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The definition of liquor includes Spirits of Wine, Spirit, Wine, Toddy, Beer and all liquid consisting or containing alcohol also any substance, which the Minister may by notification declare to be liquor for the purposes of Excise Ordinance.
Males under 21 years of age and females are prohibited from possessing liquor in any public place. This limit of possession for arrack and toddy for males and females over 21 years in private places are restricted to 7.500 ltrs. and 1.500 ltrs. respectively.
Basically the manufacture and sale of liquor in Sri Lanka comes under the purview of the Excise Department and any operations falling under these categories will have to be statutory and for these purposes (45) different types of licences are issued by the Department to suit the type of business performed and the licence fees are fixed for each type and in certain categories subsidiary licences are issued free of charge.
A non refundable application fee of Rs. 7500/- is levied.
A permit is issued free of charge for the transport of liquor within Sri Lanka and a minimal fee is levied for permits issued for the transport of spirits imported into Sri Lanka.

1. FL/04 -License to sell liquor retail off (Including licenses issued for Super Market Complexes
08.00 a.m - 09.00 p.m or 09.00 a.m - 09.00 p.m
2. FL 07/08Normal Hotel License without the approved of Sri Lanka Tourist Board & Hotel Bar License
11.00 a.m-05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m -11.00 p.m
3. FL 07/08 Guest House/Hotel & Hotel Bars, approved by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board
10.00 a.m - 12.00 Mid Night-If Night Clubs etc are operated additional license till 02.00 a.m should be obtained license fee of Rs 250/= per hour.
4. FL / 09Entertainment Bar License (Cinema License)
11.00 a.m- 01.00 p.m and 05.00 p.m -11.00 p.m(Only when Films are shown)
5. FL/11License Premises without Tourist Board Approval. (Restaurant/Hotels)
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m -10.00 p.m
6. FL/11Restaurant/Hotels - Approved by Sri Lanka Tourist Board
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m -11.00 p.m
7. FL/12Rest House License
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m - 11.00 p.m
8. FL/13Proprietary Clubs/ Private Clubs
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m -11.00 p.m
9. FL/13 AMembers only Clubs
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m -10.00 p.m
10. FL/22 ALicense to sell Retail Beer/Wine
08.00 a.m - 08.00 p.m or 09.00 a.m - 09.00 p.m
FL/22 BLicense for consumption of Beer/Wine on the premises (without the approval of the Tourist Board)
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m - 10.00 p.m
12. FL/22 BLicense for consumption of Beer/Wine on the premises (with the approval of the Tourist Board)
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m -11.00 p.m
13. FL/05Foreign Liquor Tavern License / Toddy Tavern License
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m - 08.00 p.m
14. FL/10Railway Restaurant License
11.00 a.m - 05.00 p.m and 02.00 p.m - 08.00 p.m

Sale of liquor prohibited on all fess moon (Poya) days, holidays marked for religious occasions, temperance days and any other days declared by the authorities for prohibition for special reasons.
Licences are issued to suitable applicants who have resided within the village where the trees are situated, during of the proceeding three years next from the date of application. A certificate from the Divisional Secretary supports to the Samurdhi Development officer to the effect is required.

  1. A person is entitled to tap these trees at a time and a fee of Rs. 250/- is levied per tree for bivalve consecutive months from 1st of January to 31st of December.
  2. The garden/gardens in which the trees are situated shall be the same or contiguous and preferably where the applicant resides and easily accessible for inspection and supervision.
  3. The trees shall not be in a garden where palm trees are licensed for supply of fermented toddy to some other licensed premises, and where grave crimes or excise crimes are reported to be widely prevalent.
  4. A licence shall not be issued to a person if he or any member of his family is a criminal within the meaning of the crimes ordinance, convicted under the excise ordinance for more than three times or has been convicted under the same ordinance within the next proceeding two years of the application for licence.
  5. The toddy so tapped shall be consumed or sold within 50 meters radices from the trees licensed. Removal of toddy more than 1.5000 litres needs a permit issued by Superintendents of Excise of the area.
  6. If for any reason, the sale of toddy under the tree in the some garden is impossible, the Superintendent of Excise of the area of jurisdiction will issue a period for transport and possession to another suitable place.
  7. For the purpose of sale of toddy, the licence holder may erect a temporary shed 3 by 3 meters in dimension.

