About the floods
Taxes normally paid on foreign goods entering Thailand stopped temporarily to get items like drinking water, eggs, vegetables into the country fast.
In the photo above, flood waters destroyed a small 7-11 and everything inside of it.
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FLOODING: Import limits relaxed, Consumer goods, food, drinks eligible by Post Reporters
Regulations will be eased temporarily on imports of foods, consumer products and water filters to offset flood-related shortages and allow quick distribution, while Royal Thai Air Force airports and Suvarnabhumi Airport will be used as goods distribution centres.
Yanyong Phuangrach, the permanent secretary of the Commerce Ministry, said the priority was to allow the imports of three groups of products: food and beverages (drinking water, canned fish, eggs, milk, fresh vegetables and instant noodles); consumer goods (sanitary napkins, tissue paper, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes); and water filters and drinking-water vending machines.
The ministry will be the focal point operating the "fast track" lane for imports with the target to get imported products into the country's markets within one week.
The ministry will work with other agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Customs and Excise departments and Thailand Industrial Standards Institute.
The shortage of consumer goods such as soap and toothpaste resulted from machinery relocation by large producers including Unilever from Lat Krabang Industrial Estate, so similar brands produced in the region will be imported.
There is a shortage of drinking-water bottle caps as several large plastic goods producers have been affected by the floods. There are 83 drinking-water producers in the country, with 31 in flood-hit areas.
As for the shortage of eggs, Manoj Chootabtim, president of the Association of Hen Egg Farmers, said he would not oppose increased imports from neighbouring countries but the government should consult with the Agriculture Ministry first to assure safety standards.
The current shortage was not because of supply shortfalls, but logistics problems and hoarding, he said.
"People have stocked up excessive supplies not only of eggs but of everything. The government should calm the public down and assure them there are enough essentials and food," he said.
The Commerce Ministry was assigned to find additional distribution centres as Don Mueang airport can only accept 10% of needed consumer goods and flooding began there yesterday.
Other distribution centres will include the duty-free zones in Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Royal Thai Air Force airports in Sattahip and Nakhon Ratchasima, the Transport Ministry as well as city halls in provinces.
Chartchai Tuongratanaphan, an adviser to the Thai Retailers Association, said that about 40% of goods had disappeared from the market, meaning imports needed to be secured. Traders will consider prices that are acceptable to the public, and most of the imports will be from Malaysia.
Big C Supercenter is preparing to import essential goods to meet demand, now 10 times the normal level, driven by flood-induced panic buying.
The country's second-largest hypermarket said imported goods would take one to three days to reach Bangkok, depending on the destinations, after Food and Drug Administration approval.
Kudatara Nagaviroj, director of corporate affairs, said that up to three containers of bottled water from Malaysia plus fresh vegetables and fruits from China and canned fish from Vietnam were ready to ship to Thailand.
Big C has set up five temporary distribution centres: in Suwintawong for fresh food; and Samrong, Bang Pakong, Chon Buri and Don Mueang for dry food and non-food items.
Phattaraporn Phenpraphat, vice-president of marketing and public relations for Central Food Retail Company, said Tops Supermarket would consider importing drinking water from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
In response to complaints about rising prices of necessary products, the cabinet yesterday added 16 products to its price-control list to keep traders from taking advantage of the public, said Commerce Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.
Manufacturers will be required to submit their costs, stocks of raw materials and finished goods to the Internal Trade Department and suggested prices will be announced. Traders selling above those prices could face fines or jail.
Products include bottled drinking water, tissue and facial tissue paper, flashlights, batteries, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sand and sandbags, concrete blocks, life vests, small boats with fewer than 15 seats, rubber boots, bedding, water buckets, water pumps, silicone glue and candles.
