In terms of Liquor Bar License and Alcohol law in Bangladesh, recently the government took steps to legalise alcohol. A drinking permit may be requested by anyone over the age of 21. The government has issued new regulations to regulate the sale and consumption of alcohol throughout the nation.
Hotels, restaurants, and other establishments that serve food and also display and sell alcohol will be permitted to apply for liquor sale licenses under the new regulations. The licenses are also available to clubs and organizations that have a certain number of members with drinking permits.
The drinking permit application process is open to anyone over the age of 21. Muslims over the age of 21 must obtain a prescription from at least an associate professor-level physician.
To purchase alcohol, members of ethnic groups, such as those in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and other areas, will also require drinking permits.
Drug Control Act and Alcohol law in Bangladesh:
Under the ‘Drug Control Act, 2018’, the Security Services Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs issued the Alcohol Control Rules, 2023 .
Clubs and organisations with at least 100 members who have a drink permit are also eligible to apply for liquor licenses. Those with more than 200 members who have a drinking permit may apply for a license to open a bar.
EPZs, theme parks, and government development projects where foreign nationals work can also have bars.
Depending on the establishment, the number of bars that can be set up in a specific area will be limited. Two-star hotels, for example, can obtain a license for one bar, three-star hotels for two, four-star hotels for three, and five-star hotels for more than seven.
Conditions have been established for the establishment of bars in hotels, restaurants, and clubs with at least 200 permit holders, as well as in export processing zones, theme parks, and government development projects inhabited by foreign nationals.
On shop Alcohol:
On shop means imported or foreign or non-alcoholic
Such premises for sale of liquor, from which any foreign national or
Permit holders are nationals, foreign nationals, foreign nationals or alcoholics
Off shop Alcohol:
Off Shop means a place from which a foreigner
Citizens or nationals holding permits, as the case may be, the amount specified in the permit,
Can be purchased in bottles or cans. Liquor licenses, permits, passes, etc. (1) Licensing in prescribed cases
(a) import and export of alcohol;
(b) manufacture and processing of alcohol;
(c) supply, marketing and sale of alcohol; And
(d) Storage, warehousing or holding of alcohol
(2) Permits shall be obtained in the following cases, namely:
(a) drink alcoholic beverages; And
(b) Use and application of alcohol.
(3) Passes shall be accepted in the following cases, namely:
(a) carrying alcohol; And
(b) Transportation of alcohol.
Application for license or permit:
Purpose of Section 10 of the Act : Schedule-II for license or permit relating to use and application of alcohol for fulfillment purposes in the respective form
(a) the Director General in the case of bar on shop or off shop; And
(b) In other cases the concerned Deputy Director___
(2) On receipt of an application under sub-rule (1)__
(a) in respect of clause (a) the Director-General shall appoint an Inquiry Officer;
And (b) In case of clause k), the Deputy Director shall conduct the inquiry himself or an investigator
Officers will be appointed.
(3) The information and related documents mentioned in the inquiry officer application mentioned in sub-rule (2).
Within 30 (thirty) working days of the examination, the report in this regard to the Deputy Director is departmental
Departmental to the Officer and in the case of any other Investigating Officer through the Deputy Director
Submit to the officer.
Reports submitted by the Divisional Officer, Investigating Officer and related Within 15 (fifteen) days of receiving the report with specific opinion after examining the documents Send to the Director General. The Director General is responsible considering the opinion of the departmental officer and the overall matter. If the application is deemed approved by the concerned Deputy Director for grant of license or permit
Provided that, in the case of licenses of bars or off shops, the Director General, if necessary, of the Govt , you can accept no objection.
Notwithstanding anything contained in other sub-rules of this rule, in respect of denatured spirits Examination of the report and related documents submitted by the Deputy Director concerned investigating officer. If deemed reasonable, approve the application and the relevant license or permit Inform the applicant to deposit the fee and within 7 days of the deposit of the said fee and issue the license or permit in the relevant form of schedule-3 within the day.
The grant of license or permit :
If the fee is not paid or the license is accepted within 15 (fifteen) days of notification. The Director General may take necessary decision after considering the reasons thereof.
Application for liquor permit:
Application for permit should be made to the Deputy Director in the relevant form in Schedule-II:
Provided, however, that in the case of tea workers, proof of working in the respective plantations of the application
should be attached.
On receipt of an application under sub-rule (1), the Deputy Director shall be concerned with the particulars of the application and shall make an entry in the register and appoint such person as the Investigating Officer. The information and related documents mentioned in the inquiry officer application mentioned in sub-rule (2). And then we have to submit the relevant report to the Deputy Director within 7 (seven) working days of the examination.
