Thailand has approved the collection of 7% value-added tax (VAT) on imported goods sold for less than 1,500 baht ($40.93) from July to December, a finance ministry official said on Friday.

Imported goods sold for less than 1,500 baht are currently exempt from VAT in Thailand.

After December, there will be a law change to allow the revenue department to continue collecting VAT on such products, the official told Reuters.

In February, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat said cheap imported Chinese goods priced less than 1,500 baht that were exempted from customs duties and value-added tax were hurting local manufacturers.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has previously noted a trend of false declarations being made on cheap Chinese products in free trade zones, to avoid VAT, which he said should be imposed.

($1 = 36.65 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring, Editing by Ed Davies)