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The present holders of licences will not be entitled to automatic renewal thereof.  On termination of the validity of a licence, if Licensee, so desires to renew his licence, an application should be forwarded at least fifteen  (15) days prior to the expiry of such licence.


Applications will be considered by the Commissioner General of Excise in terms of these guidelines and conditions, and subject to any other directions as stipulated in the Excise Ordinance.
















The application forms (as set out in Schedule  II) must be obtained either from the Excise Head Office or from any Assistant Excise Commissioner's Office situated island wide, on payment of the relevant application fee.  However, the issue of an application form to the applicant will not guarantee the grant of a license to such person.


Applications must be completed in all respects and all required documents annexed.  Incomplete application or applications submitted without the necessary documents and reports or which does not conform to the guidelines and conditions will be rejected.


Completed applications should be addressed to the Assistant Excise Commissioner and forwarded under registered cover to the Office of the Assistant Excise Commissioner of the Province where the premises for which application is made on the prescribed form (as set out in Schedule II)




When applying for a new licence or applying for renewal of an existing licence, the applicant should pay a non-refundable application fee of Rs. 7,500.00.




A licence will be issued for a period of three consecutive financial years, except in the case of licences issued to Tourist Board approved Restaurants / Tourist Board approved Hotels, where the validity of such licences will be for one year only.  In the case of fresh licence being issued during a financial year, such licences will be issued for the remaining period of that year and for two further consecutive financial years except in the case of licences issued to Tourist Board approved Restaurants/Tourist Board approved Hotels, where such licences will be issued for the remaining period of that year only.



















All licences issued to successful applicants under the Excise Ordinance shall be subject to a licence fee of such amount as is specified in Schedule I to these rules.     Licence fees will be charged on a pro rata basis in the case of new licences initially issued for part of a year.   Though the licence is issued for 3 years, the licence fee could be paid annually.  Payment should be made at least seven working days prior to the commencement of the relevant financial year.  However, in the event the fee is not received by the relevant Divisional Secretary at least seven working days after the commencement of a financial year, an additional four weeks will be allowed to make payment subject to an additional payment of a penalty of 1% of the value of the licence fee of such delay.  After that the penalty will be 3% of the value of the license fee.  A licence holder shall not be allowed to carry on business in the licensed premises until the licence fee is paid for the relevant financial year. 


In addition to the licence fee, a security deposit is payable on each type of licence as set out in Column II of Schedule I  hereof, at rates applicable in respect of each category of license. Every person to whom a licence is issued under the Ordinance shall execute a Counterpart Agreement to cover the tenure of the licence.  The security deposit shall be required  for the due performance of the Counterpart Agreement.




Where the Commissioner General of Excise refuses an application for the issue of a liquor licence, he should convey his decision by registered post to the applicant within 30 days from the date he received the application stating his reasons for such refusal, and also inform the applicant to show cause if any justifying the granting of a licence.   Accordingly the applicant may show cause as to why his application should not be refused by the Commissioner General of Excise by registered post, within two weeks from the date he receives such communication from the Commissioner General of Excise in writing with supporting documents if any, addressed to the Commissioner General of Excise.




The Commissioner General of Excise shall thereafter and not later than 30 days from the date he receives the applicant's reply, having considered all relevant materials and after such inquiries, he may deem expedient, decide whether the applicant should be issued a liquor licence, or affirm the refusal of such licence.   The said decision should be forthwith communicated in writing to the applicant by registered post.




In determining the number of licences to be issued in respect of each Province, in respect of the following categories of licenses, consideration will be given to the density of the population, patterns of consumption of liquor and other social requirements of that area.  The number of licences to be currently issued in respect of each Province for the following categories of Licences are as follows:  -




No. of Retail Licences (FL/4)

No. of Hotel Licenses (FL/7) (without the approval of the Tourist Board)

No. of Restaurant Licenses (FL/11) (without the approval of the Tourist Board)






















North Central




North Western

















Note: The limitation mentioned in the above paragraph will not apply in respect of retail   licenses  (FL/04) issued to Super Markets, Grocery Stores and like enterprises where the annual turnover of the applicant company / business or the parent company / business of the applicant exceeds Rupees Seventy Two million per year. (Rs. 72 million)



The applicants (new and existing)  are required to submit the following documents along with their applications.  However, the Commissioner General of Excise shall have the right to refer and extract any information pertaining to any applicant from any file available with the Department of Excise or to call upon the applicant to furnish any information required for the consideration of the issue of licence applied for including particulars of income tax and other taxes payable by the applicant.




The documents and reports required to be submitted with regard to new applicants:





Photocopy of the ground plan of the proposed building (with particulars of floor area) certified by the Local Authority.





