Free Trade and Processing Zone Act 1994

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/1994/a1994-12.pdf

No. 12 of 1994. The Free Trade and Processing 1 ANTIGUA
Zone Act, 1994. AND

BARBUDA

[ L.S. ]

I Assent,

James B. Carlisle,
Governor-General.

10th November, 1994.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

No. 12 of 1994

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of a free trade and
processing zone in Antigua and Barbuda and to make provi-
sion for the administration and management thereof.

[ 24th November, 1994 ]

ENACTMENT by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda as
follows -

1. This Act may be citedas theFree Trade andProcessing Zone short title and
Act, 1994 and comes into operation on the day appointed by the commencement.
Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

2. In this Act - Interpretation.

"CAlUCOM" means Caribbean Common Market;

"Commission" means the Commission established under
section 3;

"Free Trade and Processing Zone" means an area declared
a free trade and processing zone in accordance with section
6;

"House" means the House of Representatives;

"Licence" means alicence issued by the Commission under
section 11;

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AND Act, 1994.

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"Minister" means Minister responsible for trade;

"prescribed means prescribed by the Commission.

Establishment of 3. (1) For the purposes of this Act there is established a
Commission. Commission to be known as the Free Trade and Processing Zone

Commission.

(2) The Commission shall be a body corporate with perpetual
succession and a common seal, having capacity to acquire, hold,
mortgage and dispose of property, to enter into contracts, to sue
and be sued in its corporate name and to do all things necessaty
for the purposes of this Act.

(3) The service on the Commission of any legal process and
notices shall be effected by delivery at the principal office of the
Commission.

Seal and procedure 4. (1) The Commission shall have a common seal which s h d
for sealing be affixed to all deeds, documents andother instruments requiring
documents. the seal of the Commission.

(2) Any docunkent requiring the seal of the Commission shall
be made un the presence of the Commissioner or in his absence the
person appointed by theMinister to act as Commissioner and one
othermembcr of the Commission authorized to act in that behalf,
who shall buth sign every such document to which the seal is
affixedand such signing shall be sufficient evidence that such seal
was duly and properly affixed and that the same is lawful seal of
the Commission.

Acquisition of land 5. For the purpose of establishing a free trade and processing
for free trade area. zone, the Governor-General may convey to the Commission a

leasehold interest in any vacant Crown land; provided that the
interest so conveyed shall not exceed ninety nine (99) years.

1)eclatation of a 6. The Minister may, with the approval of the Cabinet and by
free trade and notice published in the Gazette, declare area acquired by the
processing zone Commission as a free trade and processing zone for the purposes

of this Act.

Functions and 7. (1) Subjectto the provisions of this ..4cttheConrmissionmay
pwerS of the develop and maintain or may cause to be developed and main-
Comnission. tained any land declared to be a free trade and processing zone for

use by persons licensed in accordance with section I 1.

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(2) The Commission may, with the approval of the appropriate
Ministry, cause such infrastructure as may be required, to be con-
structed, installed or delivered in or to the free trade and processing
zone. Such mfrastructure shall include the fcllowing-

(a) the construction of roads and highways sufficient to
give the free trade and processing zone access to
existing international seaports and airports;

(b) the construction of electric generating plant and
power lines;

(c) the installation and maintenance of lines of telecom-
munications essential for the operation of the free
trade and processing zone;

(d) the installation and nlaintenance of water lines and
facilities of sewerage;

(e) the provision for installation and maintenance of a port
and the establishment of customs and excise posts.

(3) The Commission may with the approval of the appropriate
Ministry enter intocontracts with third parties for carrying out the
functions set out under this section.

(4) The Commission may in carrying out its functions under
this Act issue licences to any approved person to operate
businesses in the Free Trade and Processing Zone.

(5) The Minister may, by writing, give such directions as he
considers necessary to the implementation of this Act to the
Commission and, the Commission shall carry out such directions.

8. The Commission shall consist of the following persons - Composition and
administration of
the Commission.

(a) the Commissioner appointed under section 10;

(b) a chairman appointed by the Minister with the ap-
proval of Cabinet

(c) four other persons appointed by the Minister witb the
approval of the Cabinet.

9. (1) The procedures and meetings of h e Commission shall Meetings and
be in accordance wit3 the ~ules ca out in the Schedule. procedures of the

Commission.

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Appointment and
duties of
Commissioner.