If deemed reasonable, the application shall be approved and permitted to the investigating officer concerned. The investigating officer on receipt of directions under sub-rule (8) concerned permit fee The applicant shall be notified of the deposit and 7 (seven) days of the deposit of said fee In the corresponding form of schedule-3 will issue the permit and one copy of the applicant.
Carrying or conveying alcohol by a licensee or permit holder to any other person to be duly authorized to carry or transport alcohol with a certificate of good standing will be On receipt of an application under this rule, the Deputy Director in Form-15 of Schedule-4.
After receiving the supply of alcohol from a licensed warehouse or a wholesale shop, if he cannot carry it himself, he can carry it or transport it through a person appointed by him.
Alcohol may be carried or transported by any one or more routes of rail, road, sea and air, but the route of carriage or transport must be recorded on the pass and alcohol shall not be carried or transported by any other route than the one mentioned in the pass.
In case any alcohol is to be transported through post office or any transport agency, a certified photocopy of the pass shall be affixed securely to the container, container, box, parcel or wrapper of the said alcohol, so that it is not detached in any way and is easily visible.
Alcohol produced in tea plantation areas or hill tribal areas shall not under any circumstances be sold, consumed or carried or transported for any other purpose in any other part of the country.
Provisions to follow in respect of licences. Every licensee shall follow the law, these rules and the notifications, orders issued by the Government or the directions given by the Department from time to time.
Before issuing a license for any commercial activity of alcohol under these rules, the licensing authority shall determine the local demand of the concerned alcohol and may consult with the relevant expert if necessary.
The Director General may, from time to time, collect and test any alcohol produced or processed under the license from the licensee and may cancel the license of the producer or processor if it does not meet the standards specified in the license.
If another 100 are permit holders in any area Alcohol sales license will be issued! Any brand of alcohol approved by the Director General under licenses other than clubs or bars shall be sold sealed and intact.
On every bottle, wrapper or container of alcohol, the words “Drinking is injurious to health” and “Drinking without the provisions of law is a punishable offence” has to be clearly printed in red ink on the packaging.
Restaurants, hotels, clubs, and bars will be able to purchase 40% of their required alcohol from Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation by paying regular duty-taxes or importing it. Hence Clubs with more than 200 permit holders are permitted to import a maximum of 40 percent of foreign liquor, while the remaining 60 percent must be sourced locally.
Regulations regarding the consumption of Alcohol:
Accounts of all alcohol activities covered by the license must be kept. And the said account has to be submitted to the Licensing Authority every month. The Director General may, for reasonable cause, by general order, grant any licence can give instructions to stop the operation of the license. Recreational cultural activities shall not be conducted in shops, bars or places authorized for the consumption of alcohol without the permission of the licensing authority.
In any government body, autonomous body, corporation or economic zone:
After receiving the license to sell alcohol, if any activity under the license is to be conducted by any other person, the prior permission of the Directorate should be taken and then the no-objection of the Directorate should be taken before executing the agreement to assign the responsibility to the concerned person.
General terms and conditions of license of bar, off shop, etc. (1) mentioned in Schedule-5 Bar at times, retail or wholesale off-shops of Belatims, on-shops of Belatims and Desims Shops will be kept open. Friday, Muharram, Shab-e-Barat, Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Shab-e-Qadr, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha and from time to time, on designated days bar, off-shop, on-shop and Desims will have to close their shops cannot adulterate with licensed alcohol or alter its strength.
Unusable alcohol shall not be stored in bars, off-shops, on-shops and deshim shops. Bar, Off Shop, On Shop and Deshim’s Licensee shall store and operate the premises under his license and all equipment, equipment, materials, utensils, receptacles, etc. in a proper, clean, standard and hygienic manner with appropriate security.
As per Form-1 of Schedule-4 the Licensee has to provide Ajikarnama. The licensee shall be present at the place or shop concerned during the operation of bar, on-shop, off-shop and deshim shops: Provided that if he is unable to be physically present for any reasonable reason, with the approval of the Deputy Director for absence not exceeding 30 (thirty) days and 30 ( For absence for more than thirty days, with the approval of the Director General, he may appoint a representative to manage the concerned Bar, On Shop, Off Shop or Desim’s Shop!
