Thailand to Revamp Food Act

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January 3, 2018 - Nhat Nguyen

The Food and Drug Administration of Thailand published a draft amendment to the Food Act B.E. 2522, which is the seminal regulation on food and food safety in Thailand. The revision will add new requirements on key areas including food advertisement and penalty on violation.

Verisk 3E Analysis

This draft legislation differs from the previous act, Food Act BE 2522, as follows: 

  • The draft states that it may limit certain individual freedoms in order to protect consumer more effectively and support modernization for economic benefits of the country and the people. 
  • The draft provides definitions of related food organizations and food-industry practitioners including "Specialist" and "Specialist Organization."
  • The draft makes a change in Article 24; it states that "Approver" of exported food must ensure that quality or standards on additives, containers, labeling and other details of the products will meet international guidelines. The entities that receive export approval must provide information of clients to the authority for reviews. Food Act BE 2522 mentions the compliance of international standards only on an "every-now-and-then basis." 
  • The draft states that food advertisements must not exaggerate, cause misunderstanding, suggest medical capacity to treat illnesses, contain information on aphrodisiacs, support immoral acts, undermine national unity, misstate ingredients, cause misunderstanding on how to consume the food, cite any certifications or endorsements by individuals in public health or medical organizations, or give information other than recommended by the authority. Food Act BE 2522 only said the advertisement must not overstate the food property, give false information or inappropriately convince consumers.

Business Impact

If the draft is passed, it will take effect in 180 days after publication in the the Royal Gazette. The definitions of related food organizations and food experts lay the ground for paperwork to be conducted by these entities. The added information provides qualifications of people who are eligible to review academic papers. The clarification can also be used to identify local and foreign entities to be affected by documentation fees, such as registration fees for those organizations and food permit application fees. The more detailed information on export procedure and advertisement guidelines will also affect private entities.