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Oct 25, 2021

“Show us the Draft”: BCCI Wants to See Trade License Amendment Bill

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it has consulted it membership on the government’s proposed Trade Licensing regime and it now needs to see the draft of the Trade License Amendment Bill. A recent letter the Chamber sent to the Minister of Local Government notes that consultations were held with the Commerce, Industry and Service Sectors, following meetings in August with the Director of Local Government, CEO in the Ministry, and other representatives. But they say stakeholders in the private and public sector agreed the reform agenda be finalized, and that the deadline for the implementation of the amended methodology be set for November 2021. But, as October winds down, the BCCI says it cannot formalize a position on the policy without being able to review the Amendment Bill. Notably, according to BCCI, several of their members have reported that local authorities have already been assessing and issuing trade license bills already in accordance with the new regime. Furthermore, BCCI says expanding the regime to businesses that operate in the villages, as was announced in a recent Cabinet Brief, was never discussed in any BCCI-Ministry discussions. They say this announcement goes against the principle of good faith.

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