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May 13, 2022

New Trade License Reform Act Brought to House After Eight Years Consultations

Oscar Requeña

The Government of Belize introduced a bill to repeal the Trade Licensing Act, Chapter sixty-six of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2020, to make way for the implementation of a reformed trade license regime. According to Oscar Requeña, the Minister of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development says the trade license regime will be grounded on the principles of predictability, transparency, accountability, ease of administration, and revenue neutrality. According to Minister Requeña, this act has been in the works for the past eight years, and that discussions have been had with various stakeholders during that period.


Oscar Requeña, Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development

“Chapter sixty six of the laws of Belize makes provision for the requirement for anyone who intends to carry out a trade or sales of goods and services in a municipality, town and city in Belize to apply for license from the locally appointed trade licensing board to conduct such trade. In 2014 the Ministry of local government, the Belize Mayors Association, and the economic development council, began working on trade licensing reform to determine sound recommendations for the implementation of a trade license regime. What are the principles of the reform? To introduce a trade license regime that is grounded on the following principles. One, predictability, assessment and fees determine are fixed for a three year period. Two, transparency, elements of the methodology used to determine the fees are published. Applicants can make their own calculations. Three, accountability, eliminates discretionary procedures. Four, ease of administration process as the application process can be conducted electronically and online. Five, revenue neutrality, neutralize the impact of the new regime on the local authority and businesses. Over the past eight years and most recently several discussions on the establishment of a robust trade license regime reform has been had with various stakeholders.”

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