6 June 2024

The Excise Department is considering the imposition of a tax on the salt content of food in a bid to encourage food producers to reduce the sodium content of snacks, instant noodles and seasoning cubes.

Mr. Natthakorn Uthensut, director of the Office of Tax Planning at the Excise Department, said that the department was in the process of discussing a limit on the amount of sodium food can contain, in line with the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the WHO, an individual should not consume more than 2,000 milligrams of salt per day.

Mr. Natthakorn said, in reality, Thai people are consuming an average of 1,000 milligrams per meal, which means their daily intake is well above the WHO guidelines.

Mr. Natthakorn said that any tax imposed should be at a level which will encourage food producers to reduce the sodium in their processed food without being punitive, adding that the proposal is not intended to generate more tax revenue, but to help protect the health of consumers. Excessive sodium in the human diet can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Fish sauce, soy sauce and salt would not be taxed, according to Mr. Natthakorn