Proof of right to carry on business at the identified premises by submitting either the original deeds as proof of ownership along with a certified copy of the same which shall be retained in the file maintained for the purpose, or if the premises are not owned by the applicant, a document expressing the consent of the owner of the premises that the proposed business can be carried out undisturbed in the identified premises.  Such document should be appropriately certified by a Notary Public.  If the proposed premises is mortgaged a letter should be submitted from the relevant financial institution, confirming that the property is under mortgage.





Report including the recommendations of the Officer-in-Charge of the Excise Station, Superintendent of Excise and Assistant Commissioner of Excise.  (As per Schedule II).













A Declaration by way of an affidavit of the applicant that the applicant is not convicted of any offence under the Penal Code or any other offence involving moral turpitude during the preceding 5 years.


If any complaints are received to the contrary, the Commissioner General of Excise shall upon an inquiry as set out in paragraph 21 hereof  refuse to issue a licence/cancel the licence.


A report from the Officer-in-Charge of the Police Station where the licensed premises is situated that the applicant is not convicted of any offence under the Penal Code or the Excise Ordinance during the preceding five (05) years and a Report from the Divisional Secretary where the licensed premises is situated that the applicant is fit and proper person to hold the said licence and  there is no objection from the public to the issue of the licence.









Survey Plan from a Licensed Survey indicating the distance (as the crow flies from boundary to boundary) from the proposed building to the nearest places of public religious worship and to schools.


If any complaints are received of a violation of the prescribed distance to schools/religious places from the licence premises, a report from the Government Superintendent of Surveys will be called to clarify and ascertain the actual distance.  The cost of such survey shall be borne by the licensee.  Upon such survey if it is found that the distance rule has been violated the licence will be cancelled.





A Business Registration Certificate where applicable in terms of the Business Names Act No. 7 of 1987 and a Certificate of Incorporation in respect of an application by a Company certified as a true copy by a Notary Public.





Proof of payment (non refundable application fee).





With regard to retail liquor licences issued to Enterprises such as Super Markets/Grocery Stores and like enterprises proof of turnover should be supported by either a report from a recognized firm of auditors or from the Department of Inland Revenue confirming that the turnover of the applicant or the parent business/company of the applicant exceeded Rs. 72 million for the previous year.





With regard to applications for Club licences, applicants should submit the following reports in addition to the above-mentioned documents and reports.






A Certificate of Registration under the Club Act, 17 of 1975.






Documents to prove the continued existence of the Club for five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application.  (This regulation is not applicable to current holders of licences.)






Proof of Operating a Bank Account.






A Certificate of Registration from the Ministry of Sports or Ministry of Social Services.












Proof of payment of Income Tax, Value Added Tax (where applicable) and other relevant taxes on an yearly basis (during the validity of the licence) in respect of the four quarters including monthly payments where applicable immediately preceding 31st December of such year, along with the payment of the annual licence fee as set out in Column II of Schedule 1.hereof.


In the event of a failure by a holder of a licence to forward such information, the Commissioner General of Excise shall with the concurrence of the Secretary to the Treasury cancel such licence.





New applicants applying for licences for the sale of Beer, Ale, Stout and Wines (FL 22A) are required to submit the documents and reports as referred to under sub paragraphs (a),  (b), (c), (d), (f), (g), (i) and (j) of paragraph 13.




           The documents and reports necessary to be submitted for existing licence

           holders (for all categories):                                                                                                                      





Documents and reports referred to in sub paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and  (j)  of paragraph 13.





A Report from the Assistant Commissioner of Excise on the detections if any made in the premises during the 03 years immediately preceding the year for which application is made.


20.       Requirements regarding location and description of type of premises:


(a)    Outlets for the sale of liquor off the premises should have a minimum floor   area of 250 Sq.ft.  Premises selling liquor for consumption on the premises should have a minimum floor area of 500 Sq.ft.


This requirement will not apply to licences for the retail sale of Beer, Ale, Stout and Wines (FL 22A).


(b)   Applicants for the non Tourist Board type FL07 or FL08 Hotel licences and FL11 Restaurant Licences will comply with the additional requirements regarding location and premises as enumerated in Schedule  IV.   Hotel as distinct from Restaurant Licences will be considered in respect of premises having at least five rooms for the exclusive use of visitors.


   (c) The location of premises for operation of licences in respect of sale of liquor    off the premises should be 100 meters away (as the crow flies from boundary to boundary) from Schools and places of public religious worship and in respect of licences for selling liquor for consumption within the premises,





















Organization Information

Department of Excise

Excise Department of Sri Lanka
No. 353,
Kotte Road,
Sri Lanka.

Fax Nos:011-2877890

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Last Updated On: 2023-03-15 05:36:58
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