Intoxicating liquor, tobacco and denatured spirit


Basic information


Outline of the system

Under Regulation 42 of the Customs Regulations 2019,

42 (1) No person shall import intoxicating liquor, tobacco or denatured spirit except with a licence granted by or under the direction of the Director General.

42 (2) Where a senior officer of customs is satisfied that the intoxicating liquor or tobacco imported is intended for private consumption of the importer and not for sale, or the intoxicating liquor or tobacco imported is exempted from the payment of customs duty under section 14 of the Act, the intoxicating liquor or tobacco may be imported without such licence.

42 (3) Any person who contravenes subregulation (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.


Product coverage

As a measure to control the leakage of duties/taxes on high-risk cigarette and liquor products, import of intoxicating liquor, tobacco or denatured spirit is prohibited except with a license issued by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD).

Nature of licensing



If Automatic, administrative purpose



If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime


Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

No. Licensing is not intended to restrict quantity or value of imports. No other methods of accomplishing the purpose has been considered because the present licensing system is found to be effective enough to control the import activity of the goods in order to prevent smuggling.


Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

Not applicable.


The system applies to products originating from which country?

The system applies to all countries.


Expected duration of licensing procedure

Eligibility of applicants


Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?

Not applicable.


What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

All persons, firms or institutions are eligible to apply import permit.


Is there a registration fee?


Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility



Panel on Cigarette and Liquors Licensing, Ministry of Finance Complex



Headquarters, Level 10, Block 2G1B, Precinct 2, Federal Government Adminstration Centre (PPKP) 62592, Putrajaya, Malaysia



603-8882 2101




E-mail address




Contact officer

Submission of an application


Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD)

Documentation requirements


What information is required in applications?

New application/renewal of licence for liquor, tobacco, denatured spirit and cigarette shall be made in writing to the Director General in the form and manner as the Director General may determine.

Information required include applicant's name, mailing and premise addresses, point of entry, list of goods including brand, quantity, value, country of origin, warehouse information and goods market.


What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

The applicant is required to submit documents of company information to show status of the company and letter of appointment as agent.

Window of submission of an application


How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?

Application should be made well in advance before the goods are imported.


Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

Licence may be issued in any period of the year.

Issuing the license


Can a licence be granted immediately on request?



Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence

Application for a licence cannot be obtained within a shorter time-limit.


Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

Yes. The application for licence to import liquor, tobacco and denatured spirit only involve the RMCD.


Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?



Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?

Yes, conditions include the licence being not transferable, specific point of entry, storage facilities and stock records to be maintained. All importers shall comply with the health warning on cigarette packaging:

(i) On each packet of cigarette there shall be printed a health warning consisting of any one of the set texts and images.
(ii) The set texts and images shall be printed with fifty per cent coverage area to be positioned from the top on the front panel and with sixty per cent coverage area to be positioned from the top on the back panel.
(iii) The images shall be printed with resolution not less than 300 dpi ("dpi" or "dot per inch" means the degree of resolution of printing images expressed in terms of number of printed dots per linear inch).
(iv) The set texts and images shall be printed using not less than four colour printing.
(v) The set texts shall be printed, in lettering of Arial of 10 points for each packet, in pure white on a Matt Black background, except the words "AMARAN" and "WARNING" which shall be printed, in bold-faced lettering of Arial of 12 points for each packet, in yellow on a Matt Black background.
(vi) Each packet of cigarette shall have printed health information (on the right or left panel), sale restriction (on the right or left panel), name of manufacture/importers and date of manufacturing (on the ground panel).

Fees and other administrative charges


Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?



What is the amount of the fee or charge?

The amount of the fee is RM2,400.00 for a period of 12 months.


Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?

No deposit required.


Amount or rate?


Is it refundable?


What is the period of retention?


What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application


Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

Black listed (those who have committed offences under the law and regulation) applicants may not be considered.


Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

Reasons for refusal will normally be informed.


Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?

Yes an applicant has the right to appeal.


If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

Unsuccessful applicants may submit appeal to the Director General of RMCD for consideration.



Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

Licence may be issued in any period of the year.


What documents are required upon actual importation?

Customs Form No. 1, invoices, shipping documents and import licence.


Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?

(a) On each packet of cigarette/intoxicating liquor there shall be affixed a tax stamp as approved by the Director General of Customs.

(b) For packet of cigarette, the tax stamp shall not visually obstruct the health warning and health information.

Conditions of licensing


What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

A licence granted shall be for a period of 12 months. Yes. Renewal is permitted.


Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?



Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?


Foreign Exchange


Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

Not applicable.


Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?

Not applicable.


Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?

Not applicable.


What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?

Not applicable.