D-Day for promoters ... but delinquents who fail to register will face no consequences
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
TODAY IS the deadline for event promoters to sign up with the National Registry of Entertainment, but a senior minister is declaring that no consequence will flow from non-registration.
Noel Arscott, the local government minister, said in the House of Representatives, "there is no sanction for [not] registering" before today's deadline.
In the Sectoral Debate last month, Damion Crawford, the junior entertainment minister, said the establishment of the registry is part of a move to streamline the process necessary to ensure that players in the entertainment sector are able to qualify for tax relief under a new fiscal incentives regime.
Under the new regime, tools of trade such as instruments are exempt from import duties.
"I urge all entertainment practitioners to register and capitalise on the opportunity to access tools of trade and free movement that registration and certification as a bona fide practitioner facilitates," Crawford had said in Parliament.
His announcement that event promoters who failed to sign up with the registry would not be able to secure a places of amusement licence infuriated Desmond McKenzie, opposition spokesman on local government, who insisted that Crawford had no such power under the law. He then tabled questions of Arscott, who is the responsible minister under the Places of Amusement Act.
Arscott said not only has there been no decision to reassign the authority to grant, refuse or revoke a place of amusement licence from the local government's ministry to Crawford's ministry, but also that July 31 was only an administrative deadline.
He said, however, that last October, Cabinet gave approval for the registration of players in the entertainment and creative industries with the national registry to be a prerequisite for promoters seeking to obtain a places of amusement licence.
Yesterday, Crawford told The Gleaner that as of August 1, while there will be no sanctions such as the imposition of a fee for event promoters who are not on the entertainment registry, they will have to be registered before they can apply to the parish councils to stage events.
He stressed, however, that there is no cost for registration and the process is a simple one, which takes place at the council, the same place where the licence is issued.
"The joining of the place of amusement with the registry for promoters is a necessary part of the implementation of the event-rating system because there must be a repercussion for a promoter who himself rates an event as 'G' and chose to produce an 'R'-rate event," Crawford said.
He said persons who breach their permits will have demerit points recorded against their names which could eventually lead to promoters being deregistered.