Sugar Tax Begins Today

Two month transition period from 1 July to 31 August

KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — Beginning today, the import and manufacturing of sugary drinks in Malaysia are subject to excise duties.

The excise duty is imposed on sweetened beverages at 40 sen per litre on two categories of ready-to-drink packaged sweetened drinks. These include carbonated drinks containing added sugar or flavoured, and other sweetening matter which contains sugar exceeding 5g per 100ml.

The announcement by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department yesterday, marks the government’s first major effort to incentivise manufacturers of sweetened beverages to reduce the content of sugar in their drinks to curb obesity and related non-communicable diseases.

Both licensed importers and domestic manufacturers of sugary drinks are subjected to these duties. However, a two month transition period is currently in effect from 1 July to 31 August to give time for them to submit necessary lab reports and ensure compliance with the new regulations.

The guidelines and imple­mentation procedure of the excise duty on sugary drinks are available at the Royal Malaysian Customs Department website.

The Customs Call Centre is also available to answer inquiries regarding the new tax from the business community at 1300 888 500. It operates from Monday to Sunday.

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