Beach sellers face clamp down

| 26/09/2012

3780419-Beach_Vendor_Varadero.jpg(CNS): Despite the tough economic times, the government has issued a warning to vendors who set up shop in public spaces, in particular beaches, without a valid Trade and Business License that they will be prosecuted. There is a growing number of people selling a variety of craft, cultural items and local produce around the island recently, including on Seven Mile Beach and the West Bay public beach. Officials said Wednesday that the goal of the clamp down was to prevent vendors from harassing visitors and to maintain Cayman’s place as a premium destination. The Trade and Business Licensing Unit said that at the start of next year all illegal public vendors could face prosecution but public beaches are the primary concern.

The unit is now working with the Parks Unit, tourism and the RCIPS to ensure that vendors are not violating the law. Anyone found guilty of contravening section 163 of the Penal Code is liable to a $1,000 fine for the first offence, and a $5,000 fine and imprisonment of up to six months for the second offence.

“If vendors are found without a valid trade and business license after 1 January, they will be immediately prosecuted by the RCIPS,” said TBL’s head of business licensing and enforcement, Ryan Rajkumarsingh. “And as far as using the public cabanas on Seven Mile Beach for vending purposes, this is strictly prohibited. These are intended for leisurely use by beachgoers only.”

TBL will consider granting licenses to individuals who have received Cabinet approval to use public property to carry on their trades, Rajkumarsingh said. However, this was dependent on the type of business and said that individual must also meet requirements from various government departments such as planning; environment, for food handling; and DoT, for PRIDE customer service training.

Rajkumarsingh acknowledged that an immediate prosecution of vendors who are breaking the law may pose a threat to their livelihood. “We therefore are offering a grace period of three months to give persons time to get in compliance with the law,” he said.

“But this grace period will definitely end on 31 December 2012,” he emphasised. “It is important for vendors to know that there are serious repercussions for not having a valid trade and business license.”

Department of Tourism Director Shomari Scott said the goal was to prevent visitors from being harassed, not to hinder vendors.

"DoT welcomes vendors offering visitors and residents a taste of our culture and heritage in public spaces. However, it should never occur to the extent where our visitors and residents begin to feel harassed,” said Scott.

“We support the Department of Commerce and Investment and its Trade and Business Licensing Unit in their enforcement campaign to manage and regulate public vending on our beaches. We hope all business persons see this campaign not as a hindrance, but as an initiative to ensure the Cayman Islands maintains its place as a premier tourism destination,” he added.

Scott said anyone dealing with visitors had to meet certain standards and pointed to the DoT’s PRIDE programme created in 2008 as a baseline for customer service across the local tourism product.

"Itis important that persons who are interfacing with our visitors are equipped with the necessary tools to provide the best experience possible,” said Scott. “Our guests continue to choose our destination because of the ‘no-hassle’ factor and the wonderful spirit of relaxation and safety which we provide. We should endeavour to maintain this element in all manners possible,” he added.

Officials said that to get a trade and business licence they can visit the Trade and Business Licensing Unit’s website at, or call 945-0943 to find out the requirements for setting up a business. Potential vendors must obtain permissions from the relevant Government departments/agencies and Cabinet and complete the PRIDE training certification programme.

Once all of the approved documents re submitted to the Trade and Business Licensing Unit the application will be considered for license.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian that owns a business on island, I pay a lot of money to abide by the rules.  Lisences, insurance, health pension, work permits etc.  It really ticks me off to see people running a business without paying what they should.  We all have to do it so why should the beach vendors get a free pass.

          It's one thing for a Caymanian to try to make a living without T&B but lately I've been seeing expats trying to do the same thing.  Who do we report them to and will anything be done?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wish something could be done with those vendors on Spotts Strait saturday. A large tent with clothes blowing close to the road is most disgusting in such a nice neighbourhood. These people that want to sell should seek small rental places and do their business there. Where is planning these days?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well – everyone's a "Caymanian" now -so it's all the same rules!

    Plue the "Mr Big" Caymanian won't want poor small person as vendors braiding hair or rentign brach chairs once he put's his top-knotch boardwalk and Camana-Bay style restaurants there leadign stright to his North Sound Bridge…


  4. Anonymous says:

    how about the top of marina drive too? looks like shanty town more and more each day.

    i see vans now at spotts dragging bbqs out and roasting chickem too. is this clean safe food or more scammers police turn a blind eye to?

