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  • 1. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA May 2007Caribbean 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
  • 2. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA TABLE OF CONTENTS1. GENERAL INFORMATION..................................................................................... 3 2.1 Structure of the Economy ................................................................................... 5 2.2 Recent Economic Performance........................................................................... 5 2.3 Balance of payments ........................................................................................... 6 2.4 Overview of Trade .............................................................................................. 6 2.5 Dominica’sTrade with CARICOM..................................................................... 73. GENERAL MARKETING FACTORS...................................................................... 8 3.1 Distribution and Sales Channels ......................................................................... 8 3.3 Transportation ..................................................................................................... 84. MARKET ACCESS CONDITIONS .......................................................................... 9 4.1 Customs Tariffs................................................................................................... 9 4.2 Free Trade Agreements..................................................................................... 11 4.3 Non-Tariff Barriers ........................................................................................... 11 4.4 Import Documentation ..................................................................................... 12 4.5 Labelling and Marking Requirements .............................................................. 12 4.6 Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures..................................................... 13 4.7 Prohibited and Restricted Imports .................................................................... 13 4.8 Warranty and Non-Warranty Repairs ............................................................... 14 4.9 Standards........................................................................................................... 14 4.10 Product Certification......................................................................................... 155. INVESTMENT PROFILE........................................................................................ 16 5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes ........................................................................ 16 5.2 Foreign Investment Regime.............................................................................. 17 5.3 Investment Agreements .................................................................................... 186. ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES ................................................................... 19 6.1 Right to Private Ownership............................................................................... 19 6.2 Establishing an Office....................................................................................... 19 6.3 Work Permit Requirements............................................................................... 20 6.4 Intellectual Property Rights .............................................................................. 217. CULTURAL PRACTICES....................................................................................... 23 7.1 Business Customs ............................................................................................. 23 7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements:.................................................................................. 23 2
  • 3. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA1. GENERAL INFORMATION Customs and Excise Division. Other Seaports include Portsmouth, Roseau,Official Name: Commonwealth of and Anse-de-Mai. Portsmouth and Anse-Dominica de-Mai are located in the northern region of the island, and Roseau is in the south.Capital: Roseau Holidays:Area: 754 sq km New Year’s Day Jan 01 Mardi Gras Feb 20Population: 72,386 (July 2007 est.) Good Friday Apr 06 Easter Apr 08Population growth index: 0.184% Easter Monday Apr 09(2007 est.) May Day / Labor Day May 01 Pentecost Monday May 28Population density: 96 inhabitants per First Monday Aug 06square kilometer Dominica Independence Nov 03 Community Service Day Nov 04Official language: English (official), Christmas Dec 25French patois Boxing Day Dec 26Currency: East Caribbean dollar Life Expectancy: Total Population - (XCD) 74.65 yearsExchange rate: EC$2.7=U.S. $1 Literacy Rate: Total Population - 94 percentClimate: tropical; moderated bynortheast trade winds; heavy rainfall Local Time: (UTC–4)Principal Cities and Population:(2001 Telephone Codes: 767est.)Roseau 14,847Portsmouth 2,977Marigot 2,676Grand Bay 2,288Airports: There are two smallairports on the island: the main one isMelville Hall Airport (DOM), about onehour away from Portsmouth; the secondone is Canefield (DCF) which is aboutfifteen minutes’ travel from Roseau.Ports: Dominica has six officialentry points. Woodbridge Bay is themain Seaport and the headquarters of the 3
  • 4. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAHealth: In 2000 there were 47physicians, 353 nurses, 11 dentists, and30 pharmacists. The one generalhospital on Dominica is in Roseau, the195-bed Princess Margaret Hospital.There are 7 health centers and 44 clinicsscattered across the island. Serioustropical diseases such as yaws andmalaria have been eradicated, but owingto the high humidity and rainyconditions, tuberculosis and otherrespiratory diseases continue to be aproblem. Intestinal parasites afflictparticularly those in the early years of 1life. 1http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Dominica-HEALTH.html 4
