Economy September 27, 2021 | 2:49 pm

License for sale of alcohol would be harmful to economic activity of Dominican Republic

Legislation for controlling the sale, supply, and consumption of alcoholic beverages would cause a very harmful impact on economic activity and job creation, said the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD).

In objecting to a bill on the subject circulating in the National Congress, the AIRD indicated that such a legal framework would create confusion and dualities of institutional roles in the fight against illicit alcoholic beverages.

The guild of industrialists said that there are mechanisms for the effective control of the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages without creating a law such as those mentioned above.

Among these legal mechanisms, the association cited Laws 17-19 for the Eradication of Illicit Trade; 63-17 on Mobility, Land Transport, Traffic and Road Safety and 136-03 on the Code for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adolescents.

Likewise, it also cited the General Law 358-05 on the Protection of consumer or User Rights and tax regulation (implemented by DGII and DGA), among other provisions.

“The economic recovery that the country shows is nascent, and we must take care of it and strengthen it. The draft Law for the Control of Sale, Supply, and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages are an obstacle to this recovery, especially concerning employment,” the AIRD warned.

It further argued that establishing limitations and restrictions on commercial activities through the imposition of compulsory licenses on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (especially the more than 60,000 grocery stores and places of sale of alcoholic beverages) in the current situation that the country is experiencing would be counterproductive since it would increase operational costs and many businesses would be forced to close their doors.

An incentive to illicit trade

The AIRD indicated that these licenses constitute an incentive to the illicit trade in alcohol, as has been the experience in other countries in the region, thus punishing those who comply with the law and giving advantages to continue the illicit trade to the detriment of the consumer, producers, importers and State collections.

“It is, therefore, an incentive that can be considered perverse, although it is necessary to clarify that this is not the intention of the legislator,” the association concluded.

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Paul Tierney
September 28, 2021 11:08 am

The idea of licenses will conjures up a government mafia selling them to the highest bidders.

This is a legislative attempt to stop the trade of bootleg alcohol and to acquire license revenues. The thousands of good businesses would suffer if such a law is established and the public would be paying more for their Presidentes.

The truth is even if licenses became the rule there still would be clandestine sales of “illicit alcoholic beverages”.

What needs to be done is to get gov’t more involved with shutting done illicit sales, not dreaming up license schemes.