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Sugar Tax Kicks Off Today

M Update, 1/7/2019 – Licensed importers of sweetened beverages must come up with a letter of undertaking and also submit lab reports, says the Customs Department.

If the total sugar content of their drinks exceeds the threshold or if the reports are not submitted, the importers will need to make payment of the duties involved. The lab reports are compulsory for exempted goods but importers are granted postponement from submitting the lab reports from July 1 to Aug 31. These are among the procedures spelt out by the Customs Department in the implementation of the excise tax on sugary beverages during the two month transition period.

The import of sugary drinks must be declared in Form K1 (declaration of goods imported) just like other imported products. According to the Customs Department, the lab reports will need to be submitted within 30 days from the date of the K1 clearance.

For domestic sales of dutiable sugary drinks, licensed manufacturers will use the Excise Form No.7 and the declaration will be for a period of one calendar month. The declaration needs to be made no later than the last date of the following month. Declaration for the local sales of products exempted from the duty will also use the Excise Form No.7,” it said.

In a statement yesterday, the Customs Department announced that the import and manufacturing of sugary drinks were subject to excise duty effective today. The guidelines and imple­mentation procedure of the excise duty on sugary drinks for the transition period are available at

For further information, the business community can also contact the Customs Call Centre at 1300 888 500 which operates from Monday to Sunday from 8.30am to 10pm. The excise duty is imposed on sweetened beverages at 40 sen per litre on two categories of ready-to-drink packaged sweetened drinks. The beverages include carbonated drinks containing added sugar or flavoured, and other sweetening matter which contains sugar exceeding 5g per 100ml. – The Star Online

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