Occasional licences for sale of malt liquor are issued to responsible individuals for special occasions. The applicant should adduce proof to substantiate the application and the following additional documents should be submitted.

  1. A letter of consent from the owner of the land or premises in which the occasion is held and it should specifically state that there is no objection for sale of liquor. If it is a school premises, letter from the principal of the school, or if it is in the property belonging to a local authority, a letter of recommendation from the Commissioner of the respective local authority is required.
  2. Recommendation from the Excise Authorities.
  3. A report from the Officer-in-Charge of the local Police stating that there will be no breach of peace by the issue of this licence.
  4. An account of the liquor purchased quantity consold and other details should be submitted within 6 weeks of the expiry of the licence. With the recommendation of the Assistant Commissioner of Excise, the Divisional Secretary of the area, after satisfying time self will issue the licence. A fee of Rs. 1000/- per day is levied and a refundable deposit of Rs. 20/- has to be paid at the time of obtaining the licence. This licence is non transferable.

The application for shifting of the premises shall be made on the normal FL application form, and the applicant should adduce substantial proof to establish the cause. The new premises intended to be operated should conform with the basic requirements pertaining floor area, and distances from the schools and places of worship. The Commissioner General of Excise after considering the number of similar licensed premises in the area applied for and after scrutinizing the bonafides may permit the shifting. A fee of Rs. 500,000/- is levied for shifting in addition to Rs. 7.500/- which is the cost of the application form and the processing fee.
The application for transfer should be made in the normal application form and all the reports pertaining the transferee should be submitted there in. In addition to normal reports, affidavits from the transferor and transferee should be submitted details for requirements given in the literature under the caption proceeding to be followed by ... applicant when making an application for an Excise Licence.
The total revenue realized by the Department of Excise during the calendar year 2004 is Rs. 13545.00 million This is an increase by 21 % when compared to the revenue earned during 2003. A similar escalation in revenue was noted during the past few years.
Presently Excise Licences are renewed for periods of three years and the licence holder can opt to renew annually. The procedure for renewal is enumerated in the literature captioned procedure to be followed by the applicant when making an application for an Excise Licence.
For cognizable offences under the Excise Ordinance the maximum fine is Rs. 100,000/- or imprisonment of either description which may extend for a period of one year and the repetition of the offence after conviction the offender is liable for a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- for each day the offence is so continued.
The offences committed by the Excise license holders comes under the ambit of Breach of condition of the license and the Commissioner General of Excise has the jurisdiction to compound such offences by imposing a composition fine, which could extend up to Rs. 500,000/- depending on the granting of the offence. If the offence warrants ... higher penalty, the license could even suspended or cancelled.
The prices of liquor are not fixed for sale in accordance with the open trade policy. However under the Consumer Protection Act, either the manufacturer or the seller should to state the selling price on the labels of the bottles and the selling prices to be exhibited in all licensed places for off sales and for on site consumption.
The operations in all liquor manufactures are monitored by Excise officers to ensure strength and quality and frequent checks are made by the Government Analyst from liquor samples.
The possession of opium is restricted to registered consumers, Registered Native Physicians (Vedaralas) and their patients only. The Registered consumer can possess five weeks supply of the prescribed quota and Native Physician is entitle to possess a quantity equivalent to eight months supply prescribed for him and any of his patents can possess opium in the term of a medicinal preparation for three days period.
Means a person who, on the date on which the Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance came into operation, is a consumer of opium registered under the Opium Ordinance 1910.
It is a tax levied for the manufacture of cigarettes, Cigar, Beedi, Cigarette substitute and Pipe Tobacco.
In the Magistrates Count after summary trial a person found guilty is liable to a fine not exceeding one million rupees or for imprisoment of either description for a term not exceeding six months. The Secretary of the respective Ministry or the Commissioner General of Excise is empowered to compound offences of this nature by imposing a composition fine.
Besides one of the highest revenue earning department of the state, the Policy for the Development welfare and social protection of the molasses promoted b encouraging sale of malt liquor at lower alcoholic strength sold at low prices than hard liquor and stringent enforcement of Excise Laws to combat flow of illicitly brewed liquor into the market.
Standard account books are supplied by the Excise Department to Excise License Holders and the Excise Field Staff provide the necessary training to enter accounts by the license holders. Standard measures are supplied to license holders of on site consumption premises. Frequent checks are made by Excise Staff and the errant licenses are brought to books.





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