THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Tobacco law under review for legal import of e-cigs, baraku

BANGKOK: The Excise Department may ask the government to allow the legal import of electronic cigarettes and baraku (shisha), which would be taxed like cigarettes, says the department’s Director-General, Somchai Poolsavasdi.

healtheconomics
By Bangkok Post

Monday 31 October 2016, 05:54PM


Baraku sets seized by customs agents on display. Photo: Bangkok Post

Baraku sets seized by customs agents on display. Photo: Bangkok Post

Mr Somchai said the department has noticed a loophole in the current tobacco law, which does not define e-cigs and barakuproducts as new types of tobacco-related goods intended to replace conventional cigarettes.

“We are still uncertain whether we will allow them to be imported legally or not, but if we decide to allow it we will have to tax them for sure,” said Mr Somchai.

“We have decided to take the first step to treat them properly by adjusting the legal definition of tobacco to cover all of these items. It not only concerns electronic cigarettes and baraku, but everything that has been created to be consumed in place of cigarettes,” he added.

Under the Tobacco Act 1966, tobacco products are defined as those made from tobacco leaf only, hence the Act cannot govern cigarettes in electronic form or water pipes, also known as baraku, which are also now available in electronic form.

“Once we define these goods as taxable items, it will be easier for us to tax them later if we allow them to be imported legally,” said Mr Somchai.

While new ways of smoking and “vaping” have been available in some other markets worldwide for years, it is illegal to import such items into Thailand, resulting in them being smuggled in.

“It is quite complicated as tobacco is a sensitive issue here. We have to study thoroughly the pros and cons of allowing them to be imported legally,” he said.

It is still debatable whether e-cigarettes or baraku are healthier alternatives to cigarettes and cigars.

The amended law on excise tax has been passed by the Council of State after earlier being approved by the Cabinet. It is now under consideration of the National Legislative Assembly. If the NLA approves the revised law, it will come into effect 180 days after it is announced in the Royal Gazette.

QSI International School Phuket

The excise tax restructuring is part of the Finance Ministry’s comprehensive tax reforms, while the Tobacco Act is a part of the tax reform plan. The legal amendments will switch the excise tax basis to state-recommended retail prices from ex-factory prices. The change is expected to come into force by mid-2017.

Switching the method of calculation will standardise duty collection and create more fairness and transparency, said the director-general.

Under the current system of calculating excise tax, importers have used loopholes to understate the value of costs, insurance and freight (CIF) in order to reduce their tax burdens.

But the excise duty calculation based on state-recommended retail prices will make it harder for importers to evade making tax payments, said Mr Somchai.

Even though state-recommended retail prices are normally higher than ex-factory prices and CIF value, he said the change will not further burden importers, as the Excise Department will mitigate the effects by lowering the current rates.

Apart from the Tobacco Act, six other laws will be integrated into a single act to standardise and simplify the tax collection process to facilitate the new tax calculation structure.

They are the Liquor Act of 1950, the Playing Card Act of 1943, the Excise Tariff Act of 1984, the Excise Tax Act of 1984, the Allocation of Excise Tax Act of 1984 and the Allocation of Liquor Tax Act of 1984.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Governor ‘urges’ action to save water ‘in case of drought’

'There's' a 'lot' of 'words' in this 'article' in 'quotes...(Read More)


Prayut set to retain grip on top job

"They to old to understand what Thailand needs" Yep,for that they should ask the serial po...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

"They allow the rental agents...to rent to foreigners without a bike license"The article s...(Read More)


No ‘tsunami alert’, just notice to be aware, says Phuket disaster chief

Someone starts to panic again.Maybe time for him to erect a tent on a mountain and to stock up emerg...(Read More)


Phuket Governor ‘urges’ action to save water ‘in case of drought’

Reading Governors addressing/statement, he perfectly avoided to touch matters seriously. Further tha...(Read More)


Mayor announces plan to prevent water crisis

How many water trucks does the governor, mayor and their cronies own or operate?...(Read More)


Mayor announces plan to prevent water crisis

Preventing a water crisis? What a utterly nonsense! Phuket is suffering a water crisis! Due to short...(Read More)


Mayor announces plan to prevent water crisis

This is the time to bring the backhoes and excavators and to dig deeper all Phuket dams and reservoi...(Read More)


Patong Police to create LINE group with rental shops to monitor tourist bike riders

More delusional thinking: "The hospitals love all the money motorbike rentals bring them."...(Read More)


Phuket timeshare an issue once again

Good morning Phuket news and the writer, The Absolute group is still busy will the same thing that s...(Read More)