On January 22, 2015, the Notification of the Alcoholic Beverages Control, Re: Rules, Procedures, and Conditions for Labels of Alcoholic Beverages was published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette. It sets out controversial labelling and message restrictions for alcoholic beverages that could result in major losses for the alcohol industry. Duty Free and Travel Retail will be affected by the new rules. According to industry sources the new regulations are due to come into force on October 20. Attempts since the publication of the notification by various stakeholders in the industry in Thailand to obtain an exemption from the government have unfortunately been rejected.
The objective of the new act is to ensure communications message on bottles and packaging which must not mislead consumers and not directly or indirectly persuade people to consume alcohol. Messages using pictures of film stars, artist, singers or actors as well as cartoon images are not permitted under the new law. A significant number of SKUs are affected by this from a number of alcohol suppliers. APTRA will continue to work alongside partners and members in the remaining few weeks before the enforcement date to try to obtain some form of relief or extended grace period to adapt stocks.