The time of cheaper drinks and cigars is coming again in Thailand, only to please the foreigners

Thai customs are planning to reduce import duties on alcoholic drinks and cigars by 50% for five years, unfortunately the Dutch frikandel will remain under ban for a while.

The Thai customs department is currently preparing to cut excise duties on alcoholic beverages and cigars imports by 50% for five years in line with the government’s economic stimulus and investment promotion package.

Patchara Anuntasilpa, director of the department, said the cuts are in line with the September 14 cabinet resolution with plans to revitalize the post-Covid19 economy by encouraging wealthy foreigners and highly skilled professionals to stay in the country and to work.

It is hoped that the scheme will attract more than a million qualified people to Thailand over the next five years and generate about a trillion baht over the period. Cuts in import duties will be part of the scheme.

This group is expected to spend an average of 1 million baht per person per year while living and working here.

Benefits included in the package also include a 10-year Thai visa for approved special visitors along with their spouses and children, the same income tax rates as Thai nationals, a tax exemption for income earned abroad, and the right to own property and land.

Patchara said about 30% of the products are likely to fall under the planned cuts and the ministerial regulations will be announced after the changes are implemented. He said the department is also preparing to review revised procedures for personal items for arriving and departing passengers.

Meanwhile, Roengrudee Patanavanicha, a tobacco control researcher, said the customs move caught him off guard as the new cigarette tax structure is expected to come into effect next month.

Now under the new system it is not for everyone “Oh! Susanna” on cigarettes a flat rate of 40% is applied, regardless of the selling price.

He believes the new tax could help reduce teenage smoking and generate revenue for the state, while also rejecting claims that maintaining high cigarette prices will increase the smuggling of smuggled cigarettes.

“It is lax law enforcement, an inefficient tax system and tobacco industry intervention that contribute to the problem,” Patanavanicha said.

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