LAWS AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING LICENCEES
The main laws and regulations governing the Free Trade Zone are:
- The Free Trade and Processing Zone Act, 1994
- Law Revision (Miscellaneous) (Amendments) Act, 2000
- The Regulations detailed below
In these Regulations -
"Commission" means the Commission established under the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act 1994.
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner appointed under section 10 of the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act 1994.
licence shall be issued to any company unless that company is
registered under the International Business Corporation Act and is in
possession of a Certificate of Good Standing.
2.0 Commission To Permit Operations Outside The Zone
(1) Any company issued with a licence to operate a business shall operate his business in the Free Trade and Processing Zone.
(2) Notwithstanding subparagraph (1) a
licensee may be permitted temporarily to operate the approved business
in a licensed premises outside the Free Trade and Processing Zone.
3.0 Licensed Premises
(1) No premises shall be used for the operation of a business until such premises has been licensed by the Commission.
(2) Applicants may apply to the Commissioner for a licence on the prescribed form provided by him.
4.0 Procedure For Work Permit Application
(1) A special work permit is required
for all non-citizens to work in the Free Trade Zone or on a licensed
premises only. The regular work permit issued for working in Antigua
and Barbuda is not valid for working in the Free Trade Zone. Completed
application forms for the work permit must be presented to the Free
Trade Commissioner for approval before submission to the Department of
Labour for processing.
(2) The company must issue a letter to
the Commissioner on behalf of applicants for work permits indicating
that it accepts responsibility for the said applicants while they
remain within its employment.
(3) All application forms must be
stamped, numbered and signed by the Commissioner before they are
submitted to the Department of Labour.
(4) Application for the renewal of work
permit shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Social Security
Board, the Medical Benefit Board and the Board of Education that all
Contributions required to be paid to these Boards have been paid up to
date. Work permit will not be renewed until these certificates are
5.0 Employment Of Nationals
(1) A company licensed to operate a
business shall employ at least three (3) persons who are citizens of
Antigua and Barbuda to each expatriate employee, including Management,
in the business operation of the company.
(2) The Commission shall keep a register in which shall be recorded all employees who are -
(a) citizens of Antigua and Barbuda
(b) non-citizens of Antigua and Barbuda
(3) All shall be registered including owners and managers must have Social Security and Medical Benefit numbers.
(4) Owners shall pay the Social
Security, Medical Benefits and Education Levy contributions for their
employees as well as for themselves.
6.0 Authority Of The Commission Outside The Zone
(1) All companies licensed by the Free
Trade Zone and permitted temporarily to operate physically outside the
Zone are deemed to be operating under the authority of the Commission
and not as a Satellite Zone.
(2) The Licensee must promptly inform
the Commissioner in writing of any changes of address or of any
employee who has been terminated.
7.0 Exemptions And Procedure For Obtaining Customs Exemptions
1) Warrants for clearing items which are accorded duty and tax exemption under the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act, 1994,
must be presented to the Commissioner for approval and affixing of the
official stamp of the Commission. Under normal conditions the
processing time is three (3) days maximum.
(2) All invoices and other documentation
required by the Customs, which include the certified value and the
declaration regarding the use of the item by the company doing the
importation must be submitted along with the warrant.
(3) All imports entering Antigua and
Barbuda under the authority of the Free Trade and Processing Zone
Commission must be consigned to the licensee and must be kept at all
times on the licensed premises of the business operations of the
Licensee and are subject to periodic inspection and review by the
(4) An inventory of such imports must be
presented to the Commission quarterly or upon request and the
Commission reserves the right to check and certify the information
presented in the inventory.
8.0 Prompt Information To Commissioner
Commissioner must be promptly informed in advance, in writing, on any
changes in address or expansion of the business operations of a
Articles excluded from customs exemptions.
(1) Personal belongings and household items are subject to payment of customs duty service and handling charges.
(2) Duty and Tax Exemptions on imported
items required for the operation of the business in the Free Trade Zone
or licensed premises do not include service and handling charges.
(3) The Minister responsible for Customs
shall determine the service and handling charges in accordance with
section 19 (4) of the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act 1994.
(1) The Commission reserves the right to limit the number of licences for any given period.
(2) All companies licensed under the
Free Trade and Processing Zone Act are required to have a physical
presence in Antigua and Barbuda.
(3) All licences are renewable annually upon the production of evidence that the company:
(a) is licensed under the International Business Corporation Act and in possession of a Certificate of Good Standing;
(b) has complied with the provisions of paragraph 5.0 of this Regulation; and
(c) is not in breach of any of the conditions of the licence.
(4) A licence is not transferable to a third part and sublicensing is strictly prohibited.
(5) The licence of any company who contravenes subparagraph (4) shall be cancelled forthwith by the Commission.
10.0 Conditions Of Licence
The Commission may cancel a licence if any of the following conditions are breached -
(1) Attempting to illegally sub-licence other operators under the Licence granted to one specific operator.
(2) Misuse or abuse of Tax and Duty
Exemptions and other concessions or benefits granted by virtue of the
Licence issued by the Free Trade and Processing Zone.
(3) Sale, exchange or disposal of items
imported into Antigua and Barbuda by virtue of the Licence granted by
the Free Trade and Processing Zone without consent of the Commission.
(4) Permitting the fraudulent or
unlawful use of the Licence or any part thereof or other privileges and
entitlements bestowed by virtue of the Licence.
(5) Falsification or willful omission of
any information required as a condition for licensing and for
continuing review of the Licence or supplying misleading information.
(6) Failure to meet all commitments to
service providers or clients, or false information in advertising or in
promoting the business activities of the Licensee.
(7) Employment of workers who do not have the appropriate work permit.
(8) Failure to pay Social Security, Medical Benefits and Education Levy contributions.
(9) Not having an established Administrative Office and Company Representative in Antigua and Barbuda.
(10) The unauthorized use of any telecommunications services or equipment not approved by the Commission.
(11) Operating a business for which the Operator has not obtained a licence for that business.