Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-127.pdf
Published: 1988

Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 127 1

CHAPTER 127

THE CUSTOMS (DUTY-FREE SHOPPING) ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Power to amend Schedules and declare approved

premises.
4. Duty-free shop operator's licence.
5. Duty-free shop operator's agency permit.
6. Duty-free shop licence.
7. Refusal to grant or renew licence or permit.
8. Cancellation of licence or permit.
9. Right of Appeal.

10. Display centres.
11. Submission of returns.

PART I1

WAREHOUSING

12. Duty-free shop as licensed warehouse.
13. Comptroller may issue directions.
14. Application of Trade and Revenue Act

PART I11

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING SYSTEM

15. Sale of approved goods and consumables.
16. Deposit of approved goods.
17. Conditions applicable to sale of approved goods and

consumables.
18. Restricted goods.
19. Searches.

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2 CAP. 127) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

PART IV

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

20. False Advertisement.
2 1. Failure to carry out directions.
22. Infringement of conditions.
23. Refusal to give explanation.
24. False declaration.
25. Evading provisions relating to approved goods.
26. Failure to make returns.
27. Prosecution for offences.
28. Compounding offences.

PART V

GENERAL

29. Regulations.
FIRST SCHEDULE.
SECOND SCHEDULE.

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Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 127 3

CUSTOMS (DUTY-FREE SHOPPING)

AN ACT to provide for a duty-free shopping system,
permitting duty concessions on goods for export and for
matters incidental thereto or connected therewith.

PART I

Preliminary

1. This Act may be cited as the Customs (Duty-Free short title.
Shopping) Act.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"approved goods" means any class or description of
goods specified in the First Schedule as approved First Schedule.
goods;

6 6 approved premises'' means any portion of land or place
declared by the Minister under section 3 to be
approved premises for the purpose of duty-free
shopping;

"Comptroller" means the Comptroller of Customs;

L 6 consumable" means-

(a) any spirits, wine, or fermented,
distilled or spirituous liquors; and

(6) any cigars, cigarettes or tobacco,
specified in the First Schedule as consumables; First Schedule.

"diplomat" means persons entitled to diplomatic im-
munities or privileges under any enactment for the
time being in force in Antigua and Barbuda, as
certified by the Minister responsible for external
affairs;

"duty-free shopping system" means the system permit-
ted by this Act for the sale of goods for export free

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4 CAP. 127) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

of customs or excise duty or of retail sales tax, con-
sumption tax, stamp duty, or any other tax or duty;

"licensed duty-free shop" means any premises, or area
in any premises, in relation to which a licence issued
under the provisions of section 5 is in force;

6 < local resident" means any person who is not a visitor;

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for customs;

"visitor" means a person who is in Antigua and
Barbuda-

(a) on a visitor's visa; or

( b ) intransit from a place outside Antigua
and Barbuda to some other place outside
Antigua and Barbuda; or

( c ) on a visit primarily for recreational
purposes; so however, that in any case, or on
any occasion, where that person's status as a
visitor is being considered for the purposes of
this Act, a person shall not be deemed to be
a visitor if-

(i) on that occasion his stay in Antigua and
Barbuda exceeds six months; or

(ii) during his stay, he works or performs
any function in Antigua and Barbuda
for payment or reward or attends an
educational or medical institution.

Power to amend
Schedules and

3. The Minister may, from time to time by Order
declare approved published in the Gazette-
premises.

(a) amend the Schedules; or

( b ) declare any place to be approved premises for
the purposes of this Act.

Duty-free shop 4. (1) The Comptroller may, on application made in
operator's
licence. the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed

fee, grant to any person who desires to operate on his own
account a licensed duty-free shop on the approved premises,

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Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 127

a licence (hereinafter referred to as a duty-free shop operator's
licence) so to do.

(2) Any licence granted under this section may be
granted on such terms and subject to such conditions as may
be prescribed.

(3) Any licence granted under this section shall, unless
previously cancelled under this Act, continue in force from
the date of issue until the next succeeding 31st day of
December, and may be renewed from year to year.

5 . (1) The Comptroller may, on application made in Duty-free shop
operator's agency the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed permit.

fee issue to any person who, not being the holder of, or an
applicant for, a duty-free shop operator's licence, is for the
time being accredited in writing by the holder of, or an
applicant for, a duty-free shop operator's licence as an agent
for the purposes of the duty-free shopping system, a permit
(hereinafter referred to as a duty-free shop operator's agency
permit) to operate a duty-free shop as agent for the duty-
free shop operator by whom he is accredited.

(2) Any permit under this section may be issued sub-
ject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.

(3) Any permit issued under this section shall, unless
previously cancelled under this Act, continue in force from
the date of issue until the next succeeding 31st day of
December, and shall be renewed from year to year on pay-
ment of the prescribed fee.

