Whether you’re on a day cruise, sunset cruise, or even on a snorkeling tour, more often than not, alcohol is served at some point on your trip. In a recent meeting between Chairlady of the San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) Trade and Liquor Licensing Board, Jennie Staines, and Officer in Charge (OC) of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Henry Jemmott, it was mandated that San Pedro Police will now enforce the law that requires tour operators who supply alcohol on their vessels to obtain a liquor license.

According to the ‘Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act’, Section 21, Chapter 150 (3), Revised Edition 2011, of the Substantive Laws of Belize, “there shall be granted under this Act the following kinds of licenses permitting sale of liquor in the premises and by the person described in the license: (i) a vessel license for the sale by the master of the vessel of liquor to passengers for consumption on board the vessel.” OC Jemmott stated several warning letters have been issued to vessel owners who are not in compliance. “If liquor is sold on a vessel, the tour operator needs to check with the SPTC and fill out an application for a vessel license. The police are enforcing these vessels to have the appropriate license, and failure to do so is committing infractions under the law. The law is there to regulate certain things, and we need to know the activities these vessels are doing. All we want is for these persons to acquaint themselves with the law and apply for this license through the proper channels,” said Jemmott.

He further explained that before a person gets a vessel license, he/she needs to fulfill all the same regulations and rules as a person that is applying on land. “Because they are on sea, they need to make sure they have all of the proper coverage, such as having the proper navigational lights, sufficient life guards, life vests, a fire extinguisher, a contingency plan if the boat sinks, and a radio must be mounted on the vessel. So when all laws of the Port Authority are met, the Liquor License Act will check what they need additionally,” said Jemmott.

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