January 27, 2017
Vaping in Thailand could get you 5 Years in the monkey house
Facing 5 years for Vaping in Thailand
While the rest of the world considers the health benefits of e cigarettes, in Thailand those that puff away like a reborn Marlborough Man, face five years jail, or a fine of four times the value of the goods or both jail and a fine.
Strangely, falling foul of the law is not due to vaping, as there is ‘NO’ actual law banning the possession of E-cigarettes in Thailand. The problem is due to the fact, these products fall into a category of, ‘goods that have not been taxed‘. This means being caught in possession of E-cigarettes, is therefore illegal, falling as it does under the scope of Customs and Excise:
Customs Act Section 20 is basically about being able to be arrested without an arrest warrant if you are breaking the law
Customs Act Section 27 states basic tax evasion, import duty stuff where the maximum 5 year sentence is from.
The maximum Five year sentence is linked to the import/export ban, meaning that if you are simply in possession of a vaping device, or its liquid, you have broken the law.
Although there are reports of the police confiscating, E-cigarettes used in public places, we could not find details of anyone being arrested or finned. As with so much in this part of the world, implementing the law is down to the discretion of each individual police officer and in some cases the need to help in their own retirement planning………….
The law on Importing E-cigarettes
The importation, sale and production for sale of E-cigarettes, is also illegal with offenders liable to 10 year sentences for production and sale and a fine of five times the value of the goods or both. This law has been on the statute since December 2014.
Buying E-cigarettes in Thailand
To confuse the situation further, both E-cigarettes and their e-liquids are readily available within the country. A quick Google search shows numerous places and sites where you can get your fix.
But there’s the rub, will these providers have paid the duty and would carrying proof of purchase be enough to keep you the right side of the law…who knows?
There you have it, clear as mud……………. just like the possession of fireworks in the Kingdom it is the person not the provider who is legally responsible ………by using E-cigarettes purchased inside, or out of the Kingdom, you do so at your own risk!
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