Thailand Plans Cut in Tobacco Duty to Lure Foreigners

    Photo: Osipov

    Thailand is preparing to halve the duty on imported cigars for five years as part of an economic stimulus and investment promotion package, reports The Bangkok Post.  

    According to Patchara Anuntasilpa, director-general of the Customs Department, the cuts are in accordance with the Sept. 14 cabinet resolution involving plans to revive the post-Covid-19 economy by encouraging wealthy foreigners and skilled professionals to stay and work in the country.

    The scheme aims to draw more than a million qualified people to Thailand over the next five years and generate about a trillion baht over the period. Cuts in import duties will be part of the mix.

    The group is expected to spend on average 1 million baht per person per year while staying and working in Thailand.

    The package also includes a 10-year Thai visa for approved special visitors along with their spouses and children, the same rates of income tax as Thai citizens, a tax exemption for income earned abroad and the right to ownership of property and land. 

    The announcement comes as Thailand prepares to implement a new excise tax structure for cigarettes next month.

    Under the new system, a flat tax rate of 40 percent will be applied to cigarettes regardless of the retail price.

    At present, the law applies a 20 percent tax to the retail price for packs costing up to THB60 ($1.83). If the retail price exceeds THB60 per pack, a 40 percent tax rate is applied.