Religious Affair, business operators, alcohol beverage consumer, and general population). The Draft Act Proposed by Mr. Charoen will have to be amended according to the comments as received from the hearing proceeding and it will then be presented to the Cabinet and Parliament for their consideration.
The Draft Act Proposed by the Committee has finished its public hearing process since 9 July 2021. It is in the process of amending and finalizing according to the comments as received from the hearing proceeding. The draft Act Proposed by the Committee will be proposed to the Cabinet and Parliament for their approval.
The Parliament will consider both drafts together as their contents are interrelated.
Key Summaries of both Draft Act Proposed by Mr. Charoen and Draft Act Proposed by the Committee presented for their public hearings are as follows:
|Topics||Draft Act Proposed by Mr. Charoen||Draft Act Proposed by the Committee|
|Clarification||Narrowing down the scope of definitions resulting in more relaxed restriction whereby the sell of alcoholic beverages will only mean exchange of alcoholic beverages with money and advertisement will exclude market communication (activities with an aim to sell goods, services or image. It also covers public relations, sales promotion, product expositions, organization or support of special events and direct marketing).||Expanding the scope of alcoholic drinks to cover any consumables having alcohol higher than 0.5 degree as part of its component.|
|Advertisement||Reducing restriction imposed on the advertisement of the alcoholic drinks.||Expanding the scope of restricted advertisement whereby the Alcohol Control Committee has the power to issue regulations on advertisement; Prohibiting any persons to endorse or act in anyways to promote, whether directly or indirectly, the alcoholic beverage including for the promotion of the brand image and any other purposes to be prescribed by the Alcohol Control Committee.|
|National Alcoholic Beverage Policy Committee||Including representatives from the alcoholic operators and experts.||Expanding the scope of power in issuing policies and work plan for controlling of alcoholic beverages through taxes and other measures as well as treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics without the approval of the cabinet.|
|Alcohol Control Committee||Reducing the numbers of representative from the private entities whose goal is to protect consumers, consumer protection, and protection of the right of women and children; and Reducing the scope of power of the Alcohol Control Committee ranging from their power to regulate the label, limited time and area to sell the alcoholic drinks.||Increasing the numbers of the representative from the private entities whose goal is to promote public health.|
|Power of the competent official||–||Expanding the power of competent official in collecting evidence and checking of ID or related documents during investigation.|
|Other Sale Policies||Prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages on specific days is still possible, but the government will need to provide measures to reduce the adverse impact on the businesses and the tourism sector; and Revoking the prohibitions of use of promotion to boost sales and use of electronic vending machine to sell alcoholic drinks.||–|
|Penalties||Reducing maximum penalties for the violation.||Increasing penalties for the violation.|