  • 5. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA2. THE ECONOMY The adjustment programme aims at structural reforms, but relies heavily on2.1 Structure of the Economy external financial and other assistance from institutions like the IMF, the WorldAgriculture is Dominicas mainstay and Bank, other CARICOM states, thebananas in particular, but less than a Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and thethird of the island is under cultivation EU. The EU has also provided funds fordue to the mountainous terrain. several projects.However, the sector is in decline, withits proportion of GDP falling from 25 In November 2004 Dominica suffered anpercent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2005. In earthquake which damaged buildings inattempts to boost the economy Dominica the north of the island. In additionis increasingly looking to niche markets landslides were caused by heavy rains.in eco-agriculture and eco-tourism. Dominica also has several areas ofThere is also a small offshore financial volcanic activity, with an estimated 25sector, with an estimated 9000 percent chance of a large eruptioninternational businesses. Weak export occurring in the next 25 years. Thisprices and the gradual phasing out of increases the uncertainty and risk forpreferential access to the EU market potential investors. 2have affected the banana industry, whichhas started to decline; along with the 2.2 Recent Economic Performancedownturn in global tourism since 2001this has caused the economy to struggle Dominica’s economy grew by 3.5in recent years. Unemployment remains percent in 2005 and 4.0 percent in 2006,high at 23.1 percent following a decade of poor performance. The country nearly had a financial crisisIn the adjustment programme agreed in 2003 and 2004. Growth in 2006 waswith the IMF, the government has attributed to gains in tourism,undertaken among other things to review construction, offshore and other services,the tax system, to conduct a public and some sub-sectors of the bananaexpenditure review and to initiate a civil industry.service reform program. The aim is tobroaden the tax base, increase the Bananas and other agriculture dominateefficiency of public spending, reduce the Dominica’s economy, and nearly one-public sector wage and increase the third of the labor force works inpublic services’ efficiency. The agriculture. This sector, however, isgovernment also plans to increase highly vulnerable to weather conditionsbanana production and has begun to and to external events affectingrestructure the banana sector. At the commodity prices. In response tosame time, it is implementing a numberof programs to reduce poverty, improve 2education and health services and protect http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=the environment. VAT was introduced in OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cidMarch 2006. =1007029394365&a=KCountryProfile&aid=102 0173366434 5
  • 6. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAdecreasing European Union (EU) banana attributed in part to a decrease in receiptstrade preferences, the government has from the category “chemicals and relateddiversified the agricultural sector by products”, which includes soap. Receiptsintroducing coffee, patchouli, aloe vera, from soap exports declined by 6.6cut flowers, and exotic fruits such as percent, reflecting a decrease in themangoes, guavas, and papayas. volume exported.Dominica has had some success inincreasing its manufactured exports, Gross inflows from travel are estimatedprimarily soap. to have increased by 14.7 percent to US$87.3m, in line with growth in visitorDominica is mostly volcanic and has few arrivals. There were net inflows ofbeaches; therefore, tourism has US$1.9m in commercial bank short-termdeveloped more slowly than on capital, compared with US$3.7mneighboring islands. Nevertheless, recorded in the first six months of 2005.Dominica’s high, rugged mountains, Disbursements of external loans to therainforests, freshwater lakes, hot springs, central government amounted towaterfalls, and diving spots make it an US$2.3m compared with US$13.1m inattractive eco-tourism destination. Cruise the first six months of 2005. Inflows ofship stopovers have increased following official grants rose by 86.3 percent tothe development of modern docking and US$38.5m, mainly attributed to thewaterfront facilities in the capital. airport and stadium projects. 4GDP (2005): US$283.6 million. 2.4 Overview of TradeGDP growth rate (2006): 4.0%.Per capita GDP (2005): US$3,790. Dominica represents a small market forUnemployment (2005): 13.1% 3 British exports, but relies heavily on the UK to take about 50 percent of its total2.3 Balance of payments exports, including 90 percent of the banana crop. The UK’s primary exportsProvisional data on merchandise trade are machinery and transport equipmentindicate a deficit of US$163.8m in the and food and beverages.first six months of 2006, compared withUS$171.4m in the corresponding period There has been a substantial increase ofof 2005. The decrease in the deficit was exports from Dominica to other OECSassociated with a decline in the value of and CARICOM countries in the last tenimports, largely machinery and years. In 2005, CARICOM accountedequipment, and manufactured goods. for almost 60% of Dominica’s totalThe value of exports contracted by 12.1 exports, of which some 25% waspercent to US$48.7m, largely as a result directed to other OECS countries. Theof a decline in receipts from domestic United States is the main source ofexports. Earnings from domestic exports Dominica’s imports followed by thefell by 12.1 percent to US$47.5m, CARICOM. 3 4 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Junehttp://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2295.htm 2006 Economic and Financial Review DOMINICA 6
  • 7. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA disinfectants. The major imports included petroleum products, flour, sugar cane, beer, soya bean oil, cartons2.4.1 Exports and sacks and bags.Exports (2005)--US$41.0 million(merchandise) and US$82.0 million(commercial services).Major markets--European Union(27.8%), Jamaica (12.7%), Antigua andBarbuda (11.3%), Trinidad and Tobago(9.0%), and Saint Lucia (6.8%) 52.4.2 ImportsImports (2005) -US$165 million(merchandise) and US$49 million(commercial services).Major suppliers--United States (36.6%),Trinidad and Tobago (20.5%), China(19.4%), European Union (13.4%), andJapan (4.6%) 62.5 Dominica’sTrade withCARICOMIn 2006, Dominica’s imports fromCARICOM were in excess of EC$144million while exports to CARICOMwere EC$70 million leading to a tradedeficit of EC$74 million.Dominica’s major exports to CARICOMin 2006 included; bananas, plantains,pebbles, gravel and broken or crushedstone, paints, toothpastes, soap,dishwashing liquids, detergents and 5http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2295.htm 6http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2295.htm 7
  • 8. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA3. GENERAL of product that moves in large volumes.MARKETING FACTORS This is normally done by establishing a relationship with the large grocery3.1 Distribution and Sales stores, and sending a salesperson on aChannels regular basis to place orders. Direct selling is almost non-existent in manyManufacture agents/distributors is the CARICOM countries.most widely used form of importinggoods into Dominica, since the small 3.2 Promotionsize of the market does not meritestablishment of a distributor network. TV, radio, print advertising are widelyThere is normally no specific legislation accepted practices.in this regard. Contracts normally statethat the agent is not to be regarded as an 3.3 Transportationemployee or partner of the principal.However, long-term distributors/agents There are two small airports on thesometimes acquire certain claims on island: the main one is Melville Halldistribution rights that go beyond and, in Airport (DOM), about one hour awaysome cases, supersede contract rights from Portsmouth; the second one isunder local common law interpretations. Canefield (DCF) which is about fifteen minutes’ travel from Roseau. Neither ofA strong network of manufacture agents them is big enough for typicalexists throughout the Caribbean. These commercial size airplanes, althoughagents represent large manufactures and Melville Hall is under expansion. As ofprovide a sales and marketing team for 2007, American Airlines and LIAT arethe brand, and fully represent the the major airlines that service thecompanys interests in a particular Melville Hall airport, and Carib Aviationcountry. They bring in container loads operates service from Canefield. There isof product, warehouse, market, sell and no night-time service, because thedistribute them. Often, these agents airports do not have night lights.represent a full range of goods fromsuppliers. There is no major highway on the island. Before the road was built betweenMiami consolidators are used by many Portsmouth and Roseau, people had toof the larger retail stores, which do take boats which took several hours fromregular buying trips to the large Miami one way to the other. Now, it takes aboutconsolidators, who offer the no frills one hour to drive from Portsmouth tobuying concept at exceptionally good Roseau. Minibus services form the majorprices and consolidate container loads of public transport system. It costs about $1goods. EC to go anywhere in Portsmouth area, about $8 EC from Portsmouth to RoseauDirect selling to the end retailer is far (2006). 7less used but could be advantageouswhere the range of products is large 7enough, or for a particular brand or type http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominica 8
  • 9. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA4. MARKET ACCESS In the case of industrial products, CONDITIONS competing imports from non-CARICOM countries are subject to (non-CET) rates4.1 Customs Tariffs between 50% and 165%, for products not bound in the WTO. The onlyThe Customs and Excise Division of the product subject to seasonal tariffs isMinistry of Finance is responsible for potatoes (HS 0701.90). Tariff quotas arethe control and management of the not used.customs clearance of goods process.General Imports are subject to five 4.1.2 Customs Service Chargedifferent types of duties, taxes and A customs service charge (CSC) issurcharges. levied at 3% and is applied on the c.i.f. value of all imports. Exemptions are4.1.1 Import Duty provided for governmental imports, as well as imports by charitableImport duties levied against goods are organizations, and diplomatic missions.based on the cost, insurance and freight(CIF) value and rates determined by the 4.1.3 Environmental SurchargeCARICOM Common External Tariff(CET). Dominica grants at least MFN An environmental surcharge imposed attreatment to all its trading partners. It specific rates on some products and onhas applied the CARICOM Common an ad valorem basis on others asExternal Tariff (CET) since 1991 and follows:implemented the fourth and final phase Specificof the CARICOM CET reductions on 1 • EC$3,000.00 per unit on motorJuly 2001. The schedule is based on the vehicles over five years old;Harmonized Commodity Description • EC$10.00 per unit on used tyres;and Coding System 1996 since 1 January • EC$20.00 per unit on used1999. The tariff, as applied in 2002, refrigerators;comprises 6,333 tariff lines at the eight- • EC$20.00 per unit on used freezers;digit level. 8 • EC$10.00 per unit on electric accumulators (batteries)Customs duties on imports from non-CARICOM countries range from 0% to Based on c.i.f. value165%. Products facing the highest rate 1% on motor vehicles less than five(165%) include enamels, paints, and years old; 1.5% on goods in containersvarnishes. The highest rate applied on made of plastic, glass, metal, paperboardagricultural products is 150%, which or wood; 1% on all other goodscorresponds to the final rate bound in theWTO. 4.1.4 Excise Tax Excise tax is levied on fuel, tobacco, alcohol and motor vehicles at various rates in accordance with Excise Tax Act 8 Import and Export Procedures in the 8 of 2005. Taxes apply to both importsCommonwealth of Dominica. 9
