How to Take Alcohol into Brunei Darussalam

how to take alcohol into Brunei

How to get alcohol into Brunei Darussalam! Filling in my form and carrying my beers!

I LOVED my recent trip to Brunei Darussalam, only the fourth Muslim State I’ve been to. While I gladly knocked back the beers in Indonesia last year, Brunei is a bit more strict. Alcohol is completely forbidden. You cannot buy alcohol in Brunei and you cannot drink alcohol anywhere in public view in Brunei. However if you are a non-Muslim, you have an alcohol allowance for bringing alcohol across the border. Being a traveller who loves a beer, I took my maximum allowance. Here’s a guide on how to take alcohol into Brunei…

Where can I buy alcohol in Brunei?
Nowhere. It cannot be found anywhere. The only two types of beer you will see in Brunei are Ginger Beer and Root Beer. Alcohol is strictly forbidden.

Root beer in Brunei non alcohol state

Dad’s Root Beer – one of only two “beers” available to buy in Brunei!

How can I take alcohol into Brunei?

Buy it in Malaysia and take it across the border. Yes it really is that simple.

Labuan ferry terminal Malaysia

Buy your alcohol in Labuan, Malaysia

How I managed to take alcohol into Brunei – a full guide
I travelled to Brunei by ferry. I got a ferry from the Malaysian island of Labuan to the Serasa ferry terminal near Muara, Brunei. I will detail later on my World Borders series exactly how to cross the border from Malaysia to Brunei. But if you’re staying in Kota Kinabalu or Labuan, head to the ferry terminal and you can get your tickets and your boat to Brunei. It’s a fairly straight forward process.

Labuan ferry terminal ticket office Malaysia

You can buy a Brunei ferry ticket in Labuan, Malaysia

Labuan Island, Malaysia

The Malaysian island of Labuan is a duty free haven and the main streets are littered with shops selling Duty Free alcohol and cigarettes. You can stock up on alcohol in Labuan and even take it to the mainland part of Borneo and save money. But if your next port of call after Labuan is Brunei then here’s how to get the alcohol in.

Duty free shops in Labuan Malaysia

Labuan Island in Malaysia is a duty free haven – you can buy cheap alcohol everywhere on the island – cheaper than mainland Malaysia and Borneo and handy for taking booze into Brunei!

Buy your alcohol in Labuan and the vendor will give you a bright yellow/orange customs form with it. On the customs form it has the full details on what you can take into Brunei with you.

The Rules for taking alcohol into Brunei.
1. You must be 17 years old or above.
2. You must be a non-Muslim.
3. You cannot import alcohol into Brunei two days in a row. There must be a period of 48 hours between each importation.
4. The alcohol must be for your own consumption – you cannot bring it into the country for someone else.
5. The alcohol must be stored and consumed at the place you are staying at in Brunei.
6. You must fill in and sign the full Royal Customs Liquor Form.
7. You must not exceed the maximum allowance.

Alcohol form for Brunei

In Labuan when buying your alcohol pick up one of these – a yellow Liquor Form for taking alcohol into Brunei

What is the maximum allowance of alcohol you can take into Brunei?
Per person, as of April 2013:
– 2 bottles of liquor (must not exceed 2 litres in total)
– 12 cans or bottles of beer (each can must not exceed 330ml)

Alcohol allowance for Brunei - I took 12 beers in

I took 10 cans and 2 bottles into Brunei – my full allowance.

Where do you get the Brunei Royal Customs Liquor Form?
There are a few places you can get the Brunei Royal Customs Liquor Form, here are the main ones:
1. Any duty free shop or off-licence in Labuan, Malaysia
2. On board the ferry to Brunei
3. On arrival in Serasa Ferry Terminal, Muara, Brunei

Buying duty free beer in Labuan Malaysia to take into Brunei

I got my yellow Brunei Customs Liquor Form while buying my alcohol in Labuan, Malaysia.

I got mine in advance, I like to be prepared for these things and I didn’t want a delay on arrival in Brunei, so if you want to take my advice – get your Brunei Royal Customs Liquor Form in advance from an off-licence in Labuan, Malaysia (or if you’re entering Brunei from one of the other border crossings, get it there). Fill in your details on the ferry and once you arrive in Brunei, it’s a simple process.

Yellow Brunei Customs Liquor Form

Filling in the yellow Brunei Customs Liquor Form – I did it on the ferry.

What happens when you arrive in Brunei?
OK after immigration, passport checks and visas you will see the Customs declaration booth – I came into Brunei at the Serasa Ferry Terminal and the booth is on the left hand side. You just simply hand your form and passport to the person working in the booth. They check your passport and the Liquor Form and they keep one half and you keep the other half. Make sure you have everything filled in and signed in advance. You will need to sign both sides of it.

Customs form for Brunei at Serasa ferry terminal

You will get your customs form, tickets and passport checked on arrival in Brunei. We came in at Serasa ferry terminal, Muara.

