Moratorium on Business and Operational Licenses for Supermarkets  

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), hereby informs the general public that the moratorium established as of 18 February, 2014 on the issuance of business and operational licenses remains in force, but has been amended as follows.

Replacement licenses are allowed, but are limited to establishments operating on the premises of hotels with a minimum of 200 rooms, the Airport and the Harbor.

A new license may be granted to replace an already existing license in that same location. However, the old or existing license must be cancelled, or withdrawn in order for the new license to be approved.

Holders of both an operational and business license for a supermarket may change locations, with the exception of those operating on the premises of hotels with a minimum of 200 rooms, the Airport and the Harbor.

Business Expansion is allowed. Therefore a person who is already operating with a business license and wishes to expand to sell Alcohol can request an operational license.

The amendment does not increase the number of existing supermarkets.

Implementation of the amendment to the moratorium was decided after consideration of: The fact that the government acknowledges the need for high traffic tourist areas (i.e. hotels with a minimum of 200 rooms, the Airport and Harbor) to always have a supermarket on premises as a convenience to the countries visitors and guests.

The amended policy goes into effect as of July 3rd, 2015 and replaces the Policy/Moratorium of 18 February 2014.

Allowing or issuing additional new business and operational licenses for supermarkets, could entail consequences that create harm to the existing supermarkets and their investments, with the end result of providing inadequate quality and service that will not benefit the economy of St. Maarten.

The Government has the task to prevent such a negative impact on the supermarket industry and the therefore establishes this moratorium. Copies of the Public Announcement and Policy are available on the Government Website (www.sintmaartengov.org) for download.