6. (1) The Comptroller may, on application made in Duty-free shop
the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed l

icence
'

fee grant to any person who is-

(a) the holder of, or an applicant for, a duty-free
shop operator's licence; or

(6) the holder of, or an applicant for, a duty-free
operator's agency permit,

a licence (hereinafter referred to as a duty-free shop licence)
in relation to the approved premises specified in the applica-
tion, authorising the use of such premises or any area in

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

CAP. 127) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

such premises as a licensed duty-free shop where approved
goods or consumables may be sold under the duty-free shop-
ping system.

(2) Any licence granted under this section may be
granted subject to such terms and conditions as may be
prescribed.

(3) Any licence granted under this section shall unless
previously cancelled under this Act, continue in force from
the date of issue until the next succeeding 31st day of
December, and shall be renewed from year to year on pay-
ment of the prescribed fee.

Refusal to grant
or renew licence

7. (1) Subject to the right of appeal conferred by sec-
or permit. tion 9, the Comptroller may, in his discretion, refuse to grant,

any licence or permit under this Act, and shall so refuse if
he is not satisfied that the applicant is, or satisfactory evidence
is produced that the applicant is not a fit and proper person
to be the holder of a licence or permit, or where it appears
that the applicant-

(a) not being a body corporate, is under eighteen
years of age;

Cap. 94.

Cap. 125.

Cap. 433.

( b ) being a body corporate is neither incorporated
in Antigua and Barbuda nor registered under the Com-
panies Act as a Company incorporated outside Antigua
and Barbuda carrying on business within Antigua and
Barbuda;

(c) has within the immediately preceding twelve
months been refused the grant of a duty-free shop
operator's licence or of a duty-free operator's agency
permit;

(4 has been found guilty of knowingly being con-
cerned with evading or attempting to evade the provi-
sions of this Act or of the Customs Duties Act or of
the Trade and Revenue Act relating to the importation
or exportation of any goods.

(2) Where an applicant for the grant of a licence or a
permit is refused, any fee paid in respect of such application
shall not be refunded.

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Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 12 7 7

8. The Comptroller shall cancel a licence or permit of
under this Act if- permit.

(a ) the holder of the licence or the permit is con-
victed of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or

(b) the holder of the licence or the permit is found
guilty of knowingly being concerned with evading or
attempting to evade the provisions of this Act or of the
Customs Duties Act or of the Trade and Revenue Act
relating to the importation or exportation of any goods,
in connection with the duty-free shopping system.

9. ( 1 ) In any case where the Comptroller cancels a Right of appeal.
licence under section 8 or refuses to grant any licence or
permit under this Act, the holder of, or the applicant for,
as the case may be, the licence or permit may, at any time
within six days after the decision of the Comptroller has been
communicated to him, and on payment of such fees as may
be prescribed, appeal in the prescribed manner to the
Minister.

(2) On such appeal the Minister may-

(a) confirm the cancellation; or

(b) on payment by the applicant of the prescribed
fee, restore or grant the permit or licence, as the case
may be, and the decision of the Minister on any such
appeal shall be final.

10. (1) Any holder of a duty-free shop licence may Display centres.
apply to the Comptroller to register centres where approved
goods and consumables may be displayed, subject to the
prescribed conditions, for purposes other than sale.

(2) Any person who sells approved goods or con-
sumable~ from a display centre or fails to comply with any
prescribed conditions applicable to display centres is guilty
of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine
of five thousand dollars and imprisonment for six months.

1 . ( 1 ) Every holder of a duty-free shop licence Submission of
returns.

shall-

(a ) make such returns at such time, and

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8 CAP. 12 7) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

( b ) keep such records in such form as may be
prescribed or as may be required by the Comptroller.

(2) The Comptroller may vary the times for making
any returns, if he thinks fit.

PART I1

Warehousing

Duty-free shop as 1 . (2) Every licensed duty-free shop shall be deemed
licensed
warehouse. to be a licensed warehouse for the purposes of the Trade

and Revenue Act.

(2) The Comptroller may permit any approved goods
or any consumables which, but for the provisions of this Act,
would be liable to customs duty, excise duty or consump-
tion tax, or any other taxes or duties, to be removed from
any warehouse, or customs area, or private excise warehouse
or factory licensed under the Trade and Revenue Act without
payment of such duties or taxes and deposited in the approved
premises or a licensed duty-free shop, subject to the prescribed
conditions, for purposes of export under the duty-free shop-
ping system.

(3) No provisions of this section shall confer on any
approved goods or consumables any exemption from custom
examination either prior to transfer into, or after delivery
from, the approved premises or a licensed duty-free shop.

Comptroller may
issue directions.

13. (1) The Comptroller may issue any directions he
considers necessary for the better regulation and control of
the operations of a licensed duty-free shop.

