For the remainder of the existing Public Health State of Emergency, the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) — as a matter of discretionary policy and in the interest of protecting against the potential for the spread of coronavirus — will not administratively enforce against those establishments limiting the form of payment available to customers to electronic payments.
Some consumers do not have cash readily available, and it is very inconvenient for customers who are unable to transact business with certain establishments that only accept cash payments.
Effective April 3, Act 8205 (Bill No. 33-0098) gave the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) the responsibility to regulate business practices relative to which forms of payment that businesses are required to accept. Sen. Kurt Vialet and members of the 33rd Legislature of the Virgin Islands passed the legislation to ban cash only businesses.
This legislation is not applicable to itinerant vendors, farmers certified by the Department of Agriculture, fishermen certified by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs and commercial establishments with an annual volume of business of less than $50,000 per year.
When the legislation passed in 2019, the coronavirus (COVID-19) was not contemplated, and now there is an uncertainty of whether or not the virus is spread via the handling of cash, either paper or coin. Currently, there are certain businesses that only accept electronic payments until further notice to ensure the public health safety of its employees and customers alike with the information readily available regarding how COVID-19 is spread.
The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs appreciates the public’s cooperation. For consumer related issues, email: [email protected] or call the hotlines on St. Croix at 727-SCAM(7226) or St. Thomas-St. John at 771-SCAM (7226). Consumers may file a complaint at www.dlca.vi.gov.
For more information on COVID-19, the new strain of coronavirus, visit the V.I. Department of Health website: www.doh.vi.gov/coronavirus or text COVID19USVI to 888777. For non-medical information, call 715-6843 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days per week. #COVID19USVI