News

Find out what's happening around Barbados.

The Minister responsible for Legal Affairs, The Hon. Dale Marshall, K.C., M.P., announced during a press conference at Ilaro Court on January 27th, 2023 that new legislation will be laid before Parliament to ban loud kites from being used or left outdoors at night.

The draft legislation proposes to amend the Minor Offences Act, Cap. 173 to specifically ban any kite from being used between 7 pm and 6 am if it carries a "bull" or any other noise-making apparatus. If the legislation is passed by Parliament as proposed by the government, any person who contravenes the ban will be liable to a BDS $500 fixed penalty notice.

Any person who fails to pay the fixed penalty notice is liable to prosecution in the Magistrate's Court and upon conviction may face a term of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to BDS $5,000.

The draft law will be laid before Parliament on January 31st, 2023 and is likely to be debated by MPs during the next sitting of the House of Assembly on February 7th, 2023.

The Minister responsible for Transport, under the powers conferred on her by Section 124(1) of the Road Traffic Act Cap. 295, has increased various taxi fares effective January 7th, 2023. This represents the first rate increase since March 1st, 2008.

For more information, please read S.I. 2023 No. 1.

Persons who are registered under the Profession, Trade and Business Registration Act, Cap. 373 are reminded that the deadline for renewing their registration and paying the prescribed annual fee is January 31st, 2023. Any person who fails to pay the prescribed fee before the deadline will also be required to pay a penalty of the same amount.

It is now possible to pay the annual licence fee online via EZPay+, the official payment gateway of the Barbados Government.

If you are registered with the Registrar of the Supreme Court, you can collect your certificate by visiting the Registration Department of the Supreme Court Complex at Whitepark Road, St. Michael.

If you are registered with the Chief Labour Officer, your certificate may need to be collected from the Labour Department at 3rd Floor West, Warrens Office Complex, St. Michael. If you are not sure, call +1 (246) 535-1523 or +1 (246) 535-1524. Alternatively, e-mail the Chief Labour Officer: [email protected].

Allow five working days after payment before collecting your certificate. Make sure you have a copy of your payment receipt available, either printed or displayed on an electronic device.

Please note it is not possible to use EZPay+ for first time registrations. Persons who are not registered will need to attend in person to have their documentation authenticated and to pay the prescribed fee.

For first time registrations with the Registrar of the Supreme Court, visit the Registration Department at Whitepark Road.

For first time registrations with the Chief Labour Officer, visit the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector at the Warrens Office Complex.

If you are self-employed, learn more about professional registration to determine if you need to register under the Act.

The Minister responsible for Energy and Business, under the powers conferred on her by Section 3 of the Miscellaneous Controls Act, Cap. 329, has reduced the retail price of gasoline (petrol) to BDS $3.90 per litre and the retail price of diesel to BDS $3.54 per litre.

These price adjustments are effective from Monday, January 2nd, 2023.

For more information, please read S.I. 2022 No. 125.

Please be advised there are two upcoming bank holidays, during which many businesses will be closed:

New Years Day on the 1st January, 2023, marking the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

Errol Barrow Day on the 21st January, 2023, commemorating the birthday of The Right Excellent Errol Barrow P.C. Q.C., a former aircraft navigator in the British Royal Air Force and the first Prime Minister of Barbados. Errol was a leading figure in the independence movement in Barbados.

Please be advised that all remaining COVID-19 protocols will cease to have the force of law from December 22nd, 2022 as the underlying Proclamation is expiring pursuant to House of Assembly Resolution No. 18/2022.

Going forward, wearing a face mask will no longer be required as a matter of law. However, certain healthcare facilities such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital may still ask persons to wear a face mask within their premises in the interest of protecting vulnerable patients.

The Ministry of Finance has announced a VAT holiday for Wednesday, December 21st, 2022 during which most goods purchased at retailers will be exempt from VAT.

Only goods which are available for immediate delivery to the customer are eligible. Therefore, goods which are not in stock do not qualify.

Motor vehicles, gasoline, LPG, diesel, guns, ammunition, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, supply of accommodation, goods on consignment and goods from wholesale distribution centres are also not eligible.

Please be advised there are two upcoming bank holidays, during which many businesses will be closed:

Christmas Day on the 25th December, 2022, [1] marking the birth of Jesus according to the Christian faith.

Boxing Day on the 26th December, 2022, marking the second day of Christmastide.

[1] Please note the 27th December, 2022 will also be a Bank Holiday as Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year.

The Minister responsible for Energy and Business, under the powers conferred on her by Section 3 of the Miscellaneous Controls Act, Cap. 329, has increased the retail price of gasoline (petrol) to BDS $4.29 per litre.

This price adjustment is effective from Monday, November 28th, 2022.

For more information, please read S.I. 2022 No. 99.

Please be advised there is an upcoming bank holiday, during which many businesses will be closed:

Independence Day on the 30th November, 2022, marking the country's independence in 1966. Before which, Barbados was an overseas territory of the United Kingdom.