  5. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian that owns a business on island, I pay a lot of money to abide by the rules.  Lisences, insurance, health pension, work permits etc.  It really ticks me off to see people running a business without paying what they should.  We all have to do it so why should the beach vendors get a free pass.

          It's one thing for a Caymanian to try to make a living without T&B but lately I've been seeing expats trying to do the same thing.  Who do we report them to and will anything be done?

  6. Alice says:

    Let’s thanks the Premier for this move. The trade and business board is under his Ministry.

  7. Anonymous says:

    ABOUT TIME…thank you!!!!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Glad to hear this. I have heard some tourists say they were told they HAD to rent a chair. Will this include the guys who don't have a business license but say "Mackeewa said we could be here"?

  9. Dudenottherug says:

    Start at SMB public beach and move that illegal water sports operation that is set up next to Calicos. Thing is an eyesore and a nuisance.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Cayman becoming a 3rd world country?

    Begging, bartering and hawking your wares on the streets is daily life in many 3rd world countries.

    This is not what Cayman is or should ever be.

    Downtown George Town is a disgrace with all the banners, large signs posted on every wall, building, railing and post and now street vedors selling coconut milk and Chinese imported novelties.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop the demise and lets be more professional about how we interact with our visitors.

    Over the years I have heard countless times how tourists love Cayman becuase there are no street vendors hassling them.

    Stop the street vendors, stop the tour touts and lets get back to a more orderly and professional way of doing business and our tourist vistors will continue to come to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      14:23  Cayman becomming a third world.  I agree with every word you have said.  But the fact is anyone listening?  Please continue to object and write and write about it every day.  That is the only how the message will get across to the Government that this sort of disgusting set up is not welcomed in Cayman.   I know this would happen, dont worry we will soon see little roof tops out of cardboard selling fried rice and racoon, coconut water and baloon.  Beside you all do not know that you are eating iguanas?   Cayman gone to the dogs and why we need to stop these foreign leches creeping into every corner and selling you iguana soup and iguana fried rice and iguana chop suey. 

      • stick to rooster says:

        Interesting point and I do agree that it does have the appearance of a third world decline. Something tells me that it would be like this even without the so called foreign intervention implied.

        Tell me what nationality are the people who roll around the pavement on Mary Street, the guys who aggressively demand money near the Fish market, the Cafe del sol 'door beggars', the female flasher on West Bay road, the hobo who shouts his police number at passing tourists or any of the idiots hanging around Hell car parks?

        This list can go on and is by no means exhausted.

        Do not be too concerned about potential problems from overseas, let's get our own house in order first.

        • Anonymous says:

          All displaced by the "new caymanians – status grants of 2004" oh what a laugh it will be when the financial industry send the Native Caymanians packing in favour of the "new caymanians". 

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is terrible!

    That is one of my favourite things about going to beaches – sh*tty expensive products that I don’t need that are constantly shoved in my face with tales of woe…who goes to just relax in the sun anyway?

    • Anonymous says:

      that is not true… I dont see people shoving things in peoples face!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Nothing will be done folks, I dealt with a resident company that had traded for a period of time without any directors, had made false submissions when getting its T&B renewal and other breaches of the Local Companies Control (2007 Law) reported all these to the Government, and to my knowledge nothing has been done about it. 

    Carry on beach traders you'll be fine.


  13. Anonymous says:

    LIKE THEY SAY, LAWS WERE MADE TO PROTECT THE RICH MAN'S INTEREST. Reminds me several years ago, my wife and I took a walk along a beach, and passing by a mansion we saw three people who look like foreignors and we waved to them in a friendly jesture. But they didn't wave back and then we saw two dogs came rushing to us from the mansion. I had to pick up a stick to keep them away. But during the whole ordeal these people did nothing, didn't call out to the dogs, or came to where we were to at least leesh them.  We managed to cross the residence along the beach without getting harm. But offended me was that no one tried to stop these dogs from attacking us. No one said a word. They watch us and I could sense that we were not welcome behind their backyard, but we was on the beach, the water was two feet away from us. I can never forget that incident.

    • Anonymous says:


      The law is to protect the reputation of the Cayman Islands as a destination where you are not hassled by thick skinned vendors, as is the case in other Caribbean Islands. To me Cayman represents a haven from higglers. Let's keep it that way.

