Shop Hours Act


Shop Hours Act

Chapter 99

  • Commenced on 7 October 1963
  • [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2000.]
  • [Note: The version of the Act as at 31 December 2000 was revised and consolidated by the Law Reform Commission of Uganda. All subsequent amendments have been researched and applied by Laws.Africa for ULII.]
An Act to make provision for and in connection with the regulation of shop hours.

1. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
(a)"liquor" has the same meaning as in the Liquor Act;
(b)"occupier", in relation to a shop, means—(i)the person owning the business of the shop or employing any other person in or in connection with the shop; or(ii)the person having charge of the shop or acting or apparently acting in the general management or control of the shop;
(c)"shop" means any premises (not being part of a market established or deemed to be established under the Markets Act) where any retail or wholesale trade or business is carried on, other than an office the business of which relates to goods which are not stored or handled in the office or in a building communicating with the office;
(d)"weekday" means a day other than Sunday.

2. Hours of business

(1)Subject to this Act, the hours during which a shop may be open for business shall be—
(a)on a weekday, between half-past seven o'clock in the morning and eight o'clock in the evening; and
(b)on a Sunday, between nine o'clock in the morning and one o'clock in the afternoon.
(2)Subsection (1) shall not apply to a shop kept open within the hours on any day specified in the First Schedule to this Act, and solely for one or more purposes specified in that Schedule.
(3)The Minister may amend the First Schedule to this Act by statutory order.
(4)The Minister may, by statutory order, vary the shop hours specified under this Act.

3. Powers of entry

(1)Any police officer not below the rank of assistant inspector may enter any shop at all reasonable hours and there make such examination and inquiry as he or she considers necessary to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act are being complied with.
(2)The occupier of every shop and his or her servants and agents shall furnish all such facilities and assistance as a police officer may reasonably require in the exercise of the power conferred by subsection (1).

4. Offences and penalties

(1)Any person who wilfully delays or obstructs a police officer in the exercise of the power conferred by section 3(1), either by a refusal to furnish facilities or assistance in accordance with section 3(2) or otherwise, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred shillings.
(2)The occupier of any shop which is opened or kept open in contravention of section 2 commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand shillings; but the occupier does not commit an offence under this subsection if he or she proves that the shop was opened or kept open solely for the purpose of—
(a)serving customers who were already being served or already in the shop before the hour at which the shop was required by this Act to be closed; or
(b)supplying a customer with an article which the person serving the customer had reasonable grounds to believe was urgently required for a sick or injured person.

5. Exemptions

(1)Nothing in this Act shall apply to the carrying on of the businesses or other activities specified in the Second Schedule to this Act.
(2)The Minister may by statutory order—
(a)amend the Second Schedule to this Act;
(b)exempt shops in a specified area from all or any of the provisions of this Act, subject to such conditions as he or she thinks fit.

First Schedule (Section 2)

Purposes for which shop may be kept open

1.The sale between the hours of half-past seven in the morning and nine in the evening on any day of any of the following—
(a)foodstuffs, drinks (other than liquor), tobacco and smokers' requisites of all kinds;
(b)photographic materials (including cameras) and accessories;
(c)newspapers, books and magazines;
(d)curios and souvenirs;
(e)drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances.
2.The carrying on between the hours of half-past seven in the morning and nine in the evening on any day of the business of a photographer.

Second Schedule (Section 5)


1.Bazaars or sales of work for charitable or other purposes from which no private profit is derived.
2.The business of an undertaker and the sale of articles required for burials or cremations.
3.The business of conducting a hotel, restaurant or canteen.
4.The business of a hairdresser.
5.The repair or servicing of motor vehicles, bicycles or aircraft.
6.The sale of fuel or lubricants for motor vehicles or aircraft.
7.The sale of accessories for motor vehicles or bicycles.
8.The sale of liquor.
9.The sale and delivery of ice.
10.The business of conducting a shop within the premises of the Entebbe airport.
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History of this document

07 October 1963