They will stamp both parts of the Liquor Form, one of which you get to keep. You then take that page with your bag of booze to the security guy on the way out of the terminal. It’s a very fast, simple and efficient process. I had no problems at all. For the record I took my maximum beer allowance of 12 cans/bottles but I didn’t take bottles of liquor. I noticed that they don’t really check the quantity so if you really wanted you could risk an extra few cans, but why risk it? Besides I was travelling with my girlfriend and she didn’t take any of her allowance so we would have just transferred stuff onto hers if it had exceeded it.

taking alcohol into Brunei

A happy traveller – my ticket to Brunei, my alcohol form and my 12 beers ready for the next adventure!

It’s also worth noting that 2 of my cans were 500ml and they were fine, even though it says on the form that each can of beer must be maximum of 330ml. Though if the person working is strict and doing their job, they could ban all 12 cans if you only take in 500ml cans, so I’d say don’t risk it just in case. You don’t want to end up with zero alcohol.

Where can you drink alcohol in Brunei?
By law you can only drink alcohol in your hotel or hostel room. There is a rumour about a Chinese restaurant that allows you to bring your own beer in and consume it there, but things like this are strictly forbidden. I have also heard of a room at the Empire Hotel and Country Club that allows non-Muslims to drink in. This would probably be fine as it’s still within the place you are staying. It’s all about respecting the fact that Brunei is a strict Muslim state.

drinking beer in Brunei

Drinking with my travel buddy Neil Armstrong in his hotel room in Brunei!

I drank all my alcohol with my travel buddies in their hotel room, or with my girlfriend in our hostel room. It’s odd being in a country with no bars or alcohol on sale, but it’s an extra travel experience.

Right! I think I’ve covered it in detail for you there, it’s not complicated at all to take alcohol into Brunei, and it’s a great country to visit! Safe travels.

My videos of taking alcohol into Brunei:

Buying Duty Free alcohol in Labuan, Malaysia:

Having a drink before heading to Brunei:

On the ferry to Brunei:

Having a beer in Brunei:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Asia, Borneo, Brunei Darussalam, Labuan, Malaysia, Sabah, X tips. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to How to Take Alcohol into Brunei Darussalam

  1. Thanks for the tips, so doing this! Crazy DAD’S root beer?!?! We have that brand in our local Pick n Save grocery stores here in Wisconsin!!!

  2. Jonny says:

    Yes Hannah – I bought both a Ginger Beer and a Dad’s Root Beer in Brunei. The Dad’s Root Beer was actually made in Brunei though as I read on the tin where it was made as it said “American” on it – if it’s the same tin in your local shop – check if it’s made locally or in Asia. Here’s a video of me trying it:
    Safe travels, Jonny

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  8. Fleur says:

    Thank you for the lesson, much appreciated!

  9. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Fleur thanks for the comment, no worries and safe travels. Jonny

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  12. Hannah says:

    Great! I lived in Kuala Belait — about 1.5hrs from Bandar Seri Begawan and it is only 45mins away from Miri, Malaysia. People would drive there for the booze. Much nearer, no boat needed 🙂
    I love reading blogs about Brunei, because it’s a very obscure country that not a lot know about. I’m checking out all your other posts 😉 Glad you enjoyed the Brunei Cheesecake!
    Hannah recently posted…Surigao + Siargao: 4 Days in 4 MinutesMy Profile

  13. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Hannah, thanks for the comment. Yes, we noticed that Brunei was not very touristic or as visited as the other countries in South East Asia but we liked it and had fun there. Safe travels. Jonny

  14. Queenie says:

    It’s really a good reference for me. However, do you know any if just bring the alcohol pass by Brunei and go Miri, Malaysia? Is there any restriction?

  15. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Queenie thanks for the comment. I do not know about that route as we came in by boat but I assume the border entrance is the same in Brunei as it is a well controlled country. Safe travels. Jonny

  16. Lee says:

    Easy way to buy alcohol in Brunei itself? Join the British Army and do a 3 year tour out there. The messes and army shop sell it.

  17. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Lee, thanks for the comment. Great tips there, although we only had 3 days in the country as tourists but it was still good to be able to get the alcohol brought in. Safe travels. Jonny

  18. Kieran says:

    Hi Jonny
    Very handy tips for my forthcoming trip next year. Do you also know about bringing booze through customs etc OUT of Brunei? I plan to take advantage of the cheap duty free in Labuan and buy two litres of spirits, but I’ll only be in Brunei for a day or two before flying out to Singapore or Malaysia. I’ve read various things about people having booze confiscated on departure but can’t find a definitive answer. Any idea?
    Cheers. Kieran.

  19. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Kieran, I took booze out of there as well, think it was only one can of beer, but bags are not checked on the borders, at least they weren’t in 2013 when I backpacked it. The only real issue would be if you flew out. Safe travels, Jonny

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