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Cayman Islands Government Toughens Stance on Illegal Vending

Above: Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Vendors in the Cayman Islands who set up shop in public places without a valid trade and business licence are breaking law and will be prosecuted, the government said Wednesday.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, vendors who do so will be prosecuted under Section 163 of Cayman’s Penal Code by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force.

Cayman’s Department of Tourism “welcomes vendors offering visitors and residents a taste of our culture and heritage in public spaces,” Director of Tourism Shomari Scott said. “However, it should never occur to the extent where our visitors and residents begin to feel harassed.”

The penalty means anyone found guilty of breaking the section will pay CI $1,000 ($1,250 USD) for the first offence, and a CI $5,000 ($6,250) fine and imprisonment of up to six months for the second offence.

“We support the Department of Commerce and Investment and its Trade and Business Licensing Unit in their campaign to manage and regulate public vending on our beaches,” Scott said. “We hope all business persons see this campaign not as a hindrance, but as an initiative to ensure the Cayman Islands maintains its place as a premier tourism destination.”

Ryan Rajkumarsingh, head of business licensing and enforcement at Cayman’s Trade and Business Licensing Unit, said vendors who are found without a licence would be “immediately prosecuted.”

“And as far as using the public cabanas on Seven Mile Beach for vending purposes, this is strictly prohibited,” he said. “These are intended for leisurely use by beachgoers only.”

TBL will consider granting licences to individuals who have received cabinet approval, he said, but licences can also be subject to approval by several other departments.

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