      You want to help the LESS FORTUNATE..? donate to the Pines, Lighthouse school, Hospicecare, meals on wheels,and the list goes on.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should forget it because it probably meant nothing.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      11:23 I am sorry to hear your story, but I do believer every word.  Now listen to this story.  A Caymanian fisherman  who has been fishing and catching sprats (fish) for decades, made his usual early morning tour to catch sprats (fish)  A similar thing happened to him.  Two foreign persons were sitting on their back porch on the beach and watched their two dogs chase the man out in the water to bite him.  They sat on their back porch stone faced and would not even call back their dogs.

      Well it so happened that the Caymanian fisherman was a "NO NONSENCE GUY" and as the dogs approached him in the ferocious attacking manner to bite him, his only defence was his fishing net.  So the man threw his fishing net over both dogs, and dragged his net.  During this ordeal the dogs got caught in the net and was almost drowned.  The stone faced foreigners then ran to the beach screaming, You are killing my dogs, you are killing my dogs!!

      The Fisherman dragged the half drowned dogs to the beach where their owners was almost frantic.  Words were exchanged to the tone of "This beach is mine and you cannot walk here, or catch fish from this water, and the fisherman replied "Lady if you love your dogs, I suggest you keep them inside,  or let them know who I am",  cause next time they may not be so lucky.

      However, the  Story ended good.  The Stone faced foreigners realized that to live there happily ever after, they would need to learn the song "The beach is Mine"

      Since that day the two dogs are the fisherman's best friend and usually accompany him in the water and stick around as company while he is fishing.  Also the stone faced foreigners is always on the beach now with  a smiling attitude getting a fish  or two for breakfast.

      In Cayman we have a saying that goe like this "NIP IT IN THE BUD"  When these things happen it is best to "NIP THEM IN THE BUD"  Meaning take a stand there and then, and there will be no worry after..

  14. selfish pink elephants says:

    CNS:  "Officials said Wednesday that the goal of the clamp down was to prevent vendors from harassing visitors and to maintain Cayman’s place as a premium destination."  Yeah right!  Small vendors are not doing any harm to the tourist. They are hussling to make a living due to this ailing economy, and the larger fish fry or big shots can't take that… so they call up the authorities and ressurrect such laws like the T&B laws to null these vendors. That is why they had politicians snug these sleeping laws into our books, so they can ressurrect these laws whenever the little guy is making a dollar with no harm done to anyone of the public. What this whole thing is about and they will pretty it up and say its about harassment – really!  You can't be insulting to people's intelligence!  All the big shots in Cayman is about ensuring the little guy don't get any advantage over them. They pray everyday on their knees that one else prospers but them and how good and just the law is to their advantage. They are heading to hell, devils in disguise, using government to even force others to comply to the civil-corrupt laws we have here. They talk about how great capitalism is and how they will offer this and offer that service, but we know their hearts.

    • a little guy says:

      Hear this:  Remember Shetty's complaint about certain of our duties needed to be lowered, Dart complaints about certain laws to ensure they can invest. Yes… BIG SHOTS  demand these things. And how do you fulfill BIG SHOTS demands when some of them give you $$$$ on the side?  You simply cause the country to go into debt !  The UK then steps in and between government and the UK, austere measures are introduce and laws to "their" advantage are imposed. This is nothing new – happening all over the world. Government and BIG SHOTS siding to control the market and passing very indifferent laws in order to do so. We will see much of this happening and these enforcements tighten. The budget issue and country in deficit will be but red herrings. Some BIG SHOTS plans will go through, roads will be paved, and everybody will be scratching their heads.  

    • Anonymous says:

      thank you for your comment. i take that all your thumbs down are from either the large fish fry or ignorant folk who are living the life and forgotten where they came from 

      • Dudenottherug says:

        My thumbs down was due to his poor grammar. Learn to use proper sentence structure or you loose all credibility.

        • Whodatis says:

          Oh my … oh dear me … sometimes it simply writes itself doesn't it?!


        • N Somniac says:

          You need to learn grammar and spelling yourself.  You should have used "owing to" instead of "due to" and the word you were looking for is "lose" not "loose". 

          • Dudenottherug says:

            I guess sarcasm is lost on the stupid

            • Loopy Lou says:

              My guess is you messed up and have been called out.  I bet you would not know sarcasm if it came up to you wearing a t-shirt saying "I am sarcasm", slapped you on face and screamed "I'm sarcasm, pleased to meet you".

