Bhutan has no specific labeling requirements for beverage alcohol products in general. The following labeling requirements should apply to imported food products into Bhutan: the list of ingredients, food additives, details of the manufacturer or distributor, net weight or volume in metric units; applicable storage and use instructions. The label must show equally the product expiration date, percentages of major product ingredients, and special food additives codes.
Bhutan requires an Import License which can be obtained from the Department of Trade, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Specific excise permit forms as per the Rules on the Sales Tax, Customs & Excise Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2000 will be issued for the import, export and transport of alcoholic beverages. The license is good for 6 months and a new one must be obtained for each shipment.
- Excise permit under the prescribed excise Form(s) No. VI, VII and XVII (issued by concerned RRCO only) shall be issued for import of bottled alcohol (beer), spirit and narcotics & psychotropic substances from India. Import of any type of alcoholic beverages from countries other than India shall require a permit issued by the Customs Authorities.
- Under-bond permits shall be issued by the excise authorities in the prescribed excise Form(s) No. IX A and IX B (issued by concerned RRCO only) for under-bond transfer of bottled liquors and spirits from one warehouse to another.
- A transit permit in the prescribed excise Form No. X (issued by concerned RRCO only) shall be issued by the excise authorities for transport of excise duty paid alcoholic beverages within Bhutan or from Bhutan to Bhutan through the Indian territories. In both the cases the permit shall indicate therein the place of issue, destination and route through which places the consignment will be transited. The movement of alcoholic beverages from Bhutan to Bhutan through the Indian territories of West Bengal and Assam is permitted under the special arrangements between Bhutan and the respective State Governments of India.
- The Canteen Stores Department (CSD) and paramilitary forces in India are considered as the main importers of Bhutanese liquor products. Excise permits under the prescribed excise Form No. XII (issued by concerned RRCO only) shall be issued for export of alcoholic beverages to the above organisations as well as the exports on special permits issued by the Indian Excise Authorities.
Prior to the arrival of the goods, the following documents in original shall be handed over by the importer or his authorized agent, as the case may be, to the concerned Regional Revenue and Customs Office (RRCO) in Bhutan, or the Liaison and Transit Office (LTO) in Kolkata.
- Customs copy of Import License, where applicable;
- Special permits in original copy in case of restricted goods, where applicable;
- Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/ duly endorsed by the importer;
- Invoice attested by the bank through which payment has been made, where applicable;
- Packing List;
- Certificate of Origin; and
- Marine/Air/Transit insurance policy where applicable.
- The importer or his authorized agent shall present to the Customs authorities, the Import Declaration Form given in CD Form-III at the time of clearing the goods from Customs.
- The Import Declaration form shall contain the full particulars of the imported goods and shall bear a declaration by the importer as to the truth of its contents, which must be supported by a duplicate copy of the shipping documents and the invoice, attested by a bank.
- Wherever necessary the Customs Officer shall carry out a physical verification of the goods.
- If satisfied with the verification, the Customs Officer shall make an order permitting clearance of the goods on realization of Customs duty and Sales tax as per the Bhutan Trade Classification, Bhutan Sales Tax Schedule and Customs Tariff and any other applicable charges.
- Where an importer has appointed a clearing agent, all correspondences and the release of goods shall be done through the concerned clearing agent.
- All goods imported under the excise permits shall be recorded in the entry check post in Bhutan.
- In case of a permit issued to any distillery for import of spirits, a landing certificate showing the quantity of receipt will be issued by the concerned excise authorities at the distillery/warehouse. Such certificate will be required for each import.
- If the spirits have not been supplied or short supplied, a certificate to this effect should be obtained from the excise authorities, at the place of import for proper maintenance of stock account.
The Bhutan Government levies excise taxes, customs duties based on the CIF rate and VAT taxes on all alcohol beverages. There are also fees levied by the processing agencies and the customs clearing agent.
For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit the Online Tariff Database provided by the US International Trade Commission at: https://dataweb.usitc.gov/. Also see the Census Bureau’s Schedule B search function ( https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/index.html), which allows you to classify your product according to United States export codes. Simply click "Search" and enter the keyword (i.e. beer) that best describes your product.
Bhutan Trade Classification, Customs Tariff and Sales Tax Schedule is for sale in
- Kuensel Shop at Changlam Plaza(Tel:333663), Thimphu
- Kuensel Office Phuentsholing (Tel:05-252927).
The selling Price is Nu.350
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Economic Affairs
The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports. Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.
TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.