External Trade Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-163.pdf
Published: 1958

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External Trade (CAP. 163 1

CHAPTER 163

T H E EXTERNALTRADE ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Scction

1 . Short title.
2 . Interpretation.
3. Restriction on certain imports.
4. Licence to import.
5 . Restriction on the export of certain goods.
6. Licence to export.
7 . Cancellation of licences etc.
8. Application forms.
I). Appeals.

1 0 . Offences and penalties.
1 1 . Liability of officers of corporate bodies.
12. Appearance and plea by corporations.
13. Liability of employees.
14. Power of Comptroller of Customs to search and seize.
15 . Sale of perishable goods.
I f i . Review of seizure.
1 7 . Restoration by Comptroller of Customs.
18. Forfeiture by Comptroller of Customs.
19. Restoration of goods by court.
'LO. Forfeiture by court.
2 1 . Obstruction of authorized officer.
22. Immunity of authorized officer.
2'1. Nothing invalidated by no provision for appointment

or defect in appointment or procedure.

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External Trade ( C A P . 163 3

EXTERNAL TRADE

(10th December, 1958.)

1. This Act may be cited as the External Trade Act. short title.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"Comptroller of Customs" means the officer for the
time being performing the duties of Comptroller
of Customs under the Customs Duties Act;

"export restricted goods" means any goods in respect
of which the Minister has made an order either
under paragraph ( a ) of subsection ( 1 ) of section 5
prohibiting their export from Antigua and Barbuda
without a licence or under paragraph ( 6 ) of
subsection ( 1 ) of section 5 limiting their export from
Antigua and Barbuda;

"goods" includes all kinds of moveable or personal
property including animals;

"import prohibition Order" means an Order made by
the Minister under section 3 ( 1 ) ( 6 ) prohibiting the
importation of goods from a particular country;

"import restricted goods" means any goods in respect
of which the Minister has made an order either
under paragraph ( a ) of subsection ( 1 ) of section 3
prohibiting their import from any country or place
without a licence or under paragraph ( 6 ) of
subsection ( 1 ) of section 3 limiting their import;

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4 CAP. 163) External Trade

"prohibited goods" means goods which have been
brought into Antigua and Barbuda in contravention
of an Order made under section 3 ( 1 ) ( 6 ) ;

"restricted goods" means goods which have been
brought into Antigua and Barbuda in contravention
of an Order made under section 3 (1) ( a ) , or in
contravention of a condition of a licence issued
under this Act.

Restriction on
certain imports.

3. ( 1 ) The Minister may from time to time by order
published in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in
Antigua and Barbuda-

(a) prohibit the import of any class of goods from
or originating in any country or place without a licence
granted under the provisions of section 4;

( 6 ) prohibit absolutely or limit the importation of
any goods if in his opinion such action is in the interest
of Antigua and Barbuda or of any other part of Her
Majesty's dominions and may for the same reason make
by order any such imports subject to such conditions
as he may think fit.

( 2 ) Every such order shall take effect as from the date
of its publication in the Gazette.

(3) Where in any case any import licence has been
granted in respect of any goods the subject of any order
limiting their importation made under the provisions of
paragraph ( 6 ) of subsection (1) such licence shall be deemed
to be cancelled from the date of the publication of the order
in the Gazette and the Comptroller of Customs shall only issue
fresh licences which conform with the provisions of any such
order.

Licence to
import.

4. ( 1 ) Subject to the provisions of subsections ( 2 ) and
( 3 ) the Comptroller of Customs may grant a licence for the
import of any import restricted goods.

(2) No licence shall be granted by the Comptroller of
Customs for the import of any import restricted goods if in
his opinion the import of such goods would, or would be

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

External Trade (CAP. 163

likely to, prejudice any trade agreement or arrangement in
respect of external or internal trade or currency entered into
or approved of by or on behalf of the Government.

( 3 ) The Comptroller of Customs shall make any licence
granted under the provisions of subsection (2) subject to such
conditions as he shall think necessary in order to ensure that
the import of the goods in respect of which the licence is
to be issued is in conformity with any agreement or arrange-
ment in respect of internal or external trade or currency
entered into or approved by or on behalf of the Govern-
ment. In imposing such conditions the Comptroller of
Customs shall have regard not only to the import of the goods
in respect of which the licence is required but shall take into
consideration the necessity, if any, for controlling the import
of goods generally or the import of any particular type of
goods and by such conditions shall ensure the equitable
distribution of import licences.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 the
following classes of goods may be imported without a licence
whether they are import restricted goods or not-

( a ) goods in transit or for transhipment;

( 6 ) commercial travellers samples;

( c ) articles of British origin which have been
imported into Antigua and Barbuda, subsequently
exported therefrom and thereafter returned to Antigua
and Barbuda;

(d) baggage and private effects;

(e) articles shown to be bona fide unsolicited gifts
and not for resale;

Cf) currency notes or coins;

@) goods imported by the Government.

5 . (1) The Minister may from time to time by Order Restriction on
the export of

published in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in goods.
Antigua and Barbuda-

( a ) prohibit the export to any country or place of
a n y class of goods without a licence granted under the
provisions of section 6;

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6 CAP. 163) External Trade

Licence to
export.

(6) prohibit absolutely or limit the exportation from
Antigua and Barbuda of any goods to any country if
in his opinion such action is in the interests of Antigua
and Barbuda or of any part of Her Majesty's dominions
and may for the same reason make by Order any such
exports subject to such conditions as he may think fit.

(2) Every such order shall take effect as from the date
of its publication in the Gazettte.

(3) Where in any case any export licence has been
granted in respect of any goods the subject of any Order
limiting their exportation made under the provisions of
paragraph (b) of subsection (1) such licence shall be deemed
to be cancelled from the date of the publication of the Order
in the Gazette and the Comptroller of Customs shall only issue
fresh licences which conform with the provisions of any such
order.

6 . (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) the
Comptroller of Customs may grant a licence for the export
of any export restricted goods.

(2) No licence shall be granted by the Comptroller of
Customs for the export of any export restricted goods if in
his opinion the export of any such goods would, or would
be likely to, prejudice any trade agreement or arrangement
in respect of internal or external trade or currency entered
into or approved by or on behalf of the Government.

Cancellation of 7. (1) The Comptroller of Customs may cancel any
licences etc.

import or export licence if it appears to him necessary in
order not to prejudice any agreement or arrangement relating
to trade or currency entered into or approved by or on behalf
of the Government subsequent to the granting of the licence.

(2) The Comptroller of Customs may waive any
condition in any import licence if in his opinion the terms
of such condition are no longer necessary.

Application
forms.

8. (1) All applications for licences under this Act shall
be made in such manner as the Comptroller of Customs shall
direct.

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External Trade (CAP. 163 7

( 2 ) All forms for use under the provisions of this Act
shall be in such form as the Comptroller of Customs shall
direct.

9. (1) An appeal shall lie to the Minister against any Appeals.
decision made by the Comptroller of Customs refusing or
cancelling any licence under this Act.

(2) Any such appeal shall be made within sixty days
of' the decision being communicated to the party aggrieved.

10. (1) A person who imports or exports any goods Offences and
without a licence as required by this Act, or in contravention
of' any condition imposed by a licence under this Act is guilty
of' an offence and is liable

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine of ten
thousand dollars and imprisonment for one year for a
first offence and for every subsequent offence to a fine
of twenty-five thousand dollars and imprisonment for
two years;

( b ) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of one
hundred thousand dollars and imprisonment for five
years.

( 2 ) A person who imports into Antigua and Barbuda
goods

(a) which contain labels that have been tampered
with for the purpose of concealing their country of origin;
or

( b ) in respect of which a device has been used for
the purpose of concealing the country of origin

1s guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
lo a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for
onc year.

(3) A person who imports into Antigua and Barbuda
goods originating from or produced by a country named in
nn import prohibition Order is guilty of an offence and is
l~iiblc

(a ) on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred
thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years and

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8 CAP. 163) External Trade

in addition to a penalty of five times the value of the
goods;

(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine of two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment
for five years and in addition to a penalty of ten times
the value of the goods.

(4) For the purpose of subsection (3), goods are deemed
to have originated from or to have been produced in a country
named in an import prohibition order where

(a) it is shown on the face of the documents relating
to the goods that they were produced in that country;

(6) the labels on the goods show that they were
produced in that country;

( 6 ) any box, packaging, wrapping, canning or other
device used in distributing the goods is produced in that
country;

(6) the goods originated from or were produced in
that country, but were repackaged in another country
or place before being imported into Antigua and
Barbuda.

(5) A person who exports or re-exports goods to a
country named in an Order made under section 5 (1) (6)
prohibiting the exportation of goods from Antigua and
Barbuda to that country is guilty of an offence and is liable

(a) on summary conviction to a fine of one hundred
thousand dollars and imprisonment for two years;

(6) on conviction on indictment to a fine of two
hundred and fifty thousand dollars and imprisonment
for five years.

Liability of 1 . Where a person charged with an offence against
officers of
corporate bodies. any of the provisions of this Act is a body corporate every

person who, at the time of the commission of the offence,
was a director or officer of the body corporate may be charged
jointly in the same proceedings with such body corporate,
and where the body corporate is convicted of the offence,
every such director or officer shall be deemed to be guilty
of that offence.

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External Trade (CAP. 163 9

12. (1) Where a corporation is charged with an Appearance and
plea by offence against this Act such corporation may appear and corporation.

plead to the charge or indictment, by its representative, by
entering a plea in writing; and, if either the corporation does
not appear by representative, or though it does so appear,
fails to enter any plea, the court shall cause a plea of not
guilty to be recorded and the trial shall proceed accordingly.

(2) Where a corporation is charged whether alone or
jointly with some other person, with an indictable offence
punishable under this Act, the magistrate may, if he is of
the opinion that the evidence offered on the part of the
prosecution is sufficient to put the accused corporation upon
trial, commit the corporation for trial.

(3) Any indictment filed against a corporation or other
document addressed to a corporation may be served upon
the corporation by leaving it at, or sending it by post to,
the registered office of the corporation, or, if there be no
such office in Antigua and Barbuda, by leaving it at, or sen-
ding it by post to, the corporation at any place in Antigua
and Barbuda at which it trades or conducts business.