Procedure for
application and
grant of licence.

4 The Free Trade and Processing Zone No. 12 of 1994.
Act, 1994.

(2) The Minister may, with the approval of the Cabinet, by
regulation, amend the Schedule.

10. (1) For the purposes of this Act, there shall be a Commis-
sioner who shall be appointed by the Minister with the approval
of the Cabinet.

(2) The Commissioner shall be the administrative head of the
Commissionand subject to this Act, performother duties directed
in writing by the Commission.

(3) Where the Commissioner is absent or for any reason is
unable to perform his duties the Minister may, with the approval
of the Cabinet, appoint some other person to act as Commissioner.

11. (1) Subject to section 12 (1) any person or company may
apply on theprescribedform to theCommissioner to e s t d
operate any industry or engage in any commercial activity in a
free trade and processing zone.

(2) The Commissioner shall, within fourteen days of the
receipt of any application under this section, submit the applica-
tion to the Commission for examination and approval.

(3) The Commission may, in the performance of its duties
under this section, employ the services of any consultant.

(4) Where the Commission is satisfied that the busiiess or
enterprise described in the application is not specifically prohibited
by law, it shall, subject to section 17 (3) and upon payment of the
pr&bed fee, approve the application and issue to the applicant
within fourteen days of such payment, a licence, authorizing the
applicant to establish andoperate within the free uade and processiig
zone the business or enterprise specified in the licence.

(5) Where the Commission refuses to approve an application,
it shall, within fourteen days of such decision, inform the
applicant by writing .

(6) There may be attached to every licence such conditions as
the Commission may consider necessary including -

(i) the time within which the person or company shall
commence operation;

(ii) the minimum amount of investment to be made inthe
free trade and processing zone; and

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(iii) a provision in any contract of employment to remu-
nerate any person employed in the free trade and
processing zone in a currency approved by the
Commission.

(7) The Minister shall publish in the Gazette the name of any
person to whom a licence has been granted under this Act.

12. (1) Any person licenced to operate in a free trade and Licences.
processing zone is entitled to engage in any industrial or commer-
cial activity not specifically prohibited by law.

(2) Such industrial or commercial acitivity may include -

(a) the provision to offer free trade and processing zone
companies of services such as financing, maintenance,
supplying and other services that may promote the
efficient conduct of industrial and commercial transac-
tions within the free trade and processing zone;

(b) the sale andexchange of goods and services amongst
themselves within the free trade and processing zone.

13. (1) The Commission shall in considering the application Conun~sslon not to
for a licence under section 11 ensure that no industrial or approve unlawful
commercial activity prohibited by any law is approved. activity.

(2) No person shall carry on any industrial or commercial
activity within a free trade and processing zone except under and
in accordance with a licence issued by the Commission.

(3) The Commission may revoke the licence of any licencee who
contravenes the provisions of this section or any regulations made to
give effect thereunder or any condition attached to a licence.

(4) In deciding to grant a licence, the Commission shall have
regard, in particular, to the extent to which the trade, business or
manufacture in respect of which the licence is sought is carried
on in the free trade and processing zone.

(5) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an
offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one
hundred thousand dollars and in addition the court may order any
property, machinery, or goods of that person within the free trade
and processing zone to be forfeited to the Commission.

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AND Act, 1994.

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Incentives to 14. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, and subject only
licensed industries. to this Act alicencee shall, during the currency of his licence be-

(a) entitled to establish and engage in the industrial or
commercial activity specified in the licence without
having to obtain any permit or other licences in
respect thereof;

(b) exempted from the payment of taxes or levies im-
posed by the Government in respect of any industrial
and commercial activity being carried on within the
free trade and processing zone.

(c) exempted from the payment of taxes and other duties
on the importation of machinery, equipment, spare
parts, construction material and other items needed
to construct and operate facilities within the free
trade and processing zone;

(d) exempted from payment of duty and other taxes on
the importation of raw materials and other goods to
be incorporated in the products produced or as-
sembled within or to be utilized in the performance
of services within the free trade and processing zone.

(e) exempted from the payment of income and other
taxes of any kindother than Soclal Security payments
and Medical Benefits contributions m d the educa-
tion levy on the earnings accruing to any person by
virtue of carrying on of his employment in any
industrial or commercial activity within the free
trade and processing zone;

Cf) exempted from the payment of export taxes or levies on
the exportation from afree trade and processing zone to
any place ourtside Antigua and Barbuda of any goods,
articles or things that are produced or manufactured by
a licencee within the free trade and processing zone.

