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Doing Business with Antigua Barbuda

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					     DOING BUSINESS WITH
     ANTIGUA & BARBUDA




                      May 2007

Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export)
              P. O. Box 34B, Brittons Hill
                       St. Michael
                        Barbados
                  Tel: (246) 436-0578
                  Fax: (246) 436-9999
            E-mail: info@carib-export.com
            Website: www.carib-export.com
              DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA




                       DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

                                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.   GENERAL INFORMATION..................................................................................... 3
2.   THE ECONOMY........................................................................................................ 5
  2.1    Structure of the Economy ................................................................................... 5
  Recent Economic Performance....................................................................................... 5
  2.2    Balance of Payments........................................................................................... 6
  2.3    Overview of Trade .............................................................................................. 6
  2.3.1     Exports ............................................................................................................ 6
  2.3.2     Imports ............................................................................................................ 7
  2.4    Antigua and Barbuda Trade with CARICOM .................................................... 7
3. GENERAL MARKETING FACTORS...................................................................... 8
  3.1    Distribution and Sales Channels ......................................................................... 8
  3.3    Transportation ..................................................................................................... 8
4. MARKET ACCESS CONDITIONS ........................................................................ 10
  4.1. Customs Tariffs................................................................................................. 10
  4.2    Free Trade Agreements..................................................................................... 10
  4.3    Internal Taxes................................................................................................... 10
  4.4    Non-Tariff Barriers ........................................................................................... 11
  4.5    Import Documentation ..................................................................................... 11
  4.6    Labelling and Marking Requirements .............................................................. 11
  4.7    Prohibited and Restricted Imports .................................................................... 12
  4.8    Standards........................................................................................................... 12
5. INVESTMENT PROFILE........................................................................................ 13
  5.1    Investment Incentives Schemes ........................................................................ 13
  5.2    Foreign Investment Regime.............................................................................. 14
6. ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES ................................................................... 16
  6.1    Right to Private Ownership............................................................................... 16
  6.1    Establishing an Office....................................................................................... 16
  6.3    Work Permit Requirements............................................................................... 16
  6.4    Intellectual Property Rights .............................................................................. 17
  6.5    Conversion and Transfer Policies ..................................................................... 17
7. CULTURAL PRACTICES....................................................................................... 18
  7.2    Entry/Exit Requirements:.................................................................................. 18




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            DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA




1.  GENERAL                                  Principal Cities and Population:
INFORMATION                                                  (2005 est.)
                                             The island of Antigua is divided into six
Official Name: Antigua & Barbuda             parishes:
                                             St. Johns (capital)    21,514
Capital:        Saint John’s (population     St. Paul               6,117
                21,514)                      St. Mary               5,303
                                             St. George             4,473
Area: Antigua--281 sq. km. (108 sq.          St. Peter              3,622
mi.); Barbuda--161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.)
                                             The island of Barbuda (pop. 1,241) and
Population: 69,481 (July 2007 est.)          the uninhabited island of Redonda each
                                             enjoy dependency status. 2
Population growth index:       0.527%
(2007 est.)                                  Airports:       V.C. Bird International
                                             Airport, located on the northeast corner
Population density: 184        inhabitants   of Antigua, is the point of entry for
per square kilometer                         visitors arriving by air to Antigua &
                                             Barbuda.
Official language: The         official
language of Antigua and Barbuda is           Ports: Cruise ship ports are located at
English, but many of the locals speak        St. John's Harbour and Heritage Quay.
Antiguan Creole.
                                             Holidays:
Currency:       Eastern Caribbean Dollar
                (EC$)                        New Year’s Day                    Jan 01
                                             Good Friday                       Apr 06
Exchange rate:           EC$2.7=U.S.    $1   Easter Monday                     Apr 09
                         (June 2007)         Labour Day                        May 07
                                             Whit Monday                       May 28
Climate:      Temperatures generally         Carnival Monday (J’ouvert)        Aug 06
range from the mid-seventies in the          Carnival Tuesday (Last Lap)       Aug 07
winter to the mid-eighties in the            Independence Day                  Nov 01
summer. Annual rainfall averages only        National Heroes Day               Dec 09
45 inches, making it the sunniest of the     Christmas Day                     Dec 25
Eastern Caribbean Islands, and the           Boxing Day                        Dec 26
northeast trade winds are nearly
constant, flagging only in September.        Literacy Rate:
Low humidity year-round.1                    Total Population - 85.8%


