With last year’s removal of the kratom plant from Thailand’s national list of narcotic substances, the kingdom now hopes to export the plant and make it a cash crop. To facilitate exports and ensure compliance with legal requirements, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was recently signed on electronic data connectivity.
The MOA was signed between the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB). Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin and Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat witnessed the signing of the agreement, intended to facilitate data connectivity between the Customs Department and the ONCB. This in turn would enable licensing and the issuance of electronic documents for the exporting or importing of kratom leaves.
The ONCB is responsible for issuing import and export permits for kratom plants.
Minister Somsak said the MOA will pave the way for developing a one-stop service that would be available to kratom exporters or importers in the future. A National Single Window (NSW) system used by the Customs Department and the ONCB would meanwhile allow export and import information to be accurately inspected. Permits could also be requested online, making trade more convenient and reducing paperwork. Additionally, the NSW system would help mitigate the distribution of kratom products of unknown origin.
Taking a longer view, the justice minister said the NSW system would eventually involve acquiring export data for the kratom plant. This data will then be used to conduct economic analyses and compare demand between various foreign markets. The data would also allow for more accurate cultivation promotion in line with government efforts to make kratom a global cash crop. (NNT)