  • 10. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAand domestic products. The tax on (motor cars and motor vehicles forimported motor vehicles it is based on transport of goods)the c.i.f. value, including the import • Exemptions: Exemptions are listedduty. All other excise taxes on domestic in the Second Schedule of Exciseand imported products are set at specific Tax Act 8 of 2005:rates. Non-alcoholic beverages; alcohol and spirits describes under CustomsGoods subject to excise tax and their Tariff Heading 22.07; aromaticrespective rates, as listed in the First bitters described under CustomSchedule of Excise Tax Act 8 of 2005 Tariff Headings 2208.90.10 &are as follows: 2208.90.20; tobacco described under• Alcoholic beverages and tobacco: Customs Tariff Heading 24.01; EC$1.25 per litre on HS 2203.00.10- gases in gaseous state described 2203.00.90 (beer, stout, other); under Customs Tariff Heading EC$1.20 per litre on HS 22.04 and 2711.20.00; lubricating oils and 22.05 (wine and vermouth; EC$0.28 greases described under the Customs per litre on HS 2206.00.10, Tariff Heading 2710.19.80; motor 2206.00.90 (shandy, other); vehicles, alcohol and tobacco EC$8.50 per litre on HS 2208.20.00, imported by Diplomatic Missions, 2208.50.00, 2208.60.00 (brandy, gin International Organizations and & Geneva, vodka); EC$12.50 per Personnel; vehicles donated (as a litre on HS 2208.30.00 (whiskey); gift) to approved charitable EC$2.60 per litre on HS 2208.40.00, organizations; imports of building 2208.70.00, 2208.90.90 (rum & materials for churches who have met taffia, liqueurs & cordials, other); the following requirements as EC$22.00 per kg on tobacco specified in the regulations; motor products vehicles falling under HS 87.04• Fuels: approved rates per gallon of imported by approved farmers; fuel as obtained from the Ministry of goods imported into Dominica for Trade and SRO No. 5 of 2006: temporary use with the permission of EC$0.45 per kg on petroleum gases the Comptroller of Customs. (LPG) and other gaseous hydrocarbons 4.1.5 Value Added Tax• Motor vehicles: 15% of the sum of the c.i.f. value, import duty, VAT has been in place since March environmental surcharge and 2006, under the Value Added Tax Act customs service charge (CSC) on No. 7 of 2005; it is imposed at a general motor vehicles HS 87.02 (motor rate of 15%, but a reduced rate of 10% vehicles for the transport of ten or applies to hotel accommodation and 0% more persons including the driver); fuel, flour, milk, rice, sugar, certain 87.11 (motor cycles); 28% of the agricultural and fishing inputs to the sum of the c.i.f. value, import duty, extent provided in regulations, invalid environmental surcharge and CSC on carriages and orthopaedic appliances motor vehicles HS 87.03 and 87.04 10
  • 11. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAThis tax replaced the consumption tax Organization of Eastern Caribbean(20% on most goods), the sales tax States (OECS).Through the latter it is a(7.5% on all goods), the hotel occupancy part of a fully established monetarytax (5%), and the entertainment tax. union with the other states of the EasternMost social services, as well as Caribbean. Dominica is currentlyagricultural and fishing inputs, are negotiating an Economic Partnershipexempt..9 Agreement with the EU through the CARIFORUM configuration. It is also involved in negotiations to form the4.2 Free Trade Agreements hemispheric Free Trade Area of the Americas. Multilateral Dominica is a4.2.1 Bilateral founding WTO Member and applies at least MFN treatment to all its tradingDominica has bilateral trade agreements partners. It has GATS commitments inwith Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, 20 sectors. 10Dominican Republic, and Venezuelathrough the Caribbean Community Dominica is a beneficiary of the U.S.(CARICOM). It is a beneficiary of the Caribbean Basin Initiative that grantsGeneral System of Preferences schemes duty-free entry into the United States forof Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, the many goods. Dominica also belongs toCzech Republic, the European Union, the predominantly English-speakingHungary, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Caribbean Community and CommonPoland, Russia, the Slovak Republic, Market (CARICOM), the CARICOMSwitzerland, and the United States. The Single Market and Economy (CSME),Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and the Organization of Easternprovides for duty-free access to the U.S. Caribbean States (OECS). 11market for a range of Dominicasexports. Exports from Dominica alsoenjoy preferential access to the Canadian 4.3 Non-Tariff Barriersmarket through the Canadian Programsfor Commonwealth Caribbean Trade, The government of Dominica does notInvestment and Industrial Cooperation require trade licenses for most goods and(CARIBCAN). Through CARICOM, products. The Supplies ControlDominica is currently negotiating a free (Restricted Imports and Exports) Ordertrade agreement to replace CARIBCAN 14 of 2003 however, specifies a fewas well as a free trade agreement with items where licenses are necessary,MERCUSOR. depending on their source of origin. An import license for these goods must be4.2.2 Regional 10Dominica participates in a number ofregional and preferential trade http://www.thecommonwealth.org/Internal/1593arrangements, namely: the Caribbean 64/148309/148341/dominica/Community (CARICOM) and the 11 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2295.htm 9 IMF (2007), SMEP, p. 42. 11
  • 12. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAobtained prior to the importation of any 5. Certificate of Origin – Two copies -of these goods. (for goods from CARICOM member states) to validate Rules of OriginIn order to receive a license for the Criteria, when applicable;import of these selected goods, the 6. Duty Free Exemptions (FTI 101importers must fill out and submit an forms, Two copies for qualified firms,application form. The applications can when applicable;be obtained from the Ministry of Trade, 7. Duty Free Exemptions for VehiclesIndustry and Marketing. The completed (FTI 104 Forms, Two copies forforms should be submitted to the returning residents), when applicable;Ministry of Trade, Industry and 8. Import licences and health permits,Marketing for approval through the when applicable;Consumer Affairs Division. Processing 9. Delivery Notes, when applicable;usually takes one to two days and the 10. Packing list, when applicable;license is valid for six weeks from the 11. Insurance certificates, whendate of issue. The license period cannot applicable;be extended, however a new license may 12. Contract of sale, when applicable;be issued by completing the process 13. Proof of payment, when applicable;once again. When declaring their goods, 14. Proof of exportation of goods re-an importer is required to submit the imported, when applicable; andapproved license along with the relevant 15. Proof of warranty and exportationcustoms declaration forms to the for goods under warranty that areCustoms Department.12 imported, when applicable.4.4 Import Documentation 4.5 Labelling and Marking RequirementsThe declaration (At minimum, fourcopies of the declaration form are The National Standards Council ofrequired. In the case of duty free Dominica adopted the following labelingdeclarations and deposit entries, a standards on November 1, 2005:minimum of five copies is required) Labeling of Commodities Part 1:must be accompanied by the following: General Principles for Labeling of Goods DNS 2: Part 1: 20021. Invoices - Two copies - one original Labeling of Commodities Part 2:and one copy (two translated copies if in Specification for the Labeling offoreign language) relating to the customs Prepackaged Goods DNS 2: Part 2:value of the imported goods; 20022. Bills of Lading/Airway Bills – Two Labeling of Commodities Part 3:copies Specification for the Labeling of3. Value Declaration Forms; Prepackaged Foods DNS 2: Part 3:4. Work sheets (split ups) - Two copies - 2002 ICS: 67.230when applicable Labeling of Commodities - Specification for the Labeling of 12 Import and Export Procedures for the Brewery Products (Beer, Stout,Commonwealth of Dominica. 12
  • 13. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA Brandy, Malt) DNS 10: 2002 ICS: located at the port of entry are notified, 67.167.160 13 and arrangements will be made to inspect the goods. 144.6 Sanitary and Phytosanitary(SPS) Measures 4.7 Prohibited and RestrictedThe Plant Protection and Quarantine Act ImportsNo. 10 of 1986 regulate the importationof plants to “provide for the protection In Dominica, like in most other countriesof the agricultural resources from there are prohibitions and restrictions ondangerous plants, pests and diseases”. the importation of certain items. It isThe Ministry of Agriculture inspects basically intended for health and safetyimports of planting materials, fruit, reasons, to safeguard society, or to curbvegetables, plant products, plant pests, the illegal use and importation of certainsoil or any other related plant articles. products.On importation, they may require animport license from the Minister of A prohibited item means that there is aAgriculture and a Phytosanitary complete veto against itscertificate provided by the appropriate importation/exportation. Part 1 of the 5thgovernment agency in the exporting Schedule of the Customs (Control andcountry. All imports of plants, soil, Management) Act Chap 69:01 of thedung, living insects, non-marine revised laws of Dominica lists a numberinvertebrate animals, and any of goods and products that areaccompanying container or wrapping prohibited. Common examples are:material must enter Dominica through a • Counterfeit coinsdesignated port of entry and be subject • Fictitious stampsto examination by officers of the Plant • Food unfit for human consumptionProtection Office. The few exceptions to • Indecent or obscene articlesthis requirement apply to dry hulled rice, (pornography)nuts, dried, candied, canned, or other • Infected animalsprocessed fruit and vegetables, roasted • Pistols in the form of stylographiccoffee, commercial yeast, cooked plant pens or pencilsproducts, and seeds of vegetables or • Any goods bearing the Coat of Armsornamental plants from Canada, the of DominicaUnited Kingdom, and the United States. It should also be noted that theIf, in the process of declaration or importation of live and dead frogs orinspection of goods, it is determined by parts thereof into Dominica is prohibitedCustoms officials that an inspection by under the Importation of Frogsthe Ministry of Agriculture is warranted, (Prohibitions) Regulations SRO 6 orofficers of the Plant Protection Office 2004. 13 Dominica Food and Agricultural 14Import Regulations and Standards Country Import and Export Procedures for theReport 2005 Commonwealth of Dominica. 13
  • 14. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA • A legible copy of the declaration onA restricted item means that there is a which duty was paid, indicating theconditional veto against its receipt number and date paid.importation/exportation. Therefore • The invoice, bill of lading, andwhenever these items are imported there certificate of origin whereare certain conditions that must be met. appropriate.Part 2 of the 5th Schedule of the • The split-up, where appropriate,Customs (Control and Management) Act which should provide details of theChap 69:01 of the revised laws of apportioned charges and the valueDominica lists a number of goods and for refund. 16products that are restricted. 15 4.9 Standards4.8 Warranty and Non-WarrantyRepairs The Dominica Bureau of Standards (DBOS) is the National Standards BodyProcedure for Duty Rebate on Goods as mandated by Standards Act No. 4 ofShort-shipped or damaged, and 1999. It is a statutory body under theDrawback on Goods Re-exported is aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,provided for under Sections 59, 63 and Trade, Labour and Public Service, and64 of the Customs (Control and its general administration is guided by aManagement) Act Chapter 69:01 of the fourteen member National StandardsRevised Laws of 1990 of Dominica. Council (NSC) appointed by theThe following steps should be taken by Minister. Additionally, many personsanyone applying for duty rebate or are drawn from Governmentdrawback on goods: Departments/ Ministries and the privateEnsure that the case is verified by sector, to serve voluntarily on StandardsCustoms and Excise Division. Technical Committees and Working• Prepare and submit a signed claim Groups to assist with the National addressed to the Comptroller of Standardization effort. Customs indicating the reason(s) for the duty rebate or drawback, the The Dominica Bureau of standards amount refundable, the amount paid, develop, establish, maintain and promote the applicable rate of duty and the standards for improving industrial amount which should be paid where development and efficiency, promote the appropriate. health and safety of the consumers,• Obtain a Landing and Delivery protect the environment, food and food Certificate where appropriate for products, the quality of life for the goods short-shipped or damaged and citizenry, and the facilitation of trade. submit it with your claim. They are developed in response to market demand, and are based onCopies of the following documents consensus among the interested partiesshould be attached to the claim: 15 16 Import and Export Procedures for the Import and Export Procedures for theCommonwealth of Dominica. Commonwealth of Dominica. 14
  • 15. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAwhich ensures widespread applicabilityof the standards. 17With respect to imports, the DBOS mayorder the inspection of goods for which atechnical regulation has been declared inDominica: the goods may enter onlyafter certification that the samplesexamined conform to the standard.4.10 Product CertificationSpecification for the Certification ofGoods Covered by Regional Standards(ICS 03.120.20)This standard describes the proceduresfor the Certification of Goods which arecovered by Regional Standards. Itcommunicates the role of the CompetentAuthority and the duties and powers ofthese Authorities under theseprocedures. It specifies the proceduresfor routine Certification of StandardizedCommodities in Regional Trade. Therequest for certificates, the waiving ofcertificates of compliance, transportationof samples, calibration, quality control,climatic conditions and fees are alldiscussed. 18 17 Import and Export Procedures for theCommonwealth of Dominica. 18http://www.dominicastandards.org/standards/question.php?qstId=88 15
  • 16. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA5. INVESTMENT PROFILE • Withholding Tax Exemptions on dividends, interest payments, and5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes other relevant external payments; • Exemption from payment of importThe Government of Dominica duties on plant, machinery,encourages the development of new equipment, spare parts, raw andbusinesses and the expansion of existing packaging materials, and vehicles areones, and as part of its contribution to offered;the development of these businesses.The Government of Dominica provides a Other incentives may be granted whererange of fiscal incentives to investors appropriate.under the following legislations: Note: Section 38 (b) of the Value Added• The Fiscal Incentives Act 42 of 1973 Tax (Amendment) Act 2006 allows for (amended in 1983 & 1990), Chpt. the exemption from the provisions of the 84:51, Value Added Tax Legislation in respect• The Hotels Aid Act, Chpt. 85:04, of capital investments for the initial• The Income Tax Act, Chpt. 67:01. investment up to commencement of• Value Added Tax Act, No. 7 of 2005 operations. This benefit shall be extended only to direct imports ofPersons who are investing in the approved items on the Master ListTourism Sector, Manufacturing Sector, consigned directly to the approvedAgro-processing Sector, Information & enterprise.Communication Technology Sector andany other approved sector can qualify for Application procedures for applying forconcessions once their project meets all fiscal incentives:the necessary requirements. Any enterprise - small, large, domestic,Incentives available include: or foreign - can apply for incentives. In practice, the applicant approaches the• The granting of a tax holiday of up to Invest Dominica Authority, which twenty (20) years for approved hotel prepares an application package and and resort developments; recommendation to be delivered to a full session of the Cabinet based on the• Exemption from payment of import information provided by the applicant. duties on building materials, furniture & fittings, and operation Effective January 1st 2008, the vehicles; Government of Dominica intends to• Equipment and machinery are implement the following over a three provided for the construction, year period: upgrading, expansion and renovation of hotel properties; • The Withholding Tax will be made• An Alien Land Holding License can uniform at the current lower rate of be waived for approved hotel 15%; projects; 16
  • 17. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA• Increase the tax free allowance financing the development of housing, threshold to EC$20,000; industry, tourism, forestry, fisheries, or• Reduce the rate on the first agriculture; they embark on an EC$20,000 of taxable income to 15 undertaking that has been declared an percent; approved enterprise under the provisions• Reduce the rate on the first of the Fiscal Incentives Act; and if it is EC$30,000 of taxable income to 25 in the public interest to do so. All percent; and licences are subject to the submission of• Reduce the rate on taxable income a satisfactory application to Cabinet and above EC$30,000 to 35 percent. 19 the payment of licence fees.5.2 Foreign Investment Regime Dominicas investment policy has not changed substantially in the last decade.With one exception, foreign investment Foreign investment policy is thein Dominica is not subject to any responsibility of the Ministry ofrestrictions, and foreign investors Tourism, Industry and Private Sectorreceive national treatment. The only Relations and Invest Dominicarestriction is a requirement for non- Authority. The Governments strategynational investors to obtain an Alien for the past 20 plus years has beenLandholding Licence in order to attracting foreign investors by offeringpurchase property for residential and various incentive schemes; some of thiscommercial purposes. policy is guided by agreements and arrangements with the OECS andUnder the Alien Landholding Act No. 17 CARICOM.21of 1995, non-nationals are allowed toacquire and hold up to one acre of land Dominicas legislation governing fiscalfor residential purposes, and up to three and other incentives is similar toacres of land for trade or business incentive-related legislation in a numberpurposes, without an Alien Landholding of other OECS states. A number ofLicence, except in areas prescribed by conditions apply to foreign investorsthe Minister, by Order, and published in with respect to their bona fides, thethe Gazette.20 In addition to the licence source of financing, the number ofrequirement, the landholder must pay a foreign employees with respect to localtax equivalent to 10% of the market employees, the goods to be produced,value of the land to the Government. and the markets targeted, among others.Foreign investors can receive exemptionfrom the provisions of the Alien Foreign investors may hold up to 100%Landholding Act if: they are party to an of an investment. There are noagreement with the Government for restrictions on the repatriation of dividends for totally foreign-owned firms; a mixed (foreign-domestic) 19 http://www.investdominica.dm/ company, the repatriation of profits is 20 allowed to the extent of the foreign Invest Dominica online information.Viewed at: 21http://www.investdominica.dm/alienlandholding See for example Article 68 of thelicense.cfm. Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas 2001. 17
  • 18. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAparticipation in the company. Unless range of products varies according togranted an exemption under the Fiscal each countrys scheme.Incentives Act, foreign investmentprofits are subject to a 30% tax rate forboth individuals and companies.Although the Government placesparticular emphasis on tourism,manufacturing, agri-processing andinformation technology, investment inany other sector of economic activity iswelcome and may be eligible forincentives if the proposed investmentmeets policy and legislativerequirements. Horizontal incentives forforeign investors are also in place withrespect to exemptions from foreignexchange remittance limitations underthe Foreign Exchange Control Act.5.3 Investment AgreementsDominica has active bilateral investmenttreaties with Germany and the UnitedKingdom.22 It has double taxationtreaties with Canada, the UnitedKingdom, the United States, andarrangements with other CARICOMcountries to prevent double taxation ofincome earned by CARICOM nationalsin Dominica.23Products from Dominica are eligible forthe Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) schemes of Australia, Canada, theEuropean Union, Japan, New Zealand,Switzerland and the United States. The 22 CTRC online information. Viewedat:http://ctrc.sice.oas.org/investment/bitsbycountry/dom_e.asp# Dominica. 23 Invest Dominica online information.Viewed at:http://www.investdominica.dm/taxation.cfm. 18
  • 19. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA6. ESTABLISHMENT OF • State grant agreement draft BUSINESSES submitted to Legal Affairs. • Applicant signs agreement.6.1 Right to Private Ownership • Fees are payable once the land sale is approved and the documents areManagement of Lands is governed and processed.regulated by civil acts including: There is no death tax, capital gains tax or• The State Lands Act and State Lands estate duties in Dominica. 24 Regulations chapter 53:01, 1990 revised. 6.2 Establishing an Office• The Alien Land Holding Licence Regulation Act, Number 17 of 1995. To establish a business in Dominica• The Title by Registration Act, persons must do the following: Chapter 56:50, 1991• The Physical Planning Act, 2002 1. Incorporate and register their business with the Registrar ofA purchase transaction by non-citizens Companies.will follow the same process describedabove for Dominican citizens. However, Establishing a business in Dominica isprior to proceeding on this process, regulated by the Companies Act (Act 21individuals or corporate bodies who are of 1994), the Companies Regulationsnot citizens of one of the member states (S.R.O 22 of 1997 and S.R.O 57 0fand who are seeking to acquire land may 2002), the International Business Actrequire a licence prior to the execution (Act 10 of 1996), and the Businessof the transaction depending on the Names Act (Chapter 78-46 of the Lawsamount of land to be purchased. of the Commonwealth of Dominica.In the case of the acquisition of land for The following procedures apply:commercial purposes, the Minister mustpublish in the Gazette areas in Dominica • Statutory Declaration by anin which an alien may not acquire land Attorney-At-Lawwithout obtaining a licence under the • Article of Incorporation (2 copies)Act. • Memorandum of Association • Notice of the names of DirectorsThe procedures to purchase land from • Notice of the address of thethe State: Registration office • License from Cabinet• Submit application to the Commissioner of Lands/Director of An affidavit from a Director that the Surveys. No application fee is Company is registered in another required.• Application is submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture for approval. 24 Dominica Property Law, 2007 Invest• Decision is taken by Cabinet. Dominica Authority. 19
