In the past, the Food and Drug Checkpoints Subdivision was under the Inspection Division and responsible for the entire range of inspections:  facilities of manufacturers, importers, and sellers – both in Bangkok and upcountry. Currently, with the notion of “one-stop service,”  each product control division has its own inspectors. Consequently, a great number of officers of the Inspection Division were transferred elsewhere, for example, to the Food Control Division and the Drug Control Division. And the tasks of the Inspection Division have been reduced to only those involving the import control at the checkpoints. As a result, the name of the division was recently changed to Import and Export Inspection Division.

Current Food and Drug Checkpoints

To successfully handle the tasks at the food and drug checkpoints, the officials’ fundamental academic knowledge is important. Most officers are pharmacists and some others are scientists who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food science.
Currently, there are 10 Food and Drug Checkpoints nationwide:
  1.   Bangkok Air Cargo Food and Drug Checkpoint
  2.   Inbound-Passengers 1 Food and Drug Checkpoint
  3.   Inbound-Passengers 2 Food and Drug Checkpoint
  4.   Port Authority of Thailand Food and Drug Checkpoint
  5.   Customs Department Food and Drug Checkpoint
  6.   Bangkok Mail Centre Food and Drug Checkpoint
  7.   Lat Krabang Food and Drug Checkpoint
  8.   Cement Thai Food and Drug Checkpoint, Samut Prakan Province
  9.   Padang Bezar Food and Drug Checkpoint, Songkhla Province
  10.   Laem Chabang Food and Drug Checkpoint, Chon Buri Province

Coordination with Other Agencies

Without a good working relationship among relevant agencies, effective import control cannot be achieved. There are many people involved in the process – officials from other divisions of the Thai FDA, the Medical Sciences Department, the Customs Department, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, etc. In addition, input from private companies is helpful in enhancing the efficiency of the work process at the checkpoints. One of the things to keep in mind is that, “procedures taken at the checkpoints should not be too lengthy and burdensome to decent importers.”


The officers at the checkpoints are responsible for checking a variety of imported health products under the supervision of the Thai FDA including foods, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, narcotics, psychoactive substances, and hazardous substances for household use. This is in accordance with relevant laws:
  • Food Act B.E. 2522 (1979)
  • Drug Act B.E. 2510 (1967) and its revision
  • Medical Devices Act B.E. 2531 (1988)
  • Cosmetics Act B.E. 2535 (1992)
  • Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 (1979)
  • Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975)
  • Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992)
  • Volatile Substance Act B.E.2533 (1990)

Regulatory Procedures

The food and drug inspectors at the checkpoints are vigilant to examine both the required import documents and the imported health products. In close cooperation with the customs officers at the checkpoints and the food and drug counterparts, health products are allowed to get into the country without prior approval from food and drug inspectors. Apart from document and product examinations, the inspectors at the checkpoints periodically take samples and sometimes perform the preliminary tests. The specific laboratory analyses are undertaken by the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, which has also prepared useful preliminary test-kits for use at the checkpoints.