Alcoholic drinks production sector to be better regulated and controlled

September 22, 2021

The government has removed the moratorium on new licenses for companies wanting to produce alcoholic drinks.

The moratorium was imposed in 2019.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday 22nd September, the Principal Secretary for Trade, Ms. Cillia Mangroo, explained that a moratorium is not permanent.

“Once a moratorium is imposed, which usually is for a 2-year period, a lot of work is done to relook and bring in improvement in the sector."

PS Mangroo said that as of next year, the sector will be better regulated and controlled.

“Customs is the entity which regulates the sector, training has been provided for staff working specifically in the unit dealing with the sector, as they have to monitor the percentage of alcohol in the products.”

A new Excise Tax is due to come into force in January 2022, which will regulate the sector and give more power to Customs.

At the same time, PS Mangroo said the government also feels the moratorium is ‘unfair.’

“The moratorium is only on local production of alcoholic drinks, whereas the importation of such, is still going on, meaning foreign exchange is going out of the country. When we remove the moratorium, more companies can produce domestically, in a more regulated and controlled environment.”

PS Mangroo said, currently, there is only one local company which has shown an interest.

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