Malaysian Royal Customs Department director-general Datuk Seri Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir had on 30 December 2020 made a press release stating that there will be no new import licences for cigarettes issued by the Customs with effective from 1 January 2021.
However, all existing licences can be renewed, but they are subjected to tighter regulations.
Among the tighten conditions were the minimum quantity of imports that have been set within 12 months must be adhered to.
Apart from that, all transshipment of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic and non-electronic cigarette devices including vape and nicotine-free liquids/gels used in electronic cigarettes, are only allowed at five ports and they are:
- West and North Port in Port Klang, Selangor
- Tanjung Pelepas Port, Johor
- Sandakan Port, Sabah
- Senari Port, Sarawak
There are a few more conditions that will be tightened and they are as reported in Malay Mail.
Of course issuing less licences will not causes cigarettes to cost you more. This can be bad news for those who got their supplies from duty-free stores as the Customs had decide to impose duties on cigarettes on all duty-free islands namely Langkawi, Labuan, Tioman and Pangkor and the Free Zones (Retail Business) starting 1 January 2021.
Abdul Latif had clarified that the remaining cigarettes and tobacco products which had been imported into those areas can still be stored, owned and sold at the same place.
He too said that the remaining cigarettes and tobacco products taken out of Customs Main Area (KUK) should be settled before 1 January 2021 to avoid further complications.
To facilitate the transition period, the Customs had given business owners a 3 month period to adjust themselves and starting 1 April 2021, duties and taxes will be imposed on cigarettes and tobacco products imported from abroad or purchased from Duty Free Shops through all modes of transportation when products are brought into the KUK.
Summarizing it all
The measures taken by the Customs are part of the Government’s strategy to improve tax collections for year 2021 and to address the smuggling activities especially for high duty goods.
It may not be a bad move as cigarettes and tobacco do bring harm to us. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!