In the order, issued on Friday (Dec 25), Governor Narong pointed out the rising concern among the public over the COVID-19 outbreak emanating from Samut Sakhon, which was very likely to result in a spike in the sale of face masks.
“At the same time, some distributors may take the opportunity during the current situation to raise prices or take opportunities with the product, causing an effect on the quantity of products available so for their own commercial benefit, which may aggravate the public,” he said.
Under the order it is illegal for distributors to sell the basic “medical style” masks produced in the country at a retail price, including VAT, higher than B2.50 per piece.
Medical masks imported from abroad or other masks imported from abroad or manufactured in Thailand, except for masks made from cloth which can be recycled, are to be sold at an “affordable price”, the order added.
The definition of an affordable price was to be calculated from the following method
For wholesalers, markup on imported or locally produced masks, after the wholesale purchase cost, administrative and transportation costs, shall not exceed 10% of the total costs.
For distributors, markup, after administrative and transportation expenses, sales returns and other expenses are included, shall not exceed 10% of the price paid to the wholesaler.
For retailers, markup, after distribution cost, return on sales and other expenses are added, shall not exceed 23% of the price paid to the distributor, not including VAT.
Any vendor found violating the order stands to face charges that carry a maximum penalty of a fine of up to B100,000 or up to five years imprisonment, or both, the order warned.
Any persons who believe a vendor is taking advantage of customers by overcharging or otherwise were urged to report the vendor to the Phuket Provincial Commerce Office at 076-219586 or the Department of Internal Trade Hotline 1569.
Alternatively, people can file complaints with the Damrongdharma Center in Phuket (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) by calling 076-213203 or the hotline 1567.