(g) exempted from the payment of taxes of any kind on
the repatriation of profits earned in the free-trade and
processing zone.

Conditions for 15. (1) Subject tothis section, every person who isnot acitizen
employment in free
trade and of Antigua and Barbuda requires a special work permit to work
processing zone. in the Free Trade and Processing Zone.

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(2) An application to employ a non-citizen shall be submitted
to the Commission on a prescribed form and accompanied by
such particulars as the Minister may by regulation prescribe.

(3) If the Minister is satisfied that there is no suitable person
in Antigua and Barbuda with the kind of skill or expertise
required, he may approve the application and obtain the required
work permit for the proposed employee.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3) the Cabinet may approve
the application of any other person;

(5) All employers and employees in a free trade and processing
zone shall be subject to the laws in force in Antigua and Barbuda.

(6) Any licencee employing any person from outside Antigua
and Barbuda shall, at the expiration of the contract of such
employee, be responsible for his repatriation, and shall, at the reqest
of the Commission or the Government, repatriate such employee.

16. (1) Except as specifically exempted by this Act, every L~censee to comply
licensee, shall comply with this Act, any regulations or by-laws with the Act
made thereunder or any conditions attached to a licence. regulatrons etc.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) or to any regulations
made under this Act, every licensee shall -

(a) take reasonable measures to protect the health and
safety of its employees;

(b) undertake to hold the Commission free and harmless
for my loss incurred by the licensee by reason of or
ensuing from the fallure in any service to the free
trade and processing zone pertaining to the supply of
water, electricity, sewerage, telecommunication or
other services that are nc>mnally provided to or within
the free trade and processmg zone and not under the
control of the Commission;

(c) secure and maintain insurance in the prescribed
amount relating to any liability for injury or damage
occasioned by or to any person and his property in a
free trade and processing zone while that person is on
the premises whereon the licensee is conducting
businness operations or utilizing the common ap-
proaches conuguous to those premises;

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Environmental
protection.

Movement of
goods in and out of
free trade and
processing zone.

8 The Free Trade and Processing Zone No. 12 of 1994.
Act, 1994.

(d) undertake to hold the Commission free and harmless
for any loss or damage to the goods, articles, machin-
ery and things upon the premises occupied by the
licensee in b e free trade and processing zone for any
loss or damage arising from any acts or omission of
other licensees;

(e) secure and maintain in respect of his employees in a
free trade and processing zone workmen's compen-
sation insurance and further to ensure that all agents
or contractors engaged by him to carry out work for
his benefit within the fiee trade and processing zone
effect similar insurance.

17. (1) The Minister in consultation with the Minister respon-
sible for the environment may, with the approval of the Cabinet,
make regulations prescribing guidelines for the protection and
preservation of the environment.

(2) Any regulations made under this section may include the
requirement for the provision of adequate facilities by licencees
for the disposal of industrial and commercial waste in a free trade
and processing zone.

(3) The Commission shall not approve any application for a
licence under this Act unless it is satisfied that the applicant has
made adequate provision for the disposal of any waste material
that may be produced from activities to be undertaken by him.

(4) Every licencee shall before commencing operation in a free
trade and processing zone undertake to comply with any regula-
tions made under this section

18. (1) The Minister responsible for customs and excise may,
after consultation with the Commission, make regulations relat-
ing to -

(a) to the entry, removal, importation andexportation of
goods, articles, machinery or other things into or out
of a free trade and processing zone;

(b) the seizure and forfeiture of goods, articles, machin-
ery or other things intended for or brought into or
taken out of a free trade and processing zone in breach
of Customs regulations.

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(2) For the purposes of this section -

(a) goods, articles, machinery or other things manufac-
tured, processed, assernbled by a licensee and ex-
ported out of the free trade and processing zone into
a non-free trade and processing zone in Antigua and
Barbuda shall be considered as-

(i) exports from a non CARICOM country into
Antigua and Barbuda; snd

(ii) imports into Antigua and Barbuda from a non
CARICOM country.

(3) Any goods and services sold by companies within Antigua
and Barbuda and sent into the Free Trade and Processing Zones
shall be considered as. i n - ~ ~ r t s into the Free Trade and Processing
Zone as exports from Antigua and Barbuda.

(4) Except as specifically exempted by the Act any exports and
imports in relation to any of the goods, articles, machinery, or
other things referred to in this section shall be subject to any law
relating to the exportation and importation of such goods, articles,
machinery or other things.

19. (1) The Minister responsible for customs and excise may, Establishment of
after consultation with the Commission, cause to be etablished a ChstOm Posts in

free trade and customs post in a Free Trade and Processing Zone and assign to processing zone.
such post, customs officers as he thinks fit.

(2) Customs officers assigned toacustoms post in aFree Trade
and Processing Zone shall carry out such duties as are assigned
to them and in particular -

(a) inspect, monitor and record the entry of all goods into
free trade and processing zones, including -

(i) the names of the importer and the exporter;

(ii) the description of the goods and the declared
value of such goods; and

(iii) the country of origin of the goods.

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AND Act, 1994.

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(b) inspect, monitor and record the exit of all goods from
a free trade and processing zone including -

(i) the name of the exporter and the importer or
consignee;

(ii) the description of the goods or services ex-
ported or consigned and the declared value of
such goods.

(iii) the destination of the goods.

(3) The officer in charge of customs post in the free trade and
processing zone shall, at the end of every month, submit to the
Ministerresponsible for customs and excise and the Commission,
a report in respect of the information recorded pursuant to
subsection (2).

(4) The Minister responsible for customs andexcise may, after
consultation with the Commission, charge such fees as he may
consider appropriate for handling and for other Customs services
provided in the free trade and processing zone.

Commission to 20. (1) The Commission shall charge -
charge royalties.

(a) any person with whom it has contracted to develop
and maintain any are8area for use as a Free Trade and
Processing Zone;

(b) any licencee engaged in industrial or commercial
activities in a Free Trade and Processing Zone;

such royalties as the Commission may determine.

(2) The Commission may, from time to time, review any
agreement made under this section after consultation with the
Minister, but such agreement shall, inany case, be reviewedevery
five years.

(3) Where any royalty remains unpaid on the due date, the
licencee shall pay interest on day to day basis at the rate of 1%
above the bank rate on all amounts in arrears.

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(4) Any contractor or licencee who defaults in the payment of
any royalty determined in respect of his business by the Commis-
sion on the due date, shall be deemed to be in breach of a condition
of his license and the Commission may revoke his licence.

(5) Any licence revoked under this section shall not be restored
until all arrears of royalties and any interests accruing for non
payment of such royalties are fully settled.

21. The revenues of the Commission shall be used for the Investments.
following purposes -

(a) for the payment of the expenses of the commission;

(b) for such investment as may be approval by Cabinet,

(c) for payment into the reserve fund; and

(d) for the payment of the balance into the Consolidated
Fund

22. The Commission shall establish a reserve fund to be ReserveFund.
utilized for such purposes as the Minister responsible for Finance
may approve.

23. (1) The Commission shall keep accounts of its transactions to Accounts and
the satisfaction of the Minister responsible for Finance and such audit.
accounts shall be audited annually by the Director of Audit or some
other suitable person appointed by the Minister for the purpose.

(2) The members, officers and servants of the Commission
shall grant to the Director of Audit or any other person appointed
under this section to audit its 2ccounts access to all books,
documents, cash and securities of the Commission and shall give
to him on request all such information as may be within their
knowledge in relation to the operation of the Commission.

24. (1) The Laws of Antigua and Barbuda shall apply to any Law and legal
contract between the Commission and a licencee as well as the proceedings.
conduct and operations of any business or enterprise, and gener-
ally for goodorder and management in a free trade and processing
zone.

(2) Any person who is not satisfied by a deckion of the Commis-
sion may first appeal to the Minister against that decision.

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Preservation of
secrecy and non
disclosure of
information to
unauthorised
person.

Annual report,

12 The Free Trade and Processing Zune No. 12 of 1994.
Act, 1994.

(3) Where any licence is aggrieved by -

(a) a decision of the Minister; or

(b) any action taken by the Minister or the Government
in contravention of this Act or agreement entered into
between the Commission and the licence or a
condition attached to a licence;

he may appeal to the High Court against that decision or action within
thuty days after the receipt of the decision, or notice of the action, and
serve the Commissioner with a written notice signed by him or his
m e y that an appeal against the decision has been lodged.

(4) The Commissioner shall upon receipt of such notice of
appeal transmit to the High Court a copy of the decision or notice
of action taken and all documents relating thereto.

(5) Upon the hearing of the appeal, the Court may make such
order, including an order for cost as it thinks fit.

(6) Unless the Court otherwise decides, a decision revoking a
licence shall remain in force until varied by an order of the court.

25. (1) E ~ q r with the consent of a licencee or as authorized by
law, no officer, agent, consultant or attorney of the Commission, or
any customs or mmlgrahon officer assigned to a free trade and
processing zone shall disclose any information that may have come
to h s knowledge m the course of his duty to it h d party.

(2) Any person who contravenes this section is guilty of an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of fifty thousand
dollars or to imprisonment for five years or to both.

26. The Commission shall prepare and present to the Minister
within three months, or such longer period as the Minister may
allow, after the expiration of each financial year of the Commis-
sion a report -

(a) dealing generally with the activities of the Commis-
sion during its last financial year;

(b) containing such information relating to h e proceed-
ings and policy of the Commission as in ~ t s opinion
can be made public without detriment to the interest
of the Commission; and

No. 12 of 1994. The Free Trade and Processing 13 ANTIGUA
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(c) include a statement of its account audited in accor-
dance with the provisions of section 23.

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report together with
the annual statement of accounts and the report of the person who
audited the accounts on that statement and on the accounts of the
Commission to be h d on the table of the House.

(3) Copiesof the Commission's report together with the annual
statement of accounts and the report of the person who audited the
accounts on that statement and on the accounts of the Commission
shall be published in such manner as the Minister may direct.

27. (1) The Minister may, with the approval of the Cabinet, Regulation.
make regulations relating to -

(a) the management, supervison, control and operation
of a free trade and processing zone;

(b) the terns and conditions subject to which licencees
may operate within a free trade and processing zone;

(c) the reimbursement of the Cc)mission by a licence
or ariy person with whom the Conu~lission has con-
tracted to develop, maintain and operate a free wade
and processing zone of expenses incurred by the
Commission in the provision of szrvices in the free
trade and processing zone;

(d) measures that may be taken to ensure the payment of
royalties and fees;

(e) measures that may be taken to enforce the compli-
ance of this Act, any regulation or by-laws made
thereunder or any condition included in a licence;

Cf) the conveyance, storage, labelling, packing of goods
for or from a free trade and processing zone;

(g) the granting of permits, licences and approvals; and

(h) the better administration and implementation of this
Act.

(2) The Commission may with the approval of the Minister
make by-laws with respect to the following -

ANTIGUA 14 The Free Trade and Processing Zone No. 12 of 1994.
AND Act, 1994.

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(a) the construction of buildings, factories, ports and
other structures required in the free trade and pro-
cessing zone;

(b) the provision of utilities and the rates that may be
charged for the services provided;

(c) the construction, use and maintenance of roads, ports
and other facilities provided within a free trade and
processing zone.

SCHEDULE Section 9

Meeting of the 1. The Commission may meet at such times and at such places
Commission. as the Chairman may determine.

2. All meetings shall be presidedover by the Commissioner, but
where the Commissioner is absent or for any reason unable to
attend any meeting of the Commission, the person appointed
by the Minister shall preside.

3. AU decisions of the Council shall be by a majority of the votes
of the members present and voting.

4. For the proper conduct of the business of the Commission, the
Commissioner and two other members shall constitute a
quorum.

5. The Commissioner shall appoint one of his staff to perform the
duties of Secretary to the Commission.

6. The Secretary shall keep a minutes book in which he shall
record all thz decisions of hte Commission.

7. All decisions of the Commission shall be signed by the
Commissioner or in his absence by the person appointedby the
Cabinet to act in his place.

8. The Commission may in its discretion communicate any
decision of a general nature to all licencees, but may commu-
nicate a decision of a specific nature affecting any person to
such person within fourteen days.

9. The Commission may determine its own rules and procedures.

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Passed the House of Representatives his Passed the Senate this 4th
29th day of August, 1994. day of October, 1994.

B. Harris,
Speaker.

M. Percival,
Speaker.

S. Walker, S. Walker,
Acting Clerk to the House of Representatives. Acting Clerk to the Senate.

Printed at the Gavernment Printing Office, Antigua and Barbuda,
by Rupert Charity, Government Printer

- By Authority, 1994.
8 0 - 1 1.94 [ Price $6.45 1
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