CS visits licensed liquor premises (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, accompanied by the Liquor Licensing Board Chairman, Mr Yau How-boa, visited a number of premises with liquor licences in Central tonight (February 20) and learned about the operation of different types of premises with liquor licences and enforcement actions by the Police.

     During the visit, Mrs Lam was briefed by representatives of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Police on the assessment of liquor licence applications and various issues relating to the regulation of premises with liquor licences, including crowd control, traffic flow, law and order, fire safety, and noise problems.

     To enhance transparency as well as to help the trade and the public to better understand the factors that are taken into account by the Board when assessing liquor licence applications, the Board promulgated the "Guidelines on Assessing Liquor Licence Applications" on December 1, 2013. The criteria set out in the Guidelines have been developed from the three criteria stipulated under Section 17(2) of the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations (Cap. 109B), namely whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold the licence, whether the premises are suitable for the sale of liquor, and whether the grant of the licence is contrary to the public interest. Further to the vetting criteria which have all along been adopted, the Board proposed suitable additional licensing conditions to be imposed in the liquor licence for upstairs bars, namely requiring the licensees to attend the "Seminar on Liquor Licensing" which covers the topics of fire safety, public order and environmental hygiene, and placing a more stringent capacity limit on their premises having regard to the circumstances. For liquor-licensed premises with serious noise problems, the Board proposes to impose more stringent noise abatement requirements in the liquor licence. These new licensing conditions have been taking effect in phases since December 1, 2013.

     Also taking part in the visit were the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, and the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man. They were joined by the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health, Mrs Marion Lai; the Acting Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene, Mr Laurie Lo; and other Board members.

Ends/Thursday, February 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 23:19