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Traders must register to sell tobacco

(CNS): Retailers, merchants, bars and restaurants that want to sell tobacco products next year, have only a few months left to register as provided for under the new law. Tobacco dealers have until 1 November to apply for registration for 2011. Although the tobacco ban in public places was enforced from the beginning of this year, business were given longer to comply with and understand the requirements of the law before those relating to the sale of products were implemented. All tobacco traders must register and its sale will be bound by certain restrictions.

“As prescribed in the Tobacco Law Section 4(1), all tobacco dealers, retailers and wholesale distributors must register with the Chief Officer in the Ministry of Health or designate. Oversight for that responsibility will, for practical reasons, fall to Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar,” said Health Minister Mark Scotland.

“While some provisions of the 2008 law went into effect 31 December last year, such as banning smoking in public places, other provisions were delayed to give businesses ample time to get to know them. As such, we hope to see compliance across the board.”

The first year’s registration period will run from now until 31 December 2011. Tobacco dealers are encouraged to register before 1 November in order to avoid paying a late registration penalty of an additional fifty percent of the prescribed registration fee.

Unless registered, it will be illegal to operate as a tobacco dealer.

According to the Tobacco Law, everyone dealing with tobacco products must register annually and display the Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License).

A one-off non-refundable application fee of $100 applies, while annual registration fees are as follows: CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor or importer.

“I encourage everyone to comply with all provisions of the Tobacco Law. By following its spirit and intent, we show respect for the health and safety of others,” the minister said. “I am confident that our tobacco legislation will encourage people to quit smoking, resulting in better health and reduced health care costs.”

Dr. Kumar assured business owners of his department’s continued support to help them comply.

“From the start we have worked with all to enhance compliance. We will organise awareness sessions to various stakeholders during the coming months. If anyone is in doubt about any provisions, please give us a call,” he said.

Application forms for tobacco registration will be available from the Public Health Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital from 1 September 2010. The department has also published information guides for business owners. They are available at www.gis.ky For more information on the Tobacco Law and Regulations, contact the department on 244-2621.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Source: Cayman News Service

Traders must register to sell tobacco