The Royal Thai Gazette, responsible for announcing laws and regulations in Thailand, announced this afternoon, July 22nd, 2021, that tampons are officially now classified as cosmetics in the Kingdom of Thailand.
This change means that tampons can now be subject to Thai quality control measures and rules, dependent on relevant agencies.
It is not immediately clear how Thailand will use this reclassification, although it could be used to control the sale of tampons or ensure brands meet certain quality standards. Tampons, although sold in Thailand, are not as widely used as in the west due to cultural differences and views by some sectors of society.
Tampons have previously been a topic of discussion in Thailand for tax-related reasons and debates on the cost of tax in Thailand, as well as being allegedly classified as a luxury item previously. It was not immediately apparent if the reclassification of tampons to cosmetics could affect pricing, either up or down. However, cosmetics are normally applicable to a thirty percent tax.
Update: The government clarified later this evening that tampons will NOT be subject to an extra tax, after concern on social media, only sales tax, and VAT.
The text in the new order describes tampons being classified as cosmetics as needed to protect the health and safety of consumers, without describing exactly how the reclassification would do so.
For reference, the order in Thai is below: