Tobacco dealers must register by 31 December 2010 in order to continue operating legally.
"Unless registered, it is illegal to operate as a tobacco dealer," reminded Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar. He also confirmed that to date 112 tobacco dealers have registered. This includes 105 retailers, 5 wholesale distributors and 2 cigar bars.
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). Healthcare facilities, educational institutions and recreational facilities are not eligible to trade in tobacco products.
A one-off non-refundable application fee of $100 applies, while yearly registration fees are as follows: CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor.
While some provisions of the Tobacco Law such as banning smoking in public places went into effect on 31 December 2009, other provisions were delayed to give businesses ample time to get to know them.
Tobacco dealers also are reminded that all tobacco products on sale must have a clear and graphic health warning that covers at least 30 percent of the display area.
"Wholesale distributors have requested an exemption until 31 March 2011 to allow for the sale of existing tobacco products which do not meet the requirements of health warnings on the packaging, to which I have agreed," said Dr. Kiran Kumar.
While granting a concession to dealers, Dr. Kumar urged dealers not to import anymore products that do not meet the requirements under the Tobacco Law.
In addition to new packaging and display requirements, the Tobacco Law also bans the sale of single cigarettes. Cigars, however, can be sold as single units when placed in a plastic bag with a health warning on it or accompanied with a printed health warning in a clear plastic bag.
Application forms for tobacco dealers' registration as well as copies of the Tobacco Law and Regulations are available from the Public Health Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital. These documents are also online at www.gis.ky.
For more information call Annadurai Richards at 244-2621 or 244-2648.
For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver