PRESS RELEASE-URCA Issues Consultation Document on Guidance Note for Reductions in the Communications Licence Fee

NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS (1 DECEMBER 2022): On 25 May 2022, the Minister responsible for the Electronic Communications Sector (ECS) in The Bahamas issued the Communications Act (Amendment To Schedule 3) Order, 2022 (“the Order”). Pursuant to Paragraph 2 of the Order, URCA will be required to conduct a verification process to determine whether a Licensee has made an investment, of not less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars, in emerging technology anywhere in The Bahamas, in order to qualify for reductions in the Communications Licence Fee (“Comms Licence Fee”). URCA has responsibility to bill and collect the Comms Licence Fee on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas.

Given the above, URCA has developed a proposed Guidance Note to inform Licensees on how to apply for such reductions in the Comms Licence Fee and to inform Licensees on the approach URCA proposes to take when conducting the verification process.

The Guidance Note will be a regulatory measure of public significance as it will have a significant impact on Licensees carrying out activities in the ECS. Pursuant to the Communications Act 2009, URCA is required to conduct a public consultation to allow persons with sufficient interest a reasonable opportunity to comment on the proposed regulatory measure, prior to implementation. URCA is now requesting representations and comments from all interested parties on its draft “Guidance Note for Reductions in the Communications Licence Fee” Consultation Document – ECS 57/2022.

All responses under this consultation process will be carefully considered by URCA for the development of the final “Guidance Note for Reductions in the Communications Licence Fee” document.

Responses must be submitted to URCA by 5 p.m. on Monday, 30 January 2023 in order to be considered.

The Consultation Document can be found here.


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