(Source: Bangkok Post, FLOODING, Import limits relaxed, Consumer goods, food, drinks eligible, 26/10/2011, Post Reporters, link)
Goods Shortage Vocabulary
import limits relaxed - make the rules that limit imports less strict, reduce limits for some goods (allow more imports for some goods)
consumer - someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
consumer goods - goods that individuals and families buy for their everyday needs such as soap, bottled water, etc
eligible - allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something มีสิทธิ มีสิทธิชอบธรรมตามกฎหมาย เอื้อด้วยกฎหมาย
temporarily - only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว
offset - reduce by moving in the opposite direction, counter-balance, compensate in the opposite direction ("x offsets y" means "x reduces the effect of y"), make up for (profits from the manufacturing business offset losses from the retail business) (See glossary)
regulations will be eased temporarily on imports of foods, consumer products and water filters to offset flood-related shortages
distribution - giving or delivering things to many people การจำหน่ายออกไป
distribution centre - a central place used to give or "distribute" goods to people
goods distribution centres
temporary - done or used for only a limited period of time, i.e., not permanent ชั่วคราว
temporary distribution centres
priority - something important that must be done first สี่งที่สำคัญเป็นลำดับแรก การให้ลำดับความสำคัญ การมาก่อน
beverages - drinks (milk, fruit juice, beer) เครื่องดื่ม
sanitary - keeping things clean (removing garbage, removing waste water, keeping water supply clean)
sanitary napkins - special pads that absorb blood used by women during their monthly period
vending machine - a machine that sells cakes, candy, coke, coffee, etc after a person puts coins into the machine
drinking-water vending machines a - a vending machine that either sells drinking water or turns ordinary water you bring into drinkable water
ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง
the focal point - the most important thing
"fast track" lane for imports - a special fast way to go through "customs" the government check for goods coming into the country
target - a goal; the amount you are planning to achieve เป้าหมาย
shortages - when there are not enough goods for people to buy การขาดแคลน
shortage of consumer goods
cap - the top of a bottle (screw off to pour, screw on to store)
shortage of drinking-water bottle caps
shortage of eggs
relocation - the process of moving someone or something to a new place การย้ายที่ใหม่
machinery relocation - moved machines from one factory to another factory
brands - products with well-established names that people remember, that create a certain image and expectations about the product
similar brands produced in the region will be imported
flood-hit areas - areas with floods (causes damage, disrupts life and business)
oppose - to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy คัดค้าน
assure - to tell something that something is true or will definitely happen ให้ความมั่นใจ, ยืนยัน
standards - an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน
safety standards - a high and acceptable level of safety
the government should consult with the Agriculture Ministry first to assure safety standards.
permanent - happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร
current - of the present time ปัจจุบัน
the current shortage
shortfalls - when the supply is not enough
logistics - the activity of transporting, storing, and tracking goods (being sent from one place to another, usually from the factory to warehouses to stores) (See Wikipedia) การขนส่งและจัดจำหน่ายสินค้า การขนส่งสินค้า
hoarding - buying a lot and keeping it without using it (because you expect the price to go up in the future) กักตุน
excessive - too much; much greater than is usual; too much of something มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดี
people have stocked up excessive supplies
calm - peaceful and quiet; without anxiety ใจเย็น,ไม่ตื่นเต้น, สงบ
calm the public down
essentials - the important basic things that are needed for daily living (food, clothes, shelter)
assure them there are enough essentials and food
import - to buy or bring in products from another country นำเข้า
imports needed to be secured - they needed to get goods from other countries
duty - tax paid on goods imported into the country
duty-free - without duties
duty-free zones - areas where you can buy foreign goods without having pay duties on them
essential - necessary, important, must have ที่จำเป็น ที่สำคัญ
essential goods - goods that people need to have (cannot live without them, or at least very difficult)
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
import essential goods to meet demand
panic - a sudden intense uncontrollable fear; a sudden strong feeling of fear, which makes you act without thinking carefully ความหวาดวิตก (See glossary)
panic buying - when people buy goods because they are afraid of something (like a goods shortage)
flood-induced panic buying - when a flood frightens people, so they buy a lot of goods because they think there will be a shortage
demand driven by flood-induced panic buying
hypermarket - a big store like Lotus or Big-C (See Wikipedia)
approval - official permission, saying "yes you can do something การอนุมัต
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - the government agency with the responsibility of ensuring food safety and drug safety in the country
Food and Drug Administration approval
containers - a system of transporting goods by ship and truck using large containers; standard sized boxes that are used to transport goods and that can be loaded onto ships, trains, planes, and trucks (See Wikipedia) ตู้บรรทุกสินค้า
three containers of bottled water from Malaysia
complaints - when people say there is something wrong and they want it changed
complaints about rising prices of necessary products
price-control list - a list of important goods with prices controlled and set by the government
traders - people who buy and sell goods or assets for a profit
advantage - a condition giving a greater chance of success ความได้เปรียบ
taking advantage of Y - doing something unfair (to person or group Y) that gives you some benefit or advantage
taking advantage of the public - doing something bad to people to make money or gain in some way
stocks - large amounts stored for future use
raw materials - materials in their natural state before being processed or used in manufacturing
finished goods - goods that a company has finished producing (in the inventory, waiting to be transported to stores)
submit - to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา ยื่น เสนอ (เอกสาร) ให้พิจารณา
submit their costs, stocks of raw materials and finished goods to the Internal Trade Department
concrete blocks - the concrete things that houses and walls are made of in Thailand
life vests - an orange thing that floats on water that you wear to keep above the water (prevents drowning in deep water)
rubber boots - waterproof "boots" that go up your legs and keep your legs dry when it is wet
bedding - all the things you need for your bed in order to go to sleep (blanket, pillow, sheet, etc)
water pumps - machine used to remove water from a place
silicone glue - used as a "sealant" to blocks water and prevents it from passing through cracks (See Wikipedia on silicone and sealant)