No more new import licence for cigarettes from Jan 1, 2021

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 30 — There will be no more new import licence for cigarettes issued by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) effective Jan 1, 2021, said Customs director-general Datuk Seri Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir.

However, he said the existing import licences could still be renewed.

“To tighten the renewal of Cigarette Import Licence, the additional conditions for importing the minimum quantity of cigarettes that have been set within 12 months must be adhered to,” he said in a statement today.

He said from Jan 1, 2021, 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.

Abdul Latif said the ports are West and North Port in Port Klang, Selangor; Tanjung Pelepas Port, Johor; Sandakan Port, Sabah and Senari Port, Sarawak.

“ISO containers must be used for transshipment activities and they must only be Full Container Load (FCL) shipment as break bulk activities are not allowed,” he said.

Abdul Latif said transit activities for export purposes by road are allowed, provided they are imported through the five ports, travel from the transshipment port has been set directly to the final destination abroad, and they comply with the provisions of the Customs Act 1967, Customs Regulations 2019 as well as department policies which are in force.

He said from Jan 1 2021, transshipment of cigarettes and re-export of cigarettes, tobacco products, electronic and non-electronic cigarette devices cigarettes by small boats would be disallowed.

He said the imposition of tax on cigarettes with drawback facilities for re-export will only be allowed in the Free Zones (ZB) and this is also subject to JKDM’s conditions.

He said in accordance with Section 93, Customs Act 1967, re-export should be made within three months from the date duties were paid, while return claims can be made within three months from the re-export date.

Abdul Latif added the imposition of tax on cigarette products at all Duty Free Islands (PBC) namely Langkawi, Labuan, Tioman and Pangkor and the Free Zones (Retail Business) will start on Jan 1, 2021.

“As such duty exemption on cigarettes and tobacco products for visitors and tourists will no longer apply from Jan 1, 2021,” he said.

The free commercial zones involved under Section 6A, Free Zones Act 1990 are those located in Stulang Laut, Johor; Rantau Panjang and Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan and Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah.

Abdul Latif said the remaining cigarettes and tobacco products that had been imported into the PBC and ZB before Jan 1, 2021 could be stored, owned, sold and disposed of in the same PBC and ZB.

He said the remaining cigarettes labeled with red tax stamps (MDNP) and duty-unpaid tobacco products that are to be taken out to the Customs Main Area (KUK) should be settled before Jan 1, 2021.

In addition he said, from April 1, 2021 duties and taxes would 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.

These measures are in line with the 2021 Budget which were tabled on November 6, as part of strategies to improve revenue collection and address smuggling activities especially for high duty goods.


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