THAI GOV’T REMOVED ENTRY BARRIERS TO LIQUOR PRODUCTION AHEAD OF PARLIAMENT DELIBERATION
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: David Mathews
The Thai government has removed capital and capacity requirements for liquor production, making it easier for small-scale brewers and distillers to get production licences.
Becoming effective today, local media said the move is to pre-empt the opposition party’s bill to liberalise liquor production ahead of parliament deliberation.
Thai government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said the amendment removes the requirement for a minimum registered capital of Baht 10m (USD266,000) for a licence to produce beer, wine, sparkling wine and homebrew liquor.
It also removes the requirement for a minimum annual production of 100,000 litres for beer production.
The amendment stipulates that producers of craft beer for commercial purposes must be a juristic person under Thai laws and have at least 51 percent of shares held by Thai shareholders.
Producers of non-beer liquors for commercial purposes must either be a registered agricultural group, cooperative, community enterprise, a company or partnership under laws with all shareholders being Thai nationals.
Licence applicants must not have broken any laws related to excise tax in the past year.
As for producers for non-commercial purposes, applicants must be over 20 years old and present evidence including a map of their production facilities, details of liquor, ingredients, production process, distilling machines used and production volume for Excise Department approval.
The government spokesman said the amendment aimed at promoting competition in the liquor business while ensuring that the government’s excise tax collection will not be affected.
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