The Macau Takeaway Operations Regulation and its impact in this relevant sector of the local economy.
The takeaway market in the Macau Special Administrative Region (the “Macau SAR”) has been growing quickly in recent years, especially the third-party online food ordering platforms.
For this reason, there was a need to regulate this specific activity within the Macau SAR.
The Chief Executive has decreed and approved, on 11 August 2021, an Administrative Regulation No.30/2021 “Registration System for Establishments of Takeaway Activities” which entered into force on 15 November 2021 (the “Takeaway Regulation”).
The Takeaway Regulation sets forth the definition of “takeaway activities” and stipulates the requirements for registration of operators of takeaway activities and the basic requirements for the facilities and equipment of takeaway commercial establishments/shops.
The Takeaway Regulation defines “takeaway activities” as the activities of cooking, processing, or preparation of food and the retail sale of food to the public for consumption outside the commercial establishment where the food is sold.
It should be noted that temporary commercial establishments are not subject to the Takeaway Regulation.
Pursuant to the Takeaway Regulation, all companies and/or commercial establishments that pursue takeaway activities within the Macau SAR must be registered with the Municipal Affairs Bureau (the “IAM”) and only those registered are considered licensed operators of the takeaway activities in the Macau SAR.
IAM will only accept the above-referred registration if the company and/or commercial establishment explores its activity within a location that allows the takeaway activity to be properly carried out.
The location where the takeaway activities will be conducted must be clean and must have a set of equipment that ensures the safety of the consumers and of its employees (e.g., must be ventilated, proper lighting, equipment for pest and rat control, waste disposal equipment, refrigeration and storage of hot food).
If IAM considers that the applicant meets all the requirements to carry out takeaway activities, it will issue a registration certificate.
For the avoidance of doubt, only after receiving this certificate will the operator be entitled to carry out legal takeaway activities in the Macau SAR.
Do note that the certificate shall be revoked if the registration with IAM is canceled. Amongst other situations, revocation may occur if the necessary requirements for the registration with the IAM cease to exist, or if the operator no longer intends to carry out takeaway activities in the Macau SAR.
After the operator is granted the registration certificate by IAM, the operator will be required to display said certificate at its physical store and/or on its Internet website or in its mobile applications used to carry out its activity (e.g. WeChat, Instagram, and Facebook).
In this regard, it should also be stated that the third-party online food ordering platforms must ensure that they will only deliver food to Macau consumers from duly registered operators.
For ease of reference, the IAM publishes on its website all the operators that are registered to carry out the takeaway activities.
As regards the sanctioning framework, any violation of any provision of the Takeaway Regulation may constitute an administrative infraction and might be sanctioned by IAM with a fine.
Finally, it is stipulated that all existing takeaway businesses as of the date the Takeaway Regulation became effective (i.e. 15 November 2021) must proceed with registration within a term of 6 months and obtain the certificate. This means that everyone operating this activity must have a certificate after 15 May 2022.
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