Thailand to raise excise tax on sugary drinks in April

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Excise Department Director-General Ekniti Nitithanprapas said officials will push forward with the third phase of its tax on sugary drinks beginning April 1 while the tax hike was originally supposed to take effect on October 1 last year but was postponed by the Cabinet for six months.

The Excise Department has notified the general public that the excise tax on sugary drinks will be raised on April 1.

Excise Department Director-General Ekniti Nitithanprapas said officials will push forward with the third phase of its tax on sugary drinks beginning April 1. The tax hike was originally supposed to take effect on October 1 last year but was postponed by the Cabinet for six months. The delay was intended to give businesses time to adjust their prices, which will help prevent the cost of higher taxes from being passed on to consumers.



The amended excise tax structure on beverages went into effect in 2017, which imposed a fee on sugar-based sweeteners on top of the excise duty charge on beverages in order to pressure manufacturers to lower the sugar content in their drinks for the benefit of consumers’ health. The tax hike also aligns with recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent and contain non-communicable diseases.



The revised tax rates were intended to gradually increase over four phases. However, the government has postponed its schedule since the higher tax could directly impact consumers and hinder the recovery of beverage business operators impacted by the pandemic. (NNT)