Changes to the licensing processes for alcohol and public entertainments licences came into operation on the 12 December 2022, following Tynwald’s approval of the Liquor Licensing and Public Entertainments Regulations 2022.
Any business or event which serves alcohol or plays live or recorded music must be licensed. These new Regulations will make the alcohol or public entertainment licensing process more straightforward and flexible by reducing administration and improving monitoring of licences.
Under the previous licensing process, businesses with alcohol licences were required to renew their licences every three years. From 12 December licenses will move to a 'rolling licence' with an annual fee, meaning that licence holders will automatically have their licence continue year-on-year if they continue to meet industry standards, and have not been subject to any enforcement action.
An electronic register of Responsible People will also be created, and current Designated Officials will move to this electronic register as part of the transition to the new framework.
Licence requirements for special occasions and special events have been more clearly defined, and the maximum length of alcohol or public entertainment licences for events has now been extended from 14 days to 16.
The Isle of Man Licensing Forum Code of Practice and Guidance has also been formally approved by Tynwald which will provide practical guidance for the licensed hospitality industry - available at the 'General Guidance for Licensees' page.
Businesses will have a formal 'grace period' until the 30 June 2023 to make an application to transition to the new rolling licences - see the 'Transitional Arrangements - Guidance for Licensees' page.
Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jane Poole-Wilson MHK, said:
‘These changes are a great example of partnership working. We’ve listened to, and worked with, the Licensing Forum, other industry representatives and the public to create changes that work for our Island. We hope that these changes will improve the process of licensing, to complement the high standards already in place across the hospitality industry.’‘These changes are just the first phase of modernising our licensing process. Government will continue to work closely with the industry and listen to feedback, with an aim to develop more flexible options for mobile and events licences that work for everyone.’