        1                                            2
         http://www.antigua-
barbuda.org/index.htm                        http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm



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            DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


Life expectancy at birth:
Total Population - 72.42 years

Local Time: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of
Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Telephone Codes:         268

Health:        Medical     facilities  in
Antigua and Barbuda include the Mount
St John Medical Center and the
Holberton Hospital which provide
affordable health care for all citizens.
The construction of new clinics and
restoration of existing ones continues in
2007.3




        3

http://www.eclacpos.org/profile/profileByCountr
y.asp?country_id=1&country_name=ANTIGUA
%20AND%20BARBUDA



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            DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


2.      THE ECONOMY                            tax reforms, civil service downsizing,
                                               measures to improve the investment
2.1   Structure of the Economy                 climate, plans to reform the ailing social
                                               security system, and an impending
The economy in Antigua and Barbuda is          strategy to regularize relations with
small and open. Therefore, the country is      creditors. These efforts have been
subject to the vagaries of the economic        complemented by extensive outreach to
conditions in countries from which it          build public support. Successful
imports goods and services. To some            implementation of the ongoing and
extent, the effect of imported prices on       planned reforms could mark a watershed
the economy is moderated because the           for Antigua and Barbuda’s economic
country’s official currency, the Eastern       prospects.
Caribbean dollar, enjoys a fixed
exchange rate with the US dollar               The reform drive has benefited from an
(EC$2.70 = US$1.00). The Eastern               upswing in recent economic activity.
Caribbean dollar which Antigua and             The economy is experiencing its third
Barbuda shares with other countries of         consecutive year of high growth, driven
the Leeward and Windward Islands is            by a construction boom in hotels and
the strongest of the Caribbean                 housing, as well as projects related to the
currencies.                                    2007 Cricket World Cup. Growth in
                                               2006 is expected to reach 8 percent,
Tourism is the largest contributor to the      among the highest in the region. Over
economy, accounting for more than half         the medium term however, growth will
of GDP. Agriculture and fisheries have         slow as the construction boom winds
dropped from 40 percent of GDP in the          down. Inflation has remained low,
1960s     to    about     12     percent.      largely reflecting the stability provided
Manufacturing industries, which thrived        by the regional quasi-currency board
in the decade of the 1980s, are export         arrangement.5
oriented and produce garments, paint,
furniture, bedding and galvanized              GDP (2005): US$875.8 million.
sheets.4                                       GDP growth rate (2005): 3.2%.
                                               Per capita GDP (2005): US$12,586.
The government of Antigua and Barbuda
has adopted an ambitious reform                Recent Economic Performance
program in its endeavor to pull the
economy from decades of fiscal                 Antigua and Barbuda’s service-based
weakness-characterized by persistent           economy grew by 3.2 percent in 2005,
fiscal deficits, a triple-digit debt burden,   compared with 5.2 percent in 2004.
endemic arrears, and a large civil             Construction, banking and insurance,
service-and declining growth rates. The        communications, and wholesale and
reform agenda includes comprehensive

        4                                              5

http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/economy   http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pn/2007/pn0
.html                                          707.htm



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          DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


retail trade sectors were the main            US$160.7 mn in 2004. Debt relief
contributors to economic growth.              obtained on the two large external loans
                                              renegotiated in 2004 distorted the overall
The economy is experiencing its third         balance of payments deficit in 2004. 6
consecutive year of high growth, driven
by a construction boom in hotels and          2.3   Overview of Trade
housing, as well as projects related to the
2007 Cricket World Cup. The tourism           Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary of
and hospitality sector has largely            the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative that
recovered after the decrease in tourism       grants duty-free entry into the United
following the September 11, 2001              States for many goods. In 2005, 7.7
terrorist attacks. It posted a strong         percent of its total exports went to the
performance in 2004, and in 2005 the          United States, and 48.9 percent of its
sector was estimated at 50 percent of         total imports came from the United
GDP.                                          States. Antigua and Barbuda also
                                              belongs to the predominantly English-
To lessen its vulnerability to natural        speaking Caribbean Community and
disasters and economic shocks, Antigua        Common Market (CARICOM) and the
has sought to diversify its economy by        CARICOM Single Market and Economy
encouraging growth in transportation,         (CSME). 7
communications, internet gambling, and
financial services.                           2.3.1 Exports

2.2   Balance of Payments                     Exports--US$58 million (merchandise)
                                              and US$454 million (commercial
Preliminary estimates of the balance of       services)
payments for 2005 indicated that the
current account deficit widened to            Major     markets--European      Union
US$96.9 mn from US$88.5 mn in 2004.           (23.2%), United States (7.7%), Anguilla
This increase in the recurrent account        (7.0%), St. Kitts and Nevis (10.3%),
deficit occurred mainly because of a          Netherlands Antilles (23.4%)
widening in the merchandise trade
deficit to US$331.5 mn from US$323.6
mn in the previous year. At the same
time, the surplus on the services account
contracted by 2.5 percent to US$265.9
mn mainly because gross tourist receipts              6
remained unchanged at US$337.7 mn,
                                              http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:dTPryS6
despite the decline in tourist arrivals. On   w3ssJ:www.caribank.org/Publications.nsf/ERevi
the capital and financial account, a          ew2005_antiguabarbuda/%24File/ECReview200
surplus of US$55.7 mn was recorded            5_antiguabarbuda.pdf%3FOpenElement+antigua
compared to a deficit of US$54.8 mn a         +%26+barbuda,+balance+of+payments&hl=en&
year earlier.    The estimated overall        ct=clnk&cd=13
balance of payments deficit was                       7

US$41.2 mn in 2005, compared with             http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm



                                                                                          6
            DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


2.3.2 Imports

Imports--$497 million (merchandise)
and $197 million (commercial services)

Major suppliers--United States (48.9%),
Netherlands Antilles (10.2%), European
Union (11.6%), Trinidad and Tobago
(10.9%), Canada (3.7%) 8

2.4   Antigua and Barbuda’s Trade
      with CARICOM

In 2005, Antigua and Barbuda’s imports
were in excess of EC$209 million while
exports to CARICOM were a mere
EC$73 million leading to a trade deficit
of EC$136 million.

Antigua and Barbuda’s top exports to
CARICOM in 2005 included; paints and
varnishes, rum and tafia, and aerated
beverages. The top imports included
petroleum products, beer, wheat,
cigarettes and aerated beverages.




        8

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm



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         DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


3. GENERAL                                   enough, or for a particular brand or type
MARKETING FACTORS                            of product that moves in large volumes.
                                             This is normally done by establishing a
3.1   Distribution and Sales Channels        relationship with the large grocery
                                             stores, and sending a salesperson on a
                                             regular basis to place orders. Direct
Manufacture agents/distributors is the       selling is almost non-existent in many
most widely used form of importing           CARICOM countries.
goods into Antigua and Barbuda, since
the small size of the market does not        3.2     Promotion
merit establishment of a distributor
network. There is normally no specific       TV, radio, print advertising are widely
legislation in this regard. Contracts        accepted practices.
normally state that the agent is not to be
regarded as an employee or partner of        3.3   Transportation
the principal.      However, long-term
distributors/agents sometimes acquire        Antigua’s international airport is a major
certain claims on distribution rights that   gateway for the Caribbean, serving
go beyond and, in some cases, supersede      British Airways, US Air, Virgin
contract rights under local common law       Atlantic, American Airlines, Air Canada,
interpretations.                             BWIA and LIAT, with direct flights
                                             from New York, Miami, Toronto and
A strong network of manufacture agents       London.
exists throughout the Caribbean. These
agents represent large manufactures and      Regarding regional transport, LIAT
provide a sales and marketing team for       airlines, continues to be the leading
the brand, and fully represent the           provider of travel from Antigua and
company's interests in a particular          Barbuda to the rest of the Caribbean and
country. They bring in container loads       the country continues to invest in the
of product, warehouse, market, sell and      airlines. 9
distribute them. Often, these agents
represent a full range of goods from         Major road development is expected in
suppliers.                                   Antigua and Barbuda in 2007. Plans to
                                             increase spending on repair and
Miami consolidators are used by many         maintenance of the roads on both islands
of the larger retail stores, which do        are in progress. The government also
regular buying trips to the large Miami      plans to construct a transportation hub
consolidators, who offer the no frills       which will house a shopping plaza, car
buying concept at exceptionally good         park, vehicle inspection station and a bus
prices and consolidate container loads of    terminal. To ensure a reliable and
goods.
                                                     9

Direct selling to the end retailer is far    http://www.eclacpos.org/profile/profileByCountr
less used but could be advantageous          y.asp?country_id=1&country_name=ANTIGUA
where the range of products is large         %20AND%20BARBUDA



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         DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


affordable transportation system on the
islands, the duty on vehicular parts for
any driver who operates a taxi, bus or
tour vehicle were reduced by 50%.




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             DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


4.      MARKET ACCESS                               4.2     Free Trade Agreements
        CONDITIONS
                                                    Antigua and Barbuda is a member of
4.1. Customs Tariffs                                Caricom and a beneficiary of Lomé IV,
                                                    Caribcan, and the Caribbean Basin
The Customs Tariff classification is                Initiative (CBI) trading agreements.
based on the Brussels nomenclature, and
the Brussels definition of value is used            Other trade agreements signed and in
for Customs valuation purposes. Rates of            force: Multilateral WTO member since
customs duty range from 5 percent to 70             01 January 1995; CARICOM member
percent, but a wide range of goods are              since 04 July 1973; CARICOM –
free of customs duty. Additional special            Colombia since 24 July 1994;
rates apply to tobacco, cement,                     CARICOM – Venezuela since 13
petroleum products, vans and lorries,               October 1992. Trade agreements signed
and certain types of timber.                        but not in force: CARICOM – Costa
                                                    Rica since 09 March 2004; CARICOM –
                                                    Dominican Republic since 22 August
All OECS Members apply additional                   1998.11
charges on most or all imports. Antigua
and Barbuda applies a customs service               4.3     Internal Taxes
charge (CSC) at a rate is 5%, The CSC
applies to imports from other                       4.3.1    Corporation Tax
CARICOM countries, but not to imports
by government agencies.                             Incorporated, registered or continued
                                                    companies are charged a 40 percent tax
The environmental (returnable tax) levy             on profit.
provides for a deposit levy to be charged
on all aerated beverages, malt, water,              Unincorporated businesses pay a two
stout and beer bottles and cans at a rate           percent tax on gross income. However,
of EC$0.25 per bottle/can. However, it is           the first $4,166 of gross income in any
refundable subject to the re-export or              calendar month is exempt.
crushing of the containers. The levy is
only collected on imported products.                4.3.2    Property Tax

In addition to the CSC and                          Residential - tax on residential properties
Environmental levy consumption tax –                is based on the current construction
varies from 0-70%, and excise tax –                 replacement cost of the property. In
varies from 0% - 50%.10                             addition, there is a surcharge (0-20%)
                                                    depending on zoning regulations.



        10                                                   11
                        http://e-fpo.fpo.go.th/e-
fiscal/PWGuides/individualguides/DOCS/wcd00         http://www.sice.oas.org/ctyindex/ATG/ATGagre
009/wcd009d1.htm                                    ements_e.asp



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              DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


Commercial - hotels are taxed at a rate           4.6 Labelling         and       Marking
of 1/5 of one percent of their taxable            Requirements
value. Other commercial properties must
pay 3/4 of one percent taxable income.            The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of
                                                  Standards has notified nine (9) standards
4.3.2    Export duties                            as National (Voluntary) Standards these
                                                  will soon be declared as mandatory
Antigua and Barbuda does not impose               standards/ Technical Regulations. They
any export duties, except for those on            are as follows:
lobsters, sea-island cotton, sugar,
molasses and fish.12                              1. Antigua and Barbuda Specification
                                                     for Pre-package ice
                                                  2. Antigua and Barbuda Specification
                                                     for Packaged Water(Mineral Water,
4.4     Non-Tariff Barriers                          Spring Water, Purified Water)
                                                  3. Labelling of Commodities Part 1:
In Antigua and Barbuda, imports of 80                General Principles
products and any import from 34                   4. Labelling of Commodities Part 2:
countries require an import license.                 Labelling of Pre-package goods
Different agencies are involved in                5. Labelling of Commodities Part 3:
granting the licenses.                               Labelling of Pre-package foods
                                                  6. Labelling of Commodities Part 4:
Clearing customs takes on average three              Labelling of Pesticides
days in Antigua and Barbuda.                      7. Labelling of Commodities Part 5:
                                                     Labelling of Brewery Products
                                                  8. Antigua and Barbuda Specification
4.5     Import Documentation                         for new and used pneumatic tyres

The documents required for importation            These standards were prepared to
are an invoice, a certificate of origin, a        provide basic information that applies to
bill of lading, shipping documents, a             the labelling of goods. It is intended for
declaration of value, and, for certain            use by manufacturers, importers, and
items, an import license. Demurrage is            retailers.
payable if a consignee delays clearance
of goods.                                         These standards will be compulsory as
                                                  will all labelling standards. Therefore
                                                  failure to comply with these standards
                                                  constitutes a breach of the laws
                                                  administered by the Antigua and
                                                  Barbuda Bureau of Standards.

                                                  These standards are based on JS 1: Part
         12                                       1:   1984     -   Jamaican     Standard
http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/taxissues.   Specification for the Labelling of
html                                              Commodities. Part 1: General Principles.



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             DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


SCOPE - These standards describe                 standards and standards related matters
general labelling requirements for all           that are relevant to the sustainable
commodities which are customarily                development of the nation's economy.
labelled in the course of trade, except for
those, for which more specific                   The ABBS participates in the work of
requirements have been elsewhere                 standardisation at both the regional level
prescribed. 13                                   as a member of the CARICOM Regional
                                                 Organisation for Standards and Quality
                                                 (CROSQ), and at the international level
4.7 Prohibited          and       Restricted     being a signatory to the WTO/TBT Code
Imports                                          of Good Practice for Standardization and
                                                 having responsibility for the National
Most goods may be freely imported                Enquiry Point for the WTO/TBT
under an open general license granted by         Agreement.
the Ministry of Finance. Certain
commodities require individual licenses          The work of the ABBS presently
unless they are imported from                    consists mainly of information services
CARICOM countries. Citrus fruits may             that are supported by training workshops
not be imported from North America.              in areas such as Metrology and ISO
There are import restrictions on certain         9000 awareness, quality systems,
basic foodstuffs, such as rice, sugar,           Internal audits and Food Safety
fresh fruit, and vegetables, which are           (HACCP)       systems.     The    ABBS,
controlled by the government's Central           however, is currently engaged in
Marketing Corporation. These items               developing legislation and acquiring
may be imported in small quantities              infrastructure that will provide a
under license. Also, certain locally made        capacity for offering metrology services
or assembled products have been                  as well as other testing services.
protected in the past, but the trend is to       Standards Development and responses to
relax these controls.                            product-related complaints are dealt with
                                                 in cooperation with various private and
                                                 public organisations as well as other
4.8   Standards                                  regional bureaux. 14

The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of
Standards (ABBS) is the National
Standards Body (NSB) of Antigua and
Barbuda,   established   under    the
Standards Act (1987), Cap.411 of the
Revised Laws of Antigua and Barbuda
1992. The ABBS has responsibility for
the promotion and promulgation of

        13                                               14

http://www.abbs.gov.ag/abbs_info/Standards/lab   http://www.iso.org/iso/about/iso_members/iso_
elgen-princ.htm                                  member_body.htm?member_id=1543



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         DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


5.     INVESTMENT PROFILE                    The legal basis for Antigua and
                                             Barbuda’s tax holidays for investors is
5.1   Investment Incentives Schemes          codified on the Fiscal Incentives Act.
                                             The length of the ‘holiday’ depends on
Antigua and Barbuda welcomes foreign         the amount of value added in Antigua
investment and provides a hospitable         and Barbuda. The definition of local
environment and generous incentives to       value added is the amount realised from
encourage such investment.                   the sales of the product over a
                                             continuous period of 12 months, minus:
The government is keen to assure
investors that their investments are         a) Cost of imported raw materials,
secure and well protected. Therefore,        components, parts of components, fuels
Investment Protection Agreements have        and services;
been signed with the Federal Republic of
Germany and with the United Kingdom.         b) Wages and salaries paid to foreign
                                             nationals;
While the Government intervenes in the
economy as a regulator in some               c) Profits and dividends distributed to
instances, the private sector is the         foreign nationals;
dominant force in the economy. The
government and the ruling United             d) Interest, management charges and
Progressive Party (UPP) are committed        other income payments to not-residents
to upholding the principle of free           (including companies); and
enterprise and this pledge is hared by the
main political parties. Successive           e) Depreciation of imports of plant,
governments have respected the               machinery and equipment.
agreements and commitments made
between previous administrations and         The government offers numerous
investors.                                   concessions to investors, particularly if
                                             the investment is substantial. Typical
No investor has ever had assets              concessions include:
nationalised or been forced to leave the
island. Under the island’s constitution,     •   Freedom from the payment of
property can only be nationalised in             Corporate Tax on the profits arising
exceptional circumstances and even in            out of the profitable operations of the
such cases the country’s constitution            company for a period of 15 years in
demands that fair compensation must be           the first instance which is eligible for
determined by an independent authority           renewal for a further 15 years;
and must be paid promptly. This
constitutional requirement is unusual in     •   Waiver of all import duties on
developing countries and casts Antigua           consumption tax on the importation
and Barbuda in a very attractive light for       of materials and equipment used in
investment.                                      the operations of the company;




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              DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


•     Grant of an export allowance in the        business to be transacted easily within an
      form of an extended tax holiday on         appropriate time frame.
      the exportation of goods produced in
      Antigua and Barbuda.15                     International commercial banking has
                                                 been conducted on Antigua for many
5.2    Foreign Investment Regime                 years. Offshore banking is more recent,
                                                 having started in 1983. Since that time
OECS foreign investment receives                 the industry has grown rapidly. Working
national treatment in all OECS Member            in co-operation with the private sector,
countries. The only restriction generally        the Government has improved Antigua’s
relates to requirements for obtaining            offshore     company     and    banking
alien landholding licences. The rationale        environment through the introduction of
for this restriction is related to               new foreign residency, trust, and
limitations in land availability for             partnership legislation.
commercial purposes, and the need to
rationalize land use and enable nationals        The International Business Corporations
to afford property while avoiding                Act of 1982 provides for speedy
speculation by foreign nationals.                formation of international business
Licences are subject to satisfactory             corporations (IBCs) at very competitive
applications to national Cabinet of              charges. The formation can be carried
Ministers and the payment of requisite           out by a locally registered trust company
fees. However, licences are not required         or by an accountant or attorney.
in a number of cases, such as investment         Formation can usually be completed
in sectors considered of priority for the        within 24 hours and full corporate and
country, or where the purchase does not          trust services are available to both
exceed a certain threshold.                      private    and     corporate      investors
                                                 including:

While Antigua and Barbuda is probably            Registration and maintenance of
best known as an up-market destination           corporate     charters      for    offshore
for more discriminating tourists, its            companies; Reception, management, and
natural and developed assets have also           disbursement of the assets of offshore
allowed it to emerge as an attractive            companies; Provision and maintenance
offshore business centre. The country is         of a registered office; Maintenance of
in a convenient time zone, sharing the           the company’s records and statutory
same time as New York, Toronto,                  register; Preparation of all necessary
Central and part of South America, and           corporate returns and reports to the
falling five hours behind the UK and             Director; Provision of directors and
Europe in the summer and four hours in           officers on request; Incorporation and
the winter which allows international            management of offshore banks and
                                                 captive insurance companies; and a full
                                                 range of traditional trust services.
         15

http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/insentive
forinvestors.html



                                                                                         14
          DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


5.2.1   Internet Gaming                      Revenue would have no interest in the
                                             books of entities that pay the full cap.
Internet gaming facilities are deemed to     However, such operators are obliged to
be financial institutions under the law.     continue to maintain financial books and
They are regulated by the Financial          records and to provide access by the
Services Regulatory Authority (FSRC),        Government through its authorised
which gives the internet gaming              agencies in the event of the need to
operators a high level of comfort in the     examine such books and records in
jurisdiction and in the ability to conduct   accordance with the laws of the State
business on a predictable basis. It is       particularly the Money Laundering
useful to take note of the following         (Prevention) Act, the International
points:                                      Business Corporations Act and the
                                             Proceeds from Crime Act and their
a) A three percent tax is payable by         amendments.
operators on their “Net win” defined as
“the difference between the gross stakes     (f) The maximum cap of US$50,000.00
laid and the winnings paid out”.             per month on taxes and the terms and
                                             conditions described in (e) above would
(b) Operators are entitled to deduct         remain unchanged until 2004, after
software    licensing     or   software      which they will be subject to review by
development costs from (a) above,            the Government and representatives of
capped at no more than 40 percent of the     the Industry.
Net win for all companies provided
claims for the deduction of such costs       (g)   Gaming      Licence     fees   are
are accompanied by documentary               US$75,000.00 per annum for those
support evidencing the costs.                Operators who maintain a primary server
                                             and operations in Antigua and Barbuda
(c) Operators are entitled to deduct         and who pay the tax as described above.
charge backs on credit cards for a period
up to 18 months after the original charge    (h) Wagering Licence fees are
was made provided claims for the             US$50,000.00 per annum for Operators
deduction of such charge backs are           who maintain a primary server and
accompanied by documentary support           operations in Antigua and Barbuda and
evidencing the original credit and the       who pay the tax as described above.
charge back.
                                             The internet gaming industry benefits
(d) The three percent tax on Net Win and     from high quality telecommunication
the deductibles, as described at (a), (b)    facilities provided by Cable and
and (c) above, are fixed until 2006, after   Wireless.    The     costs    of    such
which they will be subject to review by      telecommunications        are     highly
the Government and the representatives       competitive and are lower than in the
of the Industry.                             vast majority of jurisdictions, which
                                             provide a home for internet gaming.
(e) Operators are entitled to a maximum
cap of US$50,000.00 per month on taxes
and the Commissioner of Inland


                                                                                  15
             DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


6.      ESTABLISHMENT OF
        BUSINESSES                             Antigua and Barbuda separated its
                                               commercial registry from the country’s
                                               high court in 2005, reducing the time to
                                               start a business by 10 days, from 31 to
6.1   Right to Private Ownership               21 days. It also cut the corporate income
                                               tax from 35 percent to 30 percent.
In Antigua & Barbuda the entrepreneur
needs 26 days from start to finish to          An entrepreneur in Antigua and Barbuda
transfer the title on a piece of property.     spends 12.5 percent of the country’s
                                               income per capita to start up a business.
In June 1995, the government introduced
a permanent residence scheme to                In Antigua and Barbuda, the costs to
encourage a limited number of high net-        register a property add up to 13.0 percent
worth individuals to establish tax             of property value. However, registry
residency tax in Antigua and Barbuda.          records are fully digitized, leading to
As residents all their income would be         efficient property registration, which is
free of local tax.                             associated with greater access to land
                                               and finance.
To obtain a permanent residence
certificate an applicant must: maintain a      A number of international banks have a
permanent place of abode in Antigua and        presence in the country, including
Barbuda; obtain an alien landholding           Barclays International Ltd, Royal Bank
licence costing five percent of the            of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and the
property value; pay a purchaser's stamp        Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
duty of 2.50 percent; pay an annual levy       There are also two locally owned banks -
of US$20,000/annum; reside in Antigua          the Antigua Commercial Bank and the
and Barbuda for not less than 30 days a        Antigua and Barbuda Investment Bank.
year.16
                                               A number of local and international
                                               insurance companies also offer a range
6.1   Establishing an Office                   of insurance services. 17