(2) The Comptroller may require a written explana-
tion from any person in charge of a licensed duty-free shop,
or his servant employed in such shop, or his agent, in order
to enquiry into any matter affecting the administration and
control of such shop.

Application of
Trade and 14. The provisions of the Trade and Revenue Act
Revenue Act. which deal with warehouses shall apply mutatis mutandis to

the warehousing of goods under the provisions of this Act.

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Customs (Duty-Free Shoj$ing) (CAP. 12 7 9

PART I11

Duty-Free Shopping System

15. Subject to the provisions of this Act and regula- Sale of approved
goods and tions made thereunder, any approved goods or consumables co,,,,ab~es~

warehoused in a licensed duty-free shop may be sold free
of any customs, excise or consumption duties or any other
duties or taxes to which such goods would, but for the pro-
visions of the Act, be liable.

16. (1) Only goods imported or otherwise obtained Deposit of
approved goods. for sale at the approved premises shall be permitted to be

stored at the approved premises.

(2) Any goods removed from the approved premises
other than by a visitor or diplomat are subject to all duties
and taxes normally applicable to such goods.

17. The sale of any approved goods or consumables Conditions
applicable to sale

warehoused in a duty-free shop shall be subject to the follow- approved
ing conditions, that is to say- goods and

consumables.

(a) consumables shall be sold only for export;

( b ) subject to any prescribed requirements in
respect of packaging or otherwise, approved goods may
be delivered to the visitor at the time of purchase of
such goods; but to local residents only at place and time
of departure; and

( 6 ) consumables shall not be delivered to the pur-
chaser until and unless satisfactory proof is furnished
to the vendor that the purchase is, at or about the time
of delivery of the consumables, departing from Antigua
and Barbuda.

18. (1) No goods, class or description of goods ~ ~ ~ ~ ; t ~ ; ~ ~ ~ :
prescribed in the Second Schedule shall be brought into or
kept in the approved premises without the prior permission
of the Comptroller.

(2) All goods brought into the approved premises in
contravention of subsection (1) shall be liable to forfeiture.

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10 CAP. 127) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

(3) If any person-

(a) brings;

(6) is concerned in bringing; or

(c) assists any other person in bringing;
goods into the approved premises in contravention of subsec-
tion (I), he is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary
conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars or five times
the value of the goods including any duty payable thereon,
whichever is higher, and to imprisonment for six months.

Searches. 19. A customs officer or other officer authorised by
the Comptroller may search persons and vehicles entering,
within or leaving the approved premises, where there is
reasonable cause to do so.

PART IV

Offences and Penalties

False 20. Any person who, not being the holder of a duty-
advertisement.

free shop operator's licence or a duty-free shop operator's
agency permit, with intent to deceive, displays any advertise-
ment indicating in any manner that-

(a) any premises used by him is a licensed duty-
free shop;

(6) approved goods or consumables may be
obtained from him or through him under the duty-free
shopping system; or

(c) he is authorised to sell goods free of customs
duty, excise duty, or consumption tax;

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary convic-
tion to a fine of ten thousand dollars and imprisonment
for one year.

Failure to carry 2 1. Any person who fails to carry out any directions
out directions.

given in writing by the Comptroller relating to the opera-
tion of a duty-free shop is guilty of an offence and is liable
on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars and
imprisonment for one year.

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Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 12 7 11

22. Any person who infringes any term or condition Infringement of
conditions. subject to which his licence or permit was granted, is guilty

of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine
of ten thousand dollars and imprisonment for one year.

23. Any person who, when required by the Com- Refusal to give
explanation. ptroller to give a written explanation of any matter relating

to the operation of a place used as a licensed warehouse under
this Act, without reasonable cause, rehses or fails to give
a satisfactory written explanation or to give any explanation
within a reasonable period of time, is guilty of an offence
and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thou-
sand dollars and imprisonment for six months.

24. Any person who, in any matter relating to the False declaration.
duty-free shopping system or to the operation of any duty-
free shop, with intent to deceive-

(a) makes, or causes to be made, any false declara-
tion, whether oral or written; or

( b ) uses, or causes to be used, any false certificate;
or

(c) makes, or causes to be made, any alteration or
falsification in any document after that document has
been officially issued,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars or five times the
value of the goods including any duty payable, whichever
is higher, and to imprisonment for two years.

25. Any person who, knowingly and with intent to Evading
provisions

defraud the Government of Antigua and Barbuda of rela,*gto
revenue- approved goods.

(a) acquires possession of;

(6 ) carries, removes, deposits, conceals or harbours;
or

(c) deals in any manner otherwise than in accord-
ance with the provisions of this Act or of any regula-
tions made thereunder with

any approved goods or any consumables on which customs,
excise, or consumption duties or any retail sales tax or other

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12 CAP. 127) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

tax or duty thereon has not been paid is guilty of an offence
and is liable on summary conviction to a fine for each such
offence of five thousand dollars or five times the value of
such goods whichever is higher and imprisonment for six
months and all such goods shall be forfeited.

