Sugar rush - soft drinks get ‘sweet deal’ in form of three-month tax delay

Modified 7 Mar 2019, 10:26 am

The government has decided to postpone implementing a tax on sugary drinks from April 1 to July 1 this year.

Customs Department director-general T Subromaniam said the decision to delay the imposition of excise duty was made in response to feedback from industry players.

"The postponement is to allow more time for industry players producing drink products to make preparations.

"It is also to allow the Customs Department to make necessary preparations including organising roadshows, and licensing the sugary drink factory operators under the excise duty 1976," he said.

When unveiling the budget 2019 last year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had announced that the government would impose a 40 sen per litre tax on soft drinks with more than five grams of sugar or sugar-based sweeteners per 100ml, starting April 1 this year.

The tax will also apply to juice or vegetable-based drinks with over 12g of sugar per 100ml.

Subromaniam also said that the government has agreed to raise the sugar threshold for flavoured milk from five grams per 100ml to seven grams per 100ml.

He explained that the raise of the threshold on the product shows the government's intention to encourage consumers to consume milk-based products which contain healthier sugar level.

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