TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday reminded Taiwanese travelers to Thailand of restrictions on duty free purchases of cigarettes and liquor that the country imposes on visitors.
Citing Thai duty free regulations, MOFA said in a released statement that travelers are limited to 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or cigars, and a maximum of one liter of alcohol when entering Thai customs.
If goods being taken into Thailand exceed the limit, they must be declared to customs officials and have had the duty paid before the baggage goes through the X-ray machine.
Any undeclared items will be seized and the owners may have to pay up to four times the value of the items, including the duty, MOFA said.
The ministry noted that the duty free regulations have been in place for years. But since the Thai military took control of the country last May, the administration has been enforcing duty free limits on overseas purchases more strictly.
According to MOFA, signs announcing enforcement of regulations were placed at airports in Thailand.
MOFA added that Thailand's Ministry of Finance has set up a representative office at the Suvarnabhumi Airport that regularly dispatches staff to calculate the amount of cigarettes and liquor carried by Thai and foreign nationals.
For those who purchase cigarettes or alcohol, always bring original receipts for goods purchased in Thailand when undergoing inspection by Thai authorities, MOFA added.
The Thai military has taken control of the government and suspended the constitution in order to restore order and enact political reforms as of May 2014, following a coup.
Thailand now remains under martial law and the junta says a general election is at least a year away.
MOFA's warning came a week before the long Lunar New Year break is scheduled to begin next week, when many Taiwanese people travel overseas.
Thailand is one of the top travel destinations for Taiwanese tourists. More than half a million nationals visited the Southeast Asian country in 2013.