Experiences Involving alcohol in Malaysia
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
I plan to serve or provide alcohol as part of my Experience - do I need any licenses for that?
Yes, the sale of alcohol is strictly regulated in Malaysia. Pursuant to the Excise Act 1976 (“Excise Act”), the sale and storage of alcohol is strictly regulated and no person may be allowed to sell intoxicating liquor (i.e. beverages containing an alcohol percentage of 2% and above) without an appropriate liquor license.
The liquor license would generally come with conditions. These conditions vary and include, among other things, the prohibition of sale of alcohol to minors, the imposition of operating hours, prohibition of advertising an unlicensed premise as a licensed premise, and the prohibition of sale to persons practicing the Muslim faith.
As the issues surrounding serving alcohol to your guests on a commercial basis in Malaysia is not straightforward, it would be a good idea to check with the Customs and Excise Department of the Royal Customs of Malaysia or the Kuala Lumpur City Hall or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
You should be aware that there is potential criminal liability for failure to obtain a liquor licence which may include financial penalties and/or imprisonment. Where licensed premises are specified in the liquor license, the liquor license only allows you to supply alcohol at the licensed premise(s).
As the provision of alcohol falls within the definition of “food” under Malaysian laws, please take a look at our page on Experiences Involving Food in Malaysia for other rules that may apply to your Experience.
What if my Experience takes place at a bar?
You are unlikely to breach any laws so long as the bar holds the required liquor license and the Experience takes place during the trading hours permitted by the license.
What if my experience is BYOB, and I want to allow guests to bring their own alcohol?
You may not require a liquor license as the alcohol is purchased for personal consumption and not for sale. However, it would be a good idea to confirm your position with the Customs and Excise Department of the Royal Customs Department of Malaysia and the Liquor Licensing Board of your relevant municipal council.
I brew my own beer or produce my own wine. What do I need to keep in mind?
You will need a license to do so. The Excise Act prohibits a person from distilling, fermenting or otherwise manufacturing any intoxicating liquor unless a license is obtained. However, you will not require such a license if you are a native that brews your own native liquor or if the Minister of Finance has exempted you from obtaining such a license.
“Native liquor” means any of the intoxicating liquors customarily fermented, made or prepared by natives in Sabah and Sarawak for their own consumption, such as tuak.
The production of home-manufactured alcohol or the possession of any stills, utensils or any other apparatus for distilling, fermenting or otherwise manufacturing, including any machinery for the manufacture of, alcohol attracts potential criminal liability which may include financial penalties and/or jail.
If you are unsure as to whether your Experience requires any of the above licenses, it would be a good idea to reach out to the relevant regulators/bodies or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
If my Experience involves alcohol, do I need to watch out for anything else?
Yes. Assuming that a liquor license has been obtained, they would usually come with conditions. These conditions vary and include, among other things, the prohibition of sale of alcohol to minors (aged 18 and below), the imposition of operating hours, prohibition of advertising an unlicensed premise as a licensed premise, and the prohibition of sale to persons practicing the Muslim faith.
Is there anything else I should think about?
There may be licensing conditions imposed which may restrict the manner in which you may advertise your Experience or alcohol product. If you are unsure about any advertisement restrictions, it would be a good idea to reach out to your local municipal council or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
If your Experience will involve combining alcohol with another activity (for example, serving or providing food or a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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