As anyone knows who has tried to buy European wine or beer in Thailand, it is expensive.
Why? Because Thailand adds import tariffs to it when it arrives in the country. Tariffs that are then added to the price the consumer has to pay.
European friends have been saying this is against WTO rules for quite a while now and it seems the EU is now agreeing with them.
At a meeting being held in Phnom Penh before the ASEAN Summit this week, EU Trade Ambassador Karel De Gucht said these tariffs are against WTO rules and the EU may take legal action against Thailand if they are not stopped.
Thailand’s practice of adding exorbitant taxes onto EU alcohol is also discrimination as, while Thailand continues to tax European alcohol at rates of up to 60 percent, the tax on alcohol from the 10 ASEAN countries has been canceled completely in recent years.
That means beer or wine from Malaysia Vietnam, and Indonesia, for instance, can be imported into Thailand with no added tax at all.
The EU Trade Ambassador says they will likely be filing legal action against Thailand with the WTO if this does not change.
Let’s hope they do.
After all, it is more than time Thailand’s discrimination against European businesses, European people and other westerners in so many areas is stopped.
If not, Thais may be surprised one day to see Europe and America turn around and start adding huge taxes onto Thai products imported into Europe or North America in retaliation.