by Linda Straker
- Compliance deadline is 14 September
- Failure to obtain the annual licence results in business shut down by police
Nine months after most liquor dealers and refreshment house operators in Grenada have failed to obtain their annual licence in accordance with the law, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has issued a notice beseeching them to comply on or before 14 September 2018.
“All business persons who wish [to operate as] liquor dealers, refreshment house operators: restaurants, snackette, eatery or any other business of a similar nature, are required to obtain a Refreshment House Licence which has to be renewed annually on or before 7 January,” said the notice.
Explaining that the department, which falls under the Ministry of Finance, is concerned about the number of liquor dealers and the refreshment house operators who are not in compliance, the notice said that those who failed to obtain a licence by the deadline would face the consequences. “The IRD hereby notifies liquor dealers and refreshment house operators, who are not paying the licence fees that they should rectify their status and bring their licence payments up to date. This should be done no later than 14 September 2018.” The notice confirmed that the IRD would be working closely with the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) to encourage compliance.
The license fee for liquor dealers varies between EC$150 and EC$250 depending on location while its EC$500 for a refreshment house. Persons who are operating one facility that is labelled as both as refreshment house and a liquor dealing facility will have to obtain 2 different licences.
“So, for example, a rum shop selling things to eat has to obtain a licence as a liquor dealer and a refreshment house,” said an official from the department. “If the facility is located one mile within any town in any parish the fee is EC$250, while for liquor dealers outside of the one-mile radius the fee is EC$250,” the official said.
According to the law, those who fail to obtain the annual licence cannot be charged or fined for violating the legislation but can have their business shut down by the police with direction from the IRD until the licence fee is paid.
“Once the liquor dealer or the refreshment house dealer cannot present the licence when we visit the facility, we will ask the police to it shut down. We will ask the people inside to leave and a notice will be posted explaining why the facility is shut down,” the IRD representative said.