Excise Department is one of the oldest Departments in the State and it contributes a major share of the State Revenue. After the formation of the State of Kerala, it was noticed that different Abkari Acts were in force in different parts of the State, namely; Travancore Abkari Act for Travancore, Cochin Abkari Act for Cochin, Madras Abkari Act for Malabar. Existence of the different Acts created much practical difficulties and a unified Act for the whole  state became necessary. Therefore Government decided to extent the Cochin Abkari Act for the whole  state with necessary amendments. The Cochin Abkari Act I of 1077 was renamed as the Abkari Act I of 1077 and was extended to the whole  state with effect from 11.05.1967.     Amendments were made in the Abkari Act from time to time.

The original Act viz., the Cochin Abkari Act was passed by His Highness the Maharaja of Cochin on the 5th day of August 1902, corresponding to 31st day of Karkadagom 1077. Excise Department was functioning under the Board of Revenue till 30.06.1998.  Excise Commissioner is the administrative head. The Department is administering laws related to Liquor, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and  Medicinal Preparations containing alcohol and narcotic drugs, etc.