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Published on : Aug 25, 2015

Indonesia, the largest Muslim country of the globe, has just managed to convince other member countries of the ASEAN group to not include alcohol in its list of General Exceptions, a list that keeps a tab on the products that would be excluded from the tax exemption policy. All alcoholic beverages entering Indonesia from the ASEAN member countries will now be with an import tax levied upon them.

For numerous reason related to public morals, natural security, health, plant, animal, or human life, there are certain products that are permanently excluded from a free trade area. 

After the proposal from Indonesia was heard, asking ASEAN member countries to keep the import taxes on alcoholic beverages entering Indonesia, the ASEAN countries agreed on Saturday to do so.

The news regarding exclusion of alcoholic beverages from the general exception list was announced by the Trade Minister of Indonesia, Thomas Lembong, after he attended a recent meeting about ASEAN Free Trade Area in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Thomas said in a meeting that the decision to exclude alcoholic beverages from the General Exception List is a success for Indonesia and will allow the government in strengthening its efforts to protect the country’s culture from the negative impact of alcohol.

The policy regarding levying import taxes on alcoholic beverages in the ASEAN group was inline with the regulation passed by Trade Ministry in 2015 regarding the procurement, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in the country.

Apart from the ruling for exclusion of alcoholic beverages from the General Exception List, Indonesia was also successful in including sugar and rice in the ASEAN General Exception List after it was established that the tow commodities were sensitive and strategic for the country.