Customs: Two-month transition period as sugar tax comes into effect

– Reuters

PETALING JAYA: The "sugar tax" for the import and manufacturing of ready-to-drink packaged sweetened beverages starts on Monday (July 1), and the business community will be given a two-month transition period for its implementation.

In a statement on Sunday (June 30) the Customs Department said it had released a guideline and excise duty procedure for the transition period from July 1 to August 31.

"This procedure is to ease and help the business community during the transition period," it said.

Information on the procedure of implementing the excise duty is available on the Custom's Department's website.

Further enquiries can be done at the Customs Call Centre at 1-300 888 500 from Mondays to Sundays, 8.30am to 10pm.

The Star reported that over half of Malaysians surveyed in a poll say they would drink less soft drinks once the sugar tax, a move by the government to cut down obesity levels in Asia's fattest country, kicks in.

The poll conducted by international survey agency YouGov for The Star found that 59% out of the 1,022 respondents said they would drink less soft drinks, while 13% said they would stop drinking sugary beverages altogether.

Only 25% said they would continue to drink the same amount while 3% said they would in fact drink more.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the excise duty for sweetened beverages at 40 sen per litre on two categories of ready-to-drink packaged sweetened drinks during the tabling of Budget 2019 last year.

The beverages include carbonated drinks containing added sugar or flavoured, and other sweetening matter which contains sugar exceeding 5g per 100ml.

The tax would also be imposed on fruit and vegetable juices with sugar content exceeding 12g per 100ml.

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