Minister of Energy and Business Development, Kerrie Symmonds, has underscored the importance of the new liquor licence online process, which will be introduced on Friday, April 1.
Mr. Symmonds said there was a demand in Barbados for greater business facilitation, and stressed that the new online platform would adequately answer that request.
The Liquor Licence Authority, under the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), will now administer the liquor licences, and persons may apply online at liquorlicence.gov.bb, and pay through Government’s EZpay+ platform.
The Minister told a press briefing on Wednesday: “In the third decade of the 21st century, we cannot treat to business facilitation in the same way that we had done even before Independence…. [With this new change], we have tried to meet our stakeholders where they are….
“We are trying to make the process much faster. To get a liquor licence in Barbados under the old regime easily would have taken people in excess of five weeks … and obviously that is inadequate because of the fact that your business interests are suffering as a result of that passage of time, and you’re losing money. So that we’ve tried to correct that problem.”
Mr. Symmonds added that under the new regime, a maximum administrative penalty of $10,000 was permissible under law, and no criminal sanctions were associated with it.
He noted that people could now apply for a three-month seasonal licence. “And by doing that, we are trying to remove the physical frustrations that have humbugged the ordinary Barbadian who is trying now to build out a business endeavour for himself,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that under the new liquor licence legislation, the age of consumption of alcohol by minors would now be 18 years.
“And so gone forever, we hope, are the days where 16 year olds will be sent to the shop to procure alcohol, or will be employed in the business of the sale of alcohol, or be associated with either the consumption or sale of alcohol legally.
“And that effectively now puts that tortured period of Barbados’ history to rest, as we join the rest of the world in trying to treat our young people in the way that they should be treated,” he insisted.
The new liquor licence online platform has been designed by the Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology. Applicants who have queries may contact the Liquor Licence Authority of the DCCA at 535-7011 or 535-7019. They may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.