Malaysia’s new sugar tax kicks in today – and it affects juice and vegetable-based drinks too

The excise tax was first announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Engin November last year

In a step towards addressing the problem of obesity in Malaysia, the Government has implemented a new sugar tax which will take effect starting Monday (July 1).

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According to The Malaysian Reserve, this means that an excise duty of 40 sen per litre will be imposed on sweetened beverages containing more than 5g of sugar or sugar-based sweetener per 100ml.

The sugar tax will also be imposed on carbonated, flavoured and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Any juice and vegetable-based drink containing more than 12g of sugar per 100ml will also be hit by a 40 sen excise duty, The Malaysian Reserve reported.

According to The Star, the Customs Department announced on Sunday that the business community will be given a two-month transition period from July 1 to August 31 to implement the sugar tax.

In addition, the Customs Department also released a guideline and excise duty procedure to assist businesses during the transition period.

The excise tax – first announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Engin November last year – was scheduled to kick in on April 1, but was postponed after gathering feedback from manufacturers and the Customs Department, New Straits Times said.

According to New Straits Times, the revenue collected from the excise duty will be used to provide free and healthy breakfast programmes for pupils.

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