          • Anonymous says:

            Not "owing to" or "due to" but "because of" is correct

      • 60 plus thumb down says:

        wow dats pretty much all of cayman dat forgotten where they came from

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness, otherwise what would stop multiple vendors from 'setting up shop' on the beach and be subject to no regulation or business expenses etc.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Beach sellers will tell people to not park their vehicles in the parking lot in West Bay so they can sell to those who come by bus from the cruise ship to see the West Bay boat ramp. It must be a thrill for the cruise ship people to see a Cayman boat ramp and dock.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It's about time something is done about this! Having those vendors haggling with tourists on the beach is just another step backwards and a further turn-off for tourists.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why do we always have to give grace periods to enforce the law? When are people going to learn the hard way that there are consequences for their action?


    • Chilly says:

      I do not understand why we are waiting gor three months to enforce a law that we presently have in place. How many thousands of people will experience the higgling and harassment before the beginning of next year. It is starting to feel like Mo Bay here and that is not the experience most of our visitors are looking for. Start enforcement now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well, Cayman can look for an upsurge in the robberies again, then.

    Its been quiet this year, relatively speaking, with most of the main culprits now in jail or gone underground but…

    If this UDP Government goes after every single little man trying to hustle an honest living….

    What the dickens do they expect ?

    Would they rather have their tourists solicited to buy local craft, food, etc etc…

    Or have them robbed ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because the people doing the crafting and selling are the same ones doing the robbing! (NOT!)

    • Anonymous says:

      That is probably the most offensive comment I have ever read on the CNS posts (which is saying allot).  Your argument that people would be justified to rob tourists if they are not allowed to illegally hassle them is morally bankrupt and at the very core of the problem we are facing as a society.

    • Anonymous says:

      all they have to do is abide by the law and get a licence.  Something they should have done when they started.  I don't see what the big deal is.   Why should some people be able to operate without a licence when the majority of people have to fork out the money to be compliant with the law.

  20. Asbo Zaprudder says:

    "Cultural items"?  I thought it was all tat.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So "Cabinet" (the Premier – the Governor doesn't get involved in this sort of trivia) can grant exemptions. Red flag. Just need to persuade the Premier to support your application. Say no more.

  22. anonymous says:

    This is what happens when you give status to people with different cultures. For some, this is consider the norm in their countries. Selling goods on the beach/roadsides without a permit. As you drive along the West Bay road, you can see them by the Governor's beach, in the center of West Bay and by the West Bay Public Beach. I was starting to wonder if I was in another Caribbean Island.  Something needs to be done about the beggars too. You can't even go to the supermarketor restaurant now, that someone is not begging you. Cayman has become a real third world Island.

  23. Anonymous says:

    C'mon guys…let's get real here.

    if they are creating a nuisance then laws other than LTB givegrounds for them to be moved on. We need to use common sense around here. If they are genuinely of a business scale then fine but if they are doing soething to earn a few eextra bucks on top of their job for example do you think charging them $375 (300 license plus 75 non refundable processing fee) a year will make them more or less pushy when trying to sell stuff.


  24. Anne Arkee says:

    If >> you're a Real Estate Developer who owes the government and the public upwards of $6,000,000.00 > that's ok >>and > if you're mega rich and playing Monopoly with public land > they'll actually bend over and help you out.

    BUT > if you're trying to make a living selling local food and crafts on a public beach>>>you're liable to a big fat fine????

    Because as they said they want to keep Cayman classy.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Selling crap mainly!

    Jog on faulty vendor !

  26. Anonymous says:

    Getting a Trade and Business Lic is not the point. Soon the public will not be able to visit and enjoy our Public Beaches because vendors have occupied the entire space. What is happening here is that the door is being jarred open wider and wider and soon there will be conflict between the public trying to access our beaches and the vendors.

    I fully appreciate the challenging economic times but the Govt needs to nip this in the bud now! 

  27. Me says:


    This isnt an 'anti-anyone' thing. Its a facet of our tourism and our lifestyle that we were forgetting in desperation for a buck. Its also not 'done tomorrow'. There's three months to get sorted out. Enough time to work out what and where is acceptable and what and where isn't. I expect this to extend to all merchants trading on the public beaches and adjoining areas without permission.

  28. Anon says:

    Good! I have to pay T&B fees, corp. fees, pension, health care, etc., etc., etc. for my small business. The hikes in the last few years have all but put me out of business. Why should I have to compete with vendors who pay nothing in fees?

