June 23, 2021

Thai alcohol sellers petition against online sales ban

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask lines up outside a liquour shop after Bangkok and several other provinces announced a 10-day ban on alcohol sale starting April 10 during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai alcoholic beverages sellers on Thursday submitted a petition to parliament against a ban on the online sale of alcohol, saying it hurt small businesses.

Thailand earlier this week announced a ban after seeing a spike in online orders amid lockdowns to contain the coronavirus, which the government said had led to underage drinking.

The country in April also banned the sale of alcohol at shops for three weeks as part of social distancing measures.

“Don’t use the youth to ban online alcohol sales,” said Supapong Pruenglampoo, a representative from a craft beer network.

“It does not protect the youth, but is a way to stop small sellers and benefits convenience stores, destroying online businesses.”

The ban, which comes into effect in early December, will carry a maximum fine of 10,000 baht (245.45 pounds) and up to six months in prison.

Thailand, where the legal age to consume alcohol is 20, already has some of the strictest alcohol laws in the region, prohibiting sales in specific areas such as near schools and limits the hours stores can sell alcohol.

Several grocery retailers in Thailand offer alcoholic products online.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat, Chayut Setboonsarng and Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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