Thailand is to ban the sale of alcohol online, because the government says it is too difficult to ensure broader liquor sales are being respected.
The decision has been signed off by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who said that alcoholic drinks have become a popular item traded via e-commerce, creating difficulties in oversight.
Thailand’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Act BE 2551 sets legal limits for the sale of alcohol that have proved impossible to adequately enforce on digital trading, which has presented problems in controlling the date, time, venue and target groups buying alcohol.
Thai law prohibits the sale of alcohol in retail stores before 11am, between 2pm and 5pm and after midnight. The kingdom also has numerous full-day bans throughout the year including Buddhist holidays and days in which elections are scheduled.
According to the Prime Minister’s announcement, prohibited activities include the direct sale of alcohol online, as well as persuasion, introducing alcoholic products or related services via electronic channels that allow for retail transactions for alcohol to occur without physically meeting.
It does not include in-person electronic transactions such as purchases made by digital means in restaurants and stores.
The ban will be put into place within 90 days of being published in the Royal Gazette.