The Excise Department has banned the sale of all brands of imported liquor without its new foolproof sticker introduced recently.
As such, the possessing, transporting, storing and selling imported liquor is illegal unless this new sticker is affixed on containers of foreign liquor.
The Excise Notice No: 4/2019, which was published under Gazette Extraordinary No: 2128/30 issued by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in this regard under the Excise Ordinance on June 20, 2019 has been in force since July 20.
The first phase of this regulation was implemented on imported liquor (effective July 20) and will be extended to foreign liquor manufactured here and local liquor soon. Thereafter all kinds of liquor local or foreign should have the special sticker introduced recently by the Excise Department.
Twenty three institutions import liquor to this country and they should not release their imported stocks of foreign liquor to the market without fixing the foolproof sticker on the bottles and cans.
There are two firms which import liquor for the duty free shops at the Airport and this special sticker should be pasted on the bottles of liquor imported by these two companies before they are cleared from the Customs bonded warehouses.
The imported liquor will generally be sold at the Duty Free shopping complex at the Sri Lanka Airport and any liquor liable for Excise duty cannot not be possessed, stored or sold at these Duty Free shops without pasting the special sticker on them.
This new regulation will strive to prevent the smuggling of foreign liquor to the country and, the new measures will stop the sale of substandard and adulterated liquor to customers.
There are 23 licensed alcohol manufacturing factories and 14 spirit distillery plants in Sri Lanka while there are more than 4,000 licensed liquor outlets throughout the country. The Excise Department would further increase its revenue by the introduction of this new regulation and, it is ensured that the customers buy standard varieties of liquor which are produced under hygienic conditions and approved criteria.
The Excise Department will introduce a new Mobile Phone App soon to enable the consumers to verify the authenticity of the special sticker that is on the bottle they buy. This special sticker is printed by a foreign company in a foolproof manner. A special committee comprising representatives from the Treasury, the Excise Department and the Sri Lanka Customs have been appointed if required to alter the appearance and texture of this special sticker.
Meanwhile, Commissioner General of the Excise Department, H.G. Sumanasinghe said the department's revenue this year had exceeded Rs.67 billion.