Failure to make 26. Any person who fails or refuses-
returns.

(a) to make such returns at such times;

( b ) to keep such records in such form; or

(c) to embody in any return any such information,

as may be prescribed or as may be required by the
Comptroller, is guilty of an offence and is liable on sum-
mary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars and
imprisonment for six months.

Prosecution for
offences.

27. It shall be lawful for the Comptroller or such
officer as he may direct to conduct all prosecutions for offences
committed against this Act whether the information or com-
plaint be lodged in his name or not.

Compounding
offences.

28. (1) The Comptroller and any person authorised
in writing for the purpose by the Minister may, if he is
satisfied that any person has committed an offence against
this Act or any regulations made under this Act, compound
such offence by accepting from such person a sum of money;

(a) such sum of money shall not exceed ten thou-
sand dollars;

(6 ) the power conferred by this section shall only
be exercised where the person admits that he has com-
mitted the offence and agrees in writing to the offence
being dealt with under this section;

(c) the person exercising the power conferred by
this section shall give to the person from whom he
receives such sum of money a receipt therefor and as
soon as practicable report the exercise of such power
to the Minister and to the Attorney-General.

(d) subject to subsection (2), if any proceedings are
brought against any person under this Act or any regula-

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Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 127 13

tions made under this Act, it shall be a defence if such
person proves that the offence with which he is charged
has been compounded under this section;

(e) any sum of money received under this section
shall be dealt with as if the sum of money were a fine
imposed by a court.

(2) O n compounding an offence under this section, the
Minister may order the release of any goods seized under
this Act or the proceeds of sale of such goods on such condi-
tions including the payment of such additional sums of money
not exceeding the value of the goods seized, as he thinks fit.

PART V

General

29. (1) The Minister may make regulations generally Regulations.
for the better carrying out of the purposes and provisions
of this Act, and in particular, but without prejudice to the
foregoing may make regulations-

(a) prescribing the form and manner in which
applications shall be made for any licence or permit
which may be granted under this Act, and the forms
of such permits or licences;

(6) prescribing any fees to be paid under this Act;

(c) prescribing the nature of the notices, emblems
or other instruments to be displayed in duty-free shops;

(6) prescribing the method of packaging of approv-
ed goods and consumables;

(e) governing the movements of persons, vehicles
and goods within or out of the approved premises;

V) prescribing the manner of payment of any duties
or taxes on goods purchased by local residents at ap-
proved premises;

e) prescribing any other matter or anything which
may be, or is required to be prescribed.

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14 CAP. 12 7) Customs (Duty-Free Shopping)

FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 2)

Approved Goods

1. Apparel (top quality) & accessories
2. Hats
3. Binoculars & sunglasses
4. Electric and electronic components and goods
5. Photographic camera with accessories and lenses and film
6. Chinaware - bone and porcelain
7. Cosmetics
8. Cutlery
9. Crystalware and glassware

10. Earthenware
11. Figurines - bronze, ivory or quartz
12. Figurines - china or porcelain
13. Handicrafts, paintings & prints
14. Jewelry and articles consisting of or incorporating pearls
15. Mechanical lighters for cigars, cigarettes and pipes
16. Books and Magazines
17. Perfumery
18. Pipes, cigars and cigarette holders
19. Projectors
20. Sweaters and cardigans, pullovers or similar knitted outerwear

or angora, mohair, cashmere or similar mixtures of wool
21. Silverware, sterling silver plate, Sheffield plated and antique

reproductions, Siamese, Portuguese sterling silver
22. Table linen - Maderia, Irish, embroidered, hand-painted,

out-work
23. Telescope
24. Beach equipment
25. Toilet preparations, health and beauty aids
26. Watches
27. Leather and imitation leather goods
28. Approved souvenirs
29. Approved locally manufactured goods
30. Batik
3 1. Household Linen
32. Lingerie

Consumables

1. Cigarettes - locally manufactured or imported in containers
of not less than two hundred units each

2. Cigars - in boxes of not less than five
3. Tobacco
4. Spirits, liqueurs and wines (except miniatures) imported

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Customs (Duty-Free Shopping) (CAP. 127 15

5. Spirits or liqueurs (miniatures) - whether assorted or not
locally manufactured or imported in sealed containers

6 . Spirits, liqueurs or wines - locally manufactured

SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 18)

1. Firearms and ammunitions
2 . Explosives
3 . Petroleum
4. Inflammable materials
5. Hazardous cargoes
6. Oil fuels
7 . Dangerous drugs and narcotics
8. All goods the importation of which is prohibited under the

External Trade Act or any other enactment.
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