Foreign or local individuals may               6.3   Work Permit Requirements
establish:      sole    proprietorships;
partnerships;    corporations;     joint       Persons seeking employment cannot
ventures; and branches of foreign              apply for a work permit. Employers
corporations. Businesses are generally         must advertise vacancies locally. If no
required to obtain an annual business          suitable candidates are located locally,
licence.                                       the employer has to apply for a work
                                               permit for a foreigner to the

        16                                             17

http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/permane   http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/financiali
ntresidence.html                               nstitutions.html



                                                                                           16
         DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


Commissioner of Labour, Ministry of
Labour, St John’s, Antigua.


6.4   Intellectual Property Rights

Under current legislation, patent, trade
mark and industrial designs are protected
in Antigua and Barbuda if they are
registered in the United Kingdom.

As regards the efficiency of contract
enforcement, in Antigua and Barbuda it
takes 297 days from the time a claim is
submitted until a judgment is enforced.

Antigua and Barbuda is among the
global best performers in terms of cost
of going through bankruptcy, where the
cost of bankruptcy proceedings amounts
to one percent of the value of the estate.


6.5   Conversion and Transfer Policies

In order to facilitate the provision of
service     and      movement       and
establishment, provision is made for the
removal of exchange controls by
member states. The Members of the
OECS, which includes Antigua &
Barbuda, maintain that their foreign
exchange system is fully liberalized.




                                                   17
         DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA


7.  CULTURAL
PRACTICES                                   1. Valid passport (with minimum life of
                                            six months)

7.1   Business Customs                      2. One completed application form

                                            3. Confirmation of travel (return or
Commercial: 8:00-12:00,1:00-4:00 p.m.       onward ticket or letter confirming date
Monday-Friday (closed on Thursday           of travel from travel agent)
afternoon).
Government: 8:00 am – 4:30 p.m.             4. Confirmation of accommodation or
                                            letter of invitation if you are staying in
                                            the community with friends or family

7.2   Entry/Exit Requirements:              5. 1 x passport-size photograph

                                            6. Visa fees: Single Entry £30.00 (for a
Most European Union citizens do not         single visit within three months of date
require a visa to enter Antigua and         of issue) or Multiple Entry £40.00 (for
Barbuda on holiday or business. Persons     multiple visits within six months of date
visiting are permitted to stay as long as   of issue)
their business takes, provided that:
                                            Fees should be in postal orders or an
a) this is no longer than six months;       international money order made payable
b) they have an onward or return ticket;    to “Antigua and Barbuda High
c) they have confirmation of                Commission” or exact cash (when
accommodation;                              delivering in person). Please add an
d) they can produce evidence of their       extra £5.00 for registered post if the
ability to maintain themselves in           passport is to be mailed. Processing
Antigua and Barbuda                         period for the issue of a visa is normally
                                            three to five working days.
Cruise ship visitors who would normally
require a visa would not require one        Taxes:
provided that they arrive in Antigua and    Antigua & Barbuda has a US$20 pp
Barbuda in the morning and depart the       airport departure tax, a room tax of 8.5
same evening.                               percent and service charge of 10
                                            percent.18
‘Intransit’ passengers travelling within
the same day, who normally require a
visa, do not need a visa for entry into
Antigua and Barbuda, provided that they
have proof of their onward journey.
                                                    18
                                                                        http://www.antigua-
Documentation required when applying        barbuda.com/travel_tourism/information/passpor
for a visa:                                 t_visa.asp



                                                                                        18

				
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