(4) In this section the expression "representative" in
relation to a corporation means a person duly appointed by
the corporation to represent it for the purpose of doing any
act or thing which the representative of a corporation is by
this section authorized to do, but a person so appointed shall
not, by virtue only of being so appointed, be qualified to
act on behalf of the corporation before any court for any
other purpose.

(5) A representative for the purposes of this section need
not be appointed under the seal of the corporation, and a
statement in writing purporting to be signed by a managing
director of the corporation, or by any person (by whatever
name called) having, or being one of the persons having,
the management of the affairs of the corporation, to the effect
that the person named in the statement has been appointed
as the representative of the corporation for the purposes of
this section shall be admissable without further proof as prima
facie evidence that that person has been so appointed.

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10 CAP. 163) External Trade

Liability of
employees.

13. Every person shall be liable for the acts or
omissions of any partner, agent or servant in so far as they
relate to the business of such person, and if such partner,
agent or servant commits any act or suffers any omission
which is an offence against any of the provisions of this Act,
or which would be an offence if made or committed by such
person, such person and his partner, agent or servant shall
be jointly and severally liable to the penalties provided by
this Act.

Power of
Comptroller of

14. (1) The Comptroller of Customs may enter any
customs to building or place to search for goods which he believes have
search and seize. been brought into Antigua and Barbuda in contravention

of any provision of this Act and may seize any such goods
that are found there.

(2) The Comptroller of Customs shall secure all goods
seized under subsection (1) in a pound or warehouse provided
for the purpose or where no pound or warehouse is available,
in some suitable place and shall thereafter deal with such
goods in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Sale of perishable 1 . (1) The Comptroller of Customs may direct that
goods.

goods of a perishable nature shall be sold by public auction
and the proceeds of sale dealt with in accordance with this
Act.

(2) Where after making all reasonable efforts the
Comptroller of Customs is unable to sell perishable goods
he may dispose of them in such manner as he thinks fit.

Review of
seizure.

16. The owner or importer of goods seized under this
Act shall within fourteen days make a claim to the
Comptroller of Customs to show why the goods should not
be forfeited, and the onus of showing that the goods were
not brought into Antigua and Barbuda in contravention of
this Act shall be on the owner or importer.

Restoration by
Comptroller of

17 . After considering all the evidence, the
Customs. Comptroller of Customs shall

(a) if it appears that the goods were not brought
into Antigua and Barbuda in contravention of this Act

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External Trade (CAP. 163 11

(i) restore the goods to the owner or importer, or

(ii) turn over the proceeds of sale to the owner
or importer where the goods were perishable
and were sold, or

(b) within seven days refer the matter to a
magistrate.

18. Where no claim is made to the Comptroller of Forfeiture by
Comptroller of

Customs within fourteen days of seizure, the goods shall be customs.
fbrfeited and

(a) in the case of prohibited goods shall be
destroyed, or

(6) in the case of restricted goods shall be sold by
public auction and the proceeds of sale paid into the
Consolidated Fund.

19. Where in proceedings under this Act, the court Restoration of
goods by court.

tinds that goods seized by the Comptroller of Customs were
rrot brought into Antigua and Barbuda in contravention of
the Act, the court shall order that the goods be restored to
the owner or importer, or where the goods were of a
pwishable nature and were sold, the court shall order that
the proceeds of sale be turned over to the owner or importer.

20. Where in proceedings under this Act the court Forfeiture by
court.

finds that goods were brought into Antigua and Barbuda
in contravention of the Act, in addition to any other penalty
i t imposes, the court shall

(a) where the goods were perishable and were sold,
order that the proceeds of sale be paid into the
Consolidated Fund;

(b) order the forfeiture of the goods, and

(i) where the goods are prohibited goods, shall
order that they be destroyed;

(ii) where the goods are restricted goods shall order
that they be sold by public auction and the
proceeds of sale paid into the Consolidated
Fund;

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12 C A P . 163) External Trade

(c) where the offence consists of breach of a
condition in a licence, order that the licence shall be
revoked and may direct the Comptroller of Customs
to issue no further licences to that person in respect of
the same goods for a period not exceeding two years.

Obstruction of
authorized

2 1. Any person who obstructs, assaults or threatens
officer. with violence, any authorized officer in the exercise of the

powers conferred on him under this Act, is guilty of an offence
and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thousand
dollars and to imprisonment for one year.

Immunity of
authorized

22. No action shall be brought against the Crown,
officer. the Comptroller of Customs or any officer authorized by him

in respect of any thing done or omitted to be done in good
faith in the exercise of the powers and duties exerciseable
under this Act.

Nothing
invalidated by no

23. Nothing done in good faith by the Collector of
provision for Customs or by any other person before the first day of

Or February 1970, in pursuance of the duties imposed by this
defect in
appointment or Act or any subsidiary legislation on the Supply Officer shall
procedure. be deemed invalidated merely by reason-

(a) that there was no provision for his appointment;
or

(b) of any defect in his appointment or procedure.