    I would also LOVE if customs would check their invoices for low dec. Instead of screwing honest business owners, just collect the real fees from everyone.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well, as long as the RCIP does not get involved in big business operating illegally it will be fine. I am enjoying stealing my staff pension monies, operating outside of my licence, lying about my true shareholders, and pretending all my expat workers are in much more junior positions then they really are.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Most of the National Watersports Association snorkel boatsdo NOT have T&B licenses. All of the fish sellers nexct to Rackams do NOT have T&B's. All of the coconut sellers outside the Cruise Ship docks do NOT have T&B's. Nothing will be done. Stop. Real BS.

  31. Anonymous says:

    “Officials said Wednesday that the goal of the clamp down was to prevent vendors from harassing visitors and to maintain Cayman’s place as a premium destination”. So let me get this straight, having a trade and business license will prevent someome from approaching visitors and “harassing” them.

    Come on leaders of Cayman we Caymanians are broke we are not stupid, this “clampdown” is about the almighty dollar, its gonna take money for someone to obtain a trade and business license, ie police record which is now $25 and whatever other fees there are to obtain such a license.

    Why don’t we clamp down on the bank robbers, gas station robbers, theives, burglars, drug dealers, and give the honest hard workers a chance to make an honest dollar, maybe this way we can get the over 9000 people off the hands of Social Services.

  32. Anonymous says:

    How about creating a craft night or a "Harbour Night" such as Bermuda does where all local craft, local food, music and entertainment is on display. As a tourist, it is an event that is well worth attending in Bermuda and many locals and their families come out for the event also. It is one night a week.

  33. Anonymous says:

    still think UDP is the party for the 'poor man on the street' ?- well, check this out!

    Having taxed us into oblivion, no economic stimulus, a couple promised handouts, raised fees on gas, cigarettes, alcohol, work permit fees and business costs and now a 'clamp down' on simple vendors but it wont go after the big debts government has walking on the road ($6m Ritz bill, HSA recievables):

    UDP expects to squeeze and squeeze the middle class and the poorest first for everything while the big time developers get free Crown land and a pass on everything else (even rushing thru illegal explosives shipment with help from their buddy the Premier)


  34. Anonymous says:

    About time something was done. I am sick to the teeth trying to compete with these hawkers who are doing nothing but taking business and jobs away from the ligitimate buisnessman.

    What is with the grace period? They ARE breaking the LAW. MOVE THEIR ASSES NOW!!!!! 

    Customs, you need to get your act together and find out where thay get most of their goods from.

    Immigration, you might want to do some checking.

    Why is it that the Department of Commerse has NO enforcement officer?????

    • Ed says:

      "MOVE THEIR ASSES NOW!!!!!"  No, please don't.  My children love donkeys. 


  35. Anonymous says:

    Keep Cayman's place as a premium destination….omg pick me off the floor from laughing so hard.  Have you looked around Cayman???? All you see is buildings, traffic, nothing of the caribbean look.  Premium destination, includes muggings, rapes, shootings, we are beyond that now…these people are making an honest living, yes I understand people shouldn't be harrassed but if they are just selling their things and not harrassing the tourists, leave them alone…is it better they steal?????? or mug someone??? Come on we have more problems here, drugs, burglaries (for that isn't printed in the paper anymore), two friends of mine their houses were robbed of everything in the Prospect area, nothing in the can you imagine how many more are like that????


    This is why Cayman is the way it is today, cover up and more cover up…

  36. Anonymous says:

    They should not be approved by Cabinet.  This is another way to hand out Political favors for votes.  There should be a fair system that is handled by th Civil Service.  Not politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right. Obviously Cabinet does not have anything to do. Why can’t this been done through the trade and business department. For sure if the Premier and his crew has anything to do with it all the permits will go to that large group of status grantors – you know who they are. They are the loud mouths around the place. Shomari while you are at it please also try to curb taxis drivers shouting from their cars in the middle of town, trying to get a fare. Surely if the tourist needs a ride they must know how to flag down a car. Mr. police please try to curb them from parking on the sidewalk and forcing pedestrians in the streets. Public Health I have a job for you as well. Try to curb the fishermen on the water front from peeing in full view of us locals and visitors as well. Can’t you drop off a portable toilet for them to use. Better yet UDP government why don’t you build some public toilets for our tourist to use. Sometimes I feel so sorry for them running all over town, trying to find some place to pee. DOES ANYONE REALLY CARE A HECK ABOUT THESE THINGS?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Good news.  Hopefully this extends to all of those vendors who permenently store their personal and business property in our public spaces (such as kayaks).