Permittees and licensees will be prohibited from displaying alcohol products for commercial or other purposes to attract customers. In Drug Control Act, the regulations also dictate the opening and closing hours of bars and liquor stores. Import, use, and consumption of alcohol or these products are governed by distinct regulations for importers of homeopathic medicines, tea garden workers, and indigenous people in the Hill Tracts region. For the sale of imported liquor, brand registration is required. To supply liquor, alcohol can be imported from any country with trade relations with Bangladesh.
Those with permits can transport alcohol by rail, road, sea, and air, but they must also have a carrying pass.
Beer cannot be produced unless the government’s procedure is followed. Alcohol used in industrial, laboratory, and allopathic medicine production, as well as ethyl alcohol, absolute alcohol, rectified spirits, strong alcohol, and industrial methylated spirits, which are not produced in Bangladesh, can be imported. However, no alcohol can be imported without the permission of the Bangladesh Tourism Corporation or the government.
Narcotics Control (License and Permit Fees) Rules:
Previously, alcohol-related issues were governed by the Drug Control Act of 2018, the Narcotics Control (License and Permit Fees) Rules of 2014, the Muslim Prohibition Rule of 1950, the Excise Manual (Volume-II), and various executive orders. There was frequently ambiguity. Additionally, different complications were created at various times.
According to the policy, licenses, permits, and passes are required for the sale, purchase, and transport of alcoholic beverages. With at least 100 local or foreign liquor permit holders, the authorities would be able to issue a license to sell alcohol in a given area.
On Fridays, Muharram, Shab-e-Baraat, Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Shab-e-Kadar, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, and other government-declared holidays, bars and local liquor stores must remain closed. The rule prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under 21 years old.
The brewing of alcohol at home is prohibited under the new regulations. Alcohol adulteration is also prohibited. Under the 2018 Narcotics Control Act, the Security Services Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs issued the Alcohol Control Rules 2023 .
Narcotics Control (Liquor License and Permit Fees) Rules:
The revised Narcotics Control Act of 2018 allows hotels, restaurants, and other food establishments to legally sell alcoholic beverages with the proper permits. Clubs with 100 or more permit holders can apply for liquor licenses, and clubs with 200 or more permit holders can apply to become open bars.
The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on Fridays, Islamic holidays, and other official holidays. On normal days, these stores are required to close at 10:30 p.m. unless they have a special license allowing them to remain open until 1:30 a.m.
With the approval of the Director General, licensed vendors may sell any brand of alcohol, not just in bars and clubs. However, the bottles must bear health warnings.
Those under the legal drinking age of 21 may apply for permits to drink by following the appropriate application procedures.
The Narcotics Control Act of 1990 has been repealed and replaced by the Narcotics Control Act of 2018. The new law imposes the death penalty and long-term life imprisonment as punishments for any offender, depending on the nature of the offense. Given the fact that a large number of people, particularly young people, have been using drugs, this initiative by the government was absolutely necessary.
Aside from alcohol or Liquor License, Section 9 of the Act prohibits the cultivation, production, manufacturing, carrying, transporting, exporting, importing, delivering, purchasing, selling, bearing, preserving, displaying, and storage of all other drugs and plants, as well as the ingredients for their production. However, if such a prohibited drug is required for the production of a medicine or scientific research, the government may issue a license for the production, import, export, preservation, sale, and purchase of such drugs.
Establish a distillery in Bangladesh:
According to the law, alcohol refers to any spirit, wine, beer, or liquid containing more than 0.5% alcohol. In addition, Section10 of the Act states that no one may establish a distillery, produce, distribute, sell, consume, import, export, or preserve alcohol without a license or permit from the government. Even for the production of medications that require alcohol, a license is required from the government.
Therefore, any Bangladeshi who wishes to consume alcohol must obtain a permit from the government; in the case of Muslims, such a permit may only be issued for medical reasons. For such a medical treatment permit, one must provide a prescription written by a civil surgeon or associate professor of a medical college. The prescription must include the disease’s name and an explanation of why alcohol is necessary for the treatment.
In addition, for distillery in Bangladesh, such alcohol consumption restrictions do not apply to foreigners who are permitted to drink in licensed bars. Diplomatic passport holders have a variety of options for purchasing, transporting, and selling alcohol. In addition, the Act specifies that natives of Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachari are permitted to consume any alcohol traditionally produced in these districts. In addition, those working as a dome, cobbler, sweeper, or tea-garden laborer are permitted to consume “Taree” and “Pochui,” which are primarily fermented liquor and spirit.
