Cameroon: November 1990 Decree On Drinking Spots - Instituting Order in the Bar Sector

The four chapters decree with 25 articles lays down conditions and procedures for the functioning of on and off licenses in Cameroon.

Cameroonians to many are lovers of beer and have to an extent subjected their systems to drinking over every reason and even for no reason. In order to inculcate the habit of responsible and controlled drinking, the President of the Republic signed a decree on November 9, 1990 which lays down conditions and procedures for the operation of drinking spots nationwide. The legal instrument has four chapters comprising 25 articles and highlights the different dispositions relating to the functioning of the bar sector, ranging from general provi- sions to modalities for operation, sanctions s and miscellaneous provisions.

Chapter two of the decree classifies documents needed for the operation of drinking spots and further categorises on and off licenses and the kinds of drinks to be sold therein. With operational licenses to be authorised either by the Senior Divisional Officer or the Divisional Officer depending on the category of bar, the authorisation as stated in Article 8 of the decree cannot be issued to minors, persons charged with violence or violent threats and persons with questionable moral integrity. As per the time frame of functioning, Article 13 stipulates that off licenses shall be operational from 6am to 9pm whereas on licenses shall function from 6am to midnight. Article 14 of the aforementioned decree which is in respect to the location of such drinking venues compels the location of a bar not less than 200 meters from hospitals, dispensaries, educational establishments or churches. Sanctions for persons operating without authorisation or those functioning under a category different from that which was authorized are previewed in Article 195 of the Penal Code on Taxes. The Senior Divisional Officer or Divisional Officer may depending on jurisdictional competence order for the closure of a clandestine drinking spot. As concerns the opening and closing of on and off licenses, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji on May 28, 2020 during the monthly cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister specified that administrative authorities have increased the number of visits to dinking spots to ensure the respect of defined times in the November 9,1990 decree. On March 17, 2020, Prime Minister said as one of the barrier measures to limit the spread of the virus in the country, there should be the systematic closure of drinking spots, restaurants and related places at 6pm. In another declaration on April 30, 2020, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute announced the lifting of some restrictions including the 6pm closure of bars and offered fi- nancial incentives to economic ope- rators .

More From: Cameroon Tribune

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