Import of Alcohol in Thailand is regulated by the Thai Excise Department. Labels must be registered before import.
Import and sale of alcoholic beverages in Thailand is regulated by the Liquor Act of 1950 and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act of 2008.
Spirit or liquor are material or mixture that contains alcohol and is consumable or becomes consumable after mixing with water or other liquids.
They are subdivided into two groups:
- Undistllled spirits – or mixtures of fermented spirits with distilled spirits (e.g. wines, champagnes, and low-degree liquors)
- Distilled spirits – or mixtures of distilled spirits with fermented spirits with alcohol volume more than 15 degrees (e.g. whiskey, brandy, rum, vodka, gin, etc.)
The Excise Department is responsible to collect the excise tax on alcohol, but not only: they are also the regulatory agency for alcohol import and distribution (in accordance with the Liquor Act B.E. 2493). The licensing system of the Excise Department obliges the importer to sell the alcoholic beverages in respect of Thai regulation.
Siam Trade Development offers Regulatory services to register labels for wine and liquors and can import the products for third parties through its partner Easy Wine in Bangkok. See also our page on Importer of Records.
Siam Trade Development services
Tax system for Alcohol Import in Thailand: Duties, excise, local taxes, VAT. How to calculate the cost
Alcohol Duties in Thailand
Duties applied to Alcohol import in Thailand depends on the Country of origin and the product. For examples, wine form Countries without a special agreement (France, Italy, USA) pays 54% duty, that is reduced to half if Origin is Australia, Chile, New Zealand etc. See below to have full picture of alcohol taxation method in Thailand
Excise on Wine and Spirits
Excise has a complicated way of calculation, that makes the system quite dangerous in case of mistakes. Basically, Excise is based on two factors: 1) selling price, that has a added tax if exceeding a given quota (ad-valorem tax); 2) based on alcoholic content and volume of the bottle. Click here to check the formula to calculate as example the Excise Tax for Wine in thailand
Additional tax and VAT
Alcoholic beverages are generally charged by additional tax that are globally the 17,5% of the total Excise calculated in the paragraph before. After this additional tax is applied, VAT must be calculated on the full value based on (CIF price + Duty + Excise + Additional Tax) x 7%.
Globally, Alcohol Import in Thailand is charged with around 300% taxes
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General Guidelines on taxation on Import Alcohol in Thailand
Duties are levied on imported Alcoholic Beverages before they are released from the Customs:
Customs import duties
Excise tax for Excise Department and Interior Tax
Value Added Tax (VAT) for the Revenue Department
Import duties are imposed at a specific rate, based on price declared in purchase invoice.
Most of the imported alcoholic beverages are subject to import duties between 5 and 60%, but this percentage may be reduced or also eliminated under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
For what concerns wine and beer of an alcoholic strength by volume not exceeding 15% or, exceeding 15% but not exceeding 23% (fermented liquors):
|EXPORTING COUNTRY||AD VALOREM RATE (%)|
|Countries with no FTA||60|
|ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand||20|
|ASEAN – China Free Trade Agreement||Exempted|
|ASEAN – JAPAN||32.7|
|ASEAN – KOREA||Exempted|
|FTA Thai – Australia||12|
|Exemption and Reduction of Customs Duty for the Goods Originating in Japan||27.27|
|FTA Thai – New Zealand||9|
|Thai – Peru||24|
The excise tax is an indirect tax imposed on certain goods, among them alcoholic products, when they enter into the country. As for import duties, the excise tax is imposed either at a specific rate (based on the volume of alcohol content) or at an ad valorem rate (a percentage of the value of the product) and range from one to 50% or both.
As example, Excise tax on wine is calculated as follows:
- Ad valorem rate. If the SELLING PRICE in Thailand is below 999 THB, this value is ZERO. If selling price is 1.000 THB or above, the rate is 10% of declared selling price.
- Based on alcohol content: the formula to calculate Excise is as follows: [(Alcoholic degrees) * (content in litres) * 1500THB] / 100
Local Taxes on Alcohol Import
Apart from the above-mentioned taxes, imported alcohol is also subjected to further 5 local taxes, Thai health taxes and TV taxes, respectively amounting to 10%, 2%, 1.5%, 2% and 2% on the excise tax. Totally Local taxes burden 17,5% of Excise Tax on every bottle of wine imported into the kingdom.
Alcohol Import License
In order to import Alcohol in Thailand, a Company must get an Import License type 1. Required documents for the release of Licnese are:
- Application form “Sor 2/64”
- In case of a physical person: copy of ID card and copy of household registration of trader or lease contract
- In case of a juristic person: a copy of the certificate of the juristic person, copy of the ID card of the director and a power of attorney
- In case you are applying for a Type 1 or Type 2 license, a map of the business place and a letter for liquor stock examination are required. The liquor stock will also have to be examined.
Alcohol Import Procedure
First of all, before importing alcohol one should receive the approval of the officer of the Excise Department. A form “SOR2/74” will have to be issued for every batch (B/L or AWB) that will be imported.
The other documents required for import wine and alcoholic beverages are:
- Copy of liquor selling license Type 1
- Copy of Invoice and Performa invoice
- B/L or AWB
- Packing List
- Certificate of label approval
- Laboratory Analysis with specific standards
- Copy of household registration of business place or lease contract
- Copy of the ID card (if it concerns a physical person) or a certificate of registration in case of a juristic person
- Power of attorney
Time for custom clearance varies from 3 to 10 days (you should expect some inspection or additional documents request). Time for licensing a wine label is from 20 to 30 days.
If you are importing for online sales, we strongly advise to read this article: ONLINE ALCOHOL SALES BAN IN THAILAND
Import tax on Wine in Thailand are 4:
- Local Taxes
- Value Added Tax
DUTY is calculated ad-valorem, based on the purchase invoice. Countries without FTA pay 54%, for Countries lilke New Zealand, Australia, Chile duties are reduced.
EXCISE is claculated in two different ways:
- Ad valorem tax, based on intended retail price in Thailand. If retail price is above 1.000 THB tax is 10% of the declared price. If 999 THB or below, tax is zero.
- Tax based on Alcohol content according to this formula: (Alcohol content x Content in litres x 1500 THB) / 100
Summarizing, one 0.75 litres bottle of wine with 14% alcohol content, sold in the shop at 1.400 THB, will pay: 0.75*14*1500/100 = 157.50 THB based on alcohol and 1400*10% = 140 THB. Total excise shall be 297.50
LOCAL TAXES are 5, calculated on the amount of Excise paid: 10% + 2% + 1.5% + 2% + 2%. In this case, our bottle paying 297.50 THB Excise Tax will be levied a further 52.06 THB, for a total of 349.56 THB.
VAT is 7% calculated on the CIF price + Duty + Excise + Local Taxes.
Globally import tax on wine in Thailand are 400% of the purchase price.
We remind you that labels must be approved before import. Siam Trade Development can license for you and take care of import procedure of your wine.
Effective from December 8th, 2020, sale online of alcoholic beverages in Thailand is forbidden.
The amendment of two sections of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act signed by Thai Prime Minister defines that no one could sell or provide service to consumers related to alcoholic beverage sales “through electronic devices or in a manner of electronic communication.”
For more details you can read the full article HERE