Punishment and license Revoking for Alcohol and Liquor License:
In accordance with Section 13 of the Act, in order to obtain a license, one must fill out a form, accept the conditions for obtaining the license, and pay a certain fee. The license can then be obtained from the Director General of the Department of Narcotics Control of Bangladesh, pending their approval. This permit must be renewed every three years.
And if someone has a case filed against them for an offense they committed due to moral degeneration and they were sentenced to more than three months in jail or a fine of more than 500 baht, they will be unable to obtain such a license. Furthermore, if a license condition is violated twice, the license will be revoked.
In accordance with Section 36 of the Act, anyone who establishes a distillery and produces alcohol without a license is subject to up to ten years in prison and a fine. Further, for selling, buying, importing, preserving, manufacturing, and distributing alcohol without a license, a person will be imprisoned for six months to three years, if the amount of alcohol is up to ten liters, and for three to five years, if the amount of alcohol exceeds one hundred liters, and for five to ten years, if the amount of alcohol exceeds one hundred liters.
Previous Ban on Liquor License in Bangladesh and dependancy on drugs:
When the news about the legalization of alcohol was posted on news websites with clickbait headlines on social media, as usual, followers divided into two camps and flooded the comment sections with strong opinions. Phensedyl and other cough syrups are illegally brought into the Bangladesh with forged documents hiding those under other commodities like in trucks and buses. Once inside, they find their way to Bangladesh, with which Tripura shares two thirds of its border. The drug is generally sent in its original packaging.
Since liquor or alcohol had been banned in Bangladesh, the drug became a popular alternative for alcohol. Phensedyl used to contain codeine phosphate along with hydrochloride ephedrine and Promethizine, a unique combination for addiction. This is what made it a popular drug of abuse and unfortunately the trend still continues even after the chemical formulation was changed.
History of Bar License in bangladesh:
In 1887, the Englishman Robert Russell Carew established the first distillery in what is now Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi government nationalized the Carew & Co (Bangladesh) Ltd company in 1973. The distillery is part of the Darsana Sugar Mill, which is owned by Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corporation, a state-owned enterprise. Due to the distillery, it is the only sugar out of 15 state-owned mills to generate a profit. The distillery produces whisky, rum, brandy, and gin.
In areas where this section is in effect, the government may regulate the production and disposal of power alcohol by distilleries.
No person may produce power alcohol from any substance other than molasses or any other substance designated by the government by notification in the official Gazette.
Any beverage containing more than 0.5% alcohol is considered an alcoholic beverage under Bangladeshi law. A government license is required for the sale, storage, and transportation of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption in Bangladesh requires a legal permit, which is almost always granted to non-Muslims. A medical prescription is required for Muslims to obtain an alcohol permit. The prescription must be written by a medical college associate professor or a civil surgeon. Foreigners do not require a permit to drink in licensed establishments.
Granting a license and the finality of it:
If a dispute arises as to whether a substance is or is not molasses or another substance specified in subsection (1), the decision of an officer authorized by the government in this regard is final and cannot be challenged in court.
In 2003, the Bangladeshi government authorized Jamuna Distillery Limited of Jamuna Group to produce alcoholic beverages. Jamuna Distillery Limited was the first private company to be granted a license to produce alcohol, breaking the monopoly of Carew & Co (Bangladesh) Ltd. Alcohol is sold in five-star hotels and bars licensed by the government. In 2009, Jamuna introduced Hunter beer to Bangladesh.
In terms of recent rules on the Act, many people viewed the new rules as a religious disgrace, while others celebrated the decision and wished that other drugs would also be legalized. As a result of the comment wars, some individuals opined that, now that alcohol consumption has been “legalized,” there will be an increase in drunk-driving accidents in the country. The proponents of the new regulation argue that those who want to consume alcohol will consume it regardless of the law, and that driving under the influence is nothing new in the United States.
Apparently, the new law that has caused chaos in the country is in no way comparable to alcohol laws in Western nations. The new provisions impose minimal restrictions on the ability of wholesalers and retailers to sell alcohol to the general public.
Recent updates regards to Minimum age:
Among other modifications, the legal minimum age for obtaining an alcohol permit has been raised to 21. Additionally, fees for obtaining and renewing alcohol licenses and permits have been increased. Purchase, storage, production, processing, marketing, transportation, and import-export of alcoholic beverages also require licenses and permits.
Even before the recent additions, the Narcotics Control Act of 2018 mandated that Muslims in Bangladesh, whose religion prohibits drinking, could only obtain alcohol permits for medical purposes. The individual must submit a prescription from a civil surgeon or a doctor with a minimum acceptable rank of Associate Professor in order to apply for the permit. The prescription must describe the patient’s condition and justify the need for alcohol treatment.
