Market Access – Thailand update

Thai health warning labels

Last month new draft requirements were released for domestic consultation by Thailand’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABCB) as a draft amendment to Section 26(1) of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

The draft announcement covers a wide range of requirements including graphic health warnings, restrictions on text that is displayed on the packaging or labels, and the specifications for how warnings need to be displayed.

This measure is the same or similar to measures which have been prosed by Thai authorities in the past. Of greatest concern includes:

  • Warning statements “Selling alcoholic beverages to persons under 20 years of age is punishable by imprisonment and a fine” and “Alcoholic beverages can cause cancer” in Thai font, “Angsana New” or other fonts with similar characteristics which are bold and displayed in white letters on a dark black background.
  • The container must include a notice warning about the dangers of alcoholic beverages. In addition, a clear warning message and pictures of alcohol dangers must be displayed in four colors and six styles, alternating at a rate of one type per 1,000 containers. The statement format is as follows (Examples of message and picture)
  • These warnings must be displayed on containers and packaging and for round or cylindrical containersthe warning statements about the dangers of alcoholic beverages must cover an area of not less than 30 percent of the total surface area of the container.

A recently released article from the Bangkok Post noted that responding to a survey conducted by Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, 87% of 1,040 individuals were opposed to the proposed regulations.

These measures are yet to be notified to the World Trade Organization by Thailand as they are still undergoing the domestic consultation processes and consideration by ABCB.

Australian Grape & Wine has sent letters to Thai ministers responsible for the proposal and asked the Australian government to engage the Thai Authorities through its post in Bangkok.

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