The sale of liquor is a restrictive business activity, therefore any individual or company wishing to venture into that activity is required to obtain a liquor license.
Liquor license is administered under Liquor Licensing Act (CAP 52) of 1969.
The sale of liquor is a restrictive business activity, therefore any individual or company wishing to venture into that activity is required to obtain a liquor license. Liquor license is administered under Liquor Licensing Act (CAP 52) of 1969.
Procedure for obtaining a liquor License:
- Application forms to be collected from the Rates and Taxes office or can be obtained on the website. It consist of three application forms (all of which are of the same content) that need to be filled in and forwarded to the appropriate authorities for approval BEFORE it can be lodged at Rates & Taxes for processing. (Click here to view)
- Completed form to be submitted to Port Vila Municipality for recommendation.
- Application then forwarded to Police for verification
- Verified forms are then sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Minister’s approval
- Approved application form is then taken down to Rates & Taxes office whereby the appropriate liquor license fee is to be paid.
Relocating to another branch or opening another branch
- The same process for obtaining a liquor license applies.
- Applicants wanting to relocate to another location OR open another branch;
- A new liquor license is to be lodged
- A VIPA Approval Certificate is required, if the applicant is a foreign investor.
- Liquor licenses are non-transferrable meaning that if a new owner takes over the existing business, a new liquor license application has to be lodged.
Duration period for the process of Liquor License:
This process usually takes at least a month to complete before the official liquor license is issued.
- The liquor license fee is charged according to the different categories it falls under. (Click here to view Liquor License Fee Schedule)
- New licenses launched during the year will be charged on a pro-rata basis. For example, applicants applying for a new liquor license in the month of June shall pay only for the remaining seven months of the year.
Liquor license annual fee = License category fee x no. of months/12
e.g. = VT 18, 563 x 7/12
= VT10, 828
- Fees for new applications are to be paid within 30 days after approval from the Minister of Internal Affairs.
- Licenses are valid for one year and are subject to renewal on or before 31 January of the new licensing year.
- This also applies to new liquor licenses lodged after 31 January.
- Penalty fee of 10% for new licenses will be charged every month after 30days have lapsed from the date of approval by the Minister of Internal Affairs.
The penalty fee period will be up to a maximum of 3 months.
Payments not made within that period will lead to cancellation of the liquor license.
- For renewal of liquor licenses, applicants are required to go through the same process as getting a new liquor license.
- All approved application forms for liquor license renewals are to be submitted by 1 January of the succeeding year.
- Due to the lengthy process, applicants are advised to submit renewal applications to respective authorities at least 2 months BEFORE the succeeding year so that payments can be made on or before 31 January. (i.e. November of the licensing year is normally the preferred time to submit applications to respective authorities)
- Liquor licenses’ renewal fee is the same as shown in the liquor license fee schedule.
- A penalty fee of 10% will be charged to the liquor license every month from the due date up to 3 months.
- Payments not made within that period will lead to cancellation of the liquor license.