Since there has been no change to this law for Muslims in regards to Liquor License in Bangladesh, the new regulations pose no threat to the religious beliefs of the citizens.
Also, under the previous version of the Act, foreigners and holders of diplomatic and foreign passports were permitted to collect and consume alcohol in Bangladesh without a permit. Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachhari locals were also permitted to consume alcoholic beverages indigenous to their regions without a permit. Small tribal groups and daily laborers, such as cobblers, sweepers, and tea-garden workers, were also prohibited from consuming Taree and Pochui – beverages made from fermented liquor and spirit – without a permit.
Providing alcohol at tourist destinations was essentially an effort to increase tourism sector revenue. Many would agree that a consequence of the illegality of alcohol is that people who want to drink must resort to black markets. These unregulated markets frequently sell tainted or substandard alcohol, which can cause alcohol poisoning and death. A legal and regulated market, on the other hand, is expected to reduce the likelihood of such fatalities.
DGDA in Bangladesh:
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Bangladesh is the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
This DGDA regulates the import, procurement of raw and packaging materials, production and import of finished drugs, export, sales, pricing, etc. of all types of drugs and medicines, including those from the Ayurvedic, Unani, Herbal, and Homoeopathic systems. Currently, the DGDA oversees 47 district offices across the nation. In accordance with the Drug Laws, all officers of the DGDA serve as “Drug Inspectors” and aid the Licensing Authority in carrying out his responsibilities effectively.
In addition for Liquor License in Bangladesh, a number of Committees, including the Drug Control Committee (DCC), the Standing Committee for imports of raw materials and finished drugs, the Pricing Committee, and a number of other relevant Committees comprised of experts from various fields, exist to advise and recommend the Licensing Authority on matters pertaining to drugs and medicines.
প্রয়োজনীয় কাগজ পত্র লাইসেন্স পাওয়ার জন্য:
১. ট্রেড লাইসেন্স এর ফটোকপি (ট্রেড লাইসেন্সে ফার্মেসির নাম উল্লেখ থাকতে হবে)।
২. ভোটার আইডি কার্ড এর ফটোকপি (মালিক ও ফার্মাসিস্ট উভয়ের)৩. দোকান ভাড়া নেওয়ার চুক্তিনামা (On 300 taka stamp)
৪. এ গ্র্রেড/ বি গ্রেড/ সি-গ্রেড ফার্মাসিস্ট এর রেজিস্ট্রেশন (original certificate)
৫. ২ কপি ছবি (মালিক ও ফার্মাসিস্ট উভয়ের)
৬. দোকান এর সাইজ কমপক্ষে ১২০ স্কয়ার ফিট (মেডিসিন শপ) অথবা ৩০০ স্কয়ার ফিট (মডেল ফার্মাসি)
৭. ব্যাঙ্ক সলভেন্সি সার্টিফিকেট (মালিকের)
As part of its comprehensive support for the liquor industry and DGDA, the Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid TRW provides, among other legal services:
Comprehensive audit of the company to identify existing and potential legal risks (legal due diligence), development of risk-mitigation recommendations based on audit results. The legal team of Tahmidur Rahman, The Law Firm in Bangladesh: TRW, The Law Firm in Bangladesh are highly experienced in providing all kinds of services related to
- Development and preparation of the necessary set of contracts for a development and promotion of the necessary set of internal policies and standard procedures, including anti-corruption and compliance procedures to identify and prevent corruption risks, as well as compliance with regulation and conflict of interest when conducting Liquor Bar License and Alcohol law in Bangladesh.
- Comprehensive support of issues relating to the Liquor Bar License and Alcohol law industry’s use of intellectual property and protection of intellectual property rights; comprehensive support of issues relating to antitrust regulation, including representing the interests of pharmaceutical companies in conducting investigations and reviewing cases of antitrust law violations
- Legal support and representation for disputes involving the Liquor industry in Bangladesh
Are you intending to get a Liquor Bar License In Bangladesh?
The legal team of Tahmidur Rahman, The Law Firm in Bangladesh: TRW, The Law Firm in Bangladesh are highly experienced in providing all kinds of services related to acquiring a Liquor Bar License in Bangladesh. For queries or legal assistance in regards to Bar License in bangladesh, please reach us at:
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +8801847220062 or +8801779127165 or +01708080817 or +0
Address: House 410, Road 29, Mohakhali DOHS