  • 20. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAcountry and documents to prove this expatriates. If hiring a resident who is aregistry (for external companies only) non-national, a work permit is required.Issuance of License Holding a work permit automatically2. Register with the Dominica Social confers residency status if the term of Security employment lasts for more than six months. Residency does not however,All employers MUST register with the exempt expatriates from the stipulationsDominica Social Security. All employers of the Alien Landholders Act, whichare required to register with the restricts land purchase for non-Dominica Social Security within seven Dominican citizens.days of hiring an employee. Theemployer pays 7 percent of the wage to All work permits are valid for one-yearmaximum of EC$350.00 (US$ 129.63) duration and can be renewed. Anper month and the employee pays 4 application involves the submission ofpercent of wage to maximum of EC $ two completed copies of the relevant150.00 (US$55.56) per month. form together with the following supporting documents:3. Register with the Inland Revenue Division • Medical certificate • Two testimonialsAll businesses MUST register with the • Banker’s financialInland Revenue Division, to obtain a tax reference/statementnumber. 25 • Police record/statement • Proof of return ticket6.3 Work Permit Requirements • Two (2) passport size photographs • Marriage certificate (whereThe Immigration and Passport Act, applicable)1941, as amended, governs the issuance • Letter stating duration and type ofof work permits to expatriates. The employmentCaribbean Community Skilled NationalsAct, exempts nationals with certain According to the 2003 amendment of thequalifications from other participating Immigration and Passport Act, certainCARICOM countries from work permit individuals are not required to obtain arequirements. The Dominican Labour work permit in Dominica. TheseCommissioner is chiefly responsible for include:administering the process of acquiring awork permit for expatriates. The Labour • Expatriates working for theCommission’s policy is to ensure that Dominican government, whetherpreference for hiring is given to paid directly by the government orDominican citizens and residents over not • Diplomats duly accredited to 25 Dominica • Representatives of the Unitedhttp://www.investdominica.dm/starting.cfm Nations and other international and 20
  • 21. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA regional organizations to which provides for the right of priority of an Dominica is a member earlier national or regional application• Skilled nationals governed by the filed by the applicant in any State party Caribbean Community Skilled to the Paris Convention or Member of Nationals Act, 1995 the WTO. The owner of a registered• Others as designated by the Minister mark may grant licences with respect to of Legal Affairs, Immigration, and it. Collective marks may be registered Labour 26 and protected, but may not be the subject of a licence contract. Acts of unfair6.4 Intellectual Property Rights competition are declared unlawful by Act No. 12 of 1999.The administration of intellectual 6.4.2 Patents and industrial designsproperty laws remains in the hands of anofficial in the Ministry of Legal Affairsand Immigration, who serves as the New patents legislation, as provided inacting registrar of intellectual property. the Patents Act No. 8 of 1999, had notDominica is a member of the World yet entered into force: it is intended toIntellectual Property Organization replace section 91 of the U.K. Patents(WIPO) and a signatory to a number of and Designs Act of 1907. The newinternational agreements on intellectual patent legislation reflects theproperty rights. internationally accepted criteria for registration of universal novelty,6.4.1 Trade marks inventive step, and industrial applicability, along with a full searchNew trade marks legislation, as provided and examination procedure. The periodin the Marks, Collective Marks and Trade of protection for patents is 20 years.Name Act No. 12 of 1999, has not yet There are no provisions for compulsoryentered into force. This law will repeal licensing.the colonial-era Registration of United Similarly, the Industrial Designs Act No.Kingdom Trade Marks, and the 2 of 1998 has not yet entered into effect.Merchandise Marks Act. The Act provides that industrial designsUnder the new legislation, the exclusive may be registered if they are new priorright to a trade mark will be acquired to the date of filing, or the priority datethrough registration with the Registrar of of the application for registration. TheMarks. Trade marks are protected for a right to registration belongs by law toperiod of ten years renewable for the creator, who is named as such in theconsecutive similar periods Non-use of registration of the industrial design.a trade mark for a period of three years Protection is for five years from themay entail the loss of the right to the filing date, renewable for twoexclusive use of the trade mark. The Act consecutive periods of five years. 6.4.3 Protection of layout-designs of 26 integrated circuitshttp://www.investdominica.dm/workpermit.cfm 21
  • 22. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICAProtection of Layout-Designs and artistic works and for related(Topographies) of Integrated Circuits Act matters. Literary, dramatic, musical, andNo. 11 of 1999, which has not yet entered artistic works; sound recordings, films,into force, will repeal the United broadcasts or cable programmes; andKingdom Designs (Protection) Act. typographical arrangements of publishedUnder the new law, layout-designs must editions will be protected by copyrightbe original in order to be protected. The provided that such work is original andright to registration belongs by law to has been written down, recorded orthe creator, and is transferable. The term otherwise expressed in some materialof protection is ten years from the date form. Copyright protection is for lifeof the first commercial exploitation, plus 50 years. According to theanywhere in the world, of the layout- authorities, the Act’s enforcementdesign, or of the filing date for regime is TRIPS-compliant.application for registration.6.4.4 Protection of new plant varietiesThe Protection of New Plant VarietiesAct No. 14 of 1999, which is not yet inforce, will grant breeders rights inrespect of plant varieties that are new,distinct, homogeneous, stable, and givena denomination that is acceptable forregistration. Applications for breedersrights may be filed by citizens ofDominica, of a Contracting Party to theInternational Convention for theProtection of New Varieties of Plants, orany other State that grants reciprocaltreatment to Dominica. Protection is for25 years for vines, and forest,ornamental, and fruit trees, and 20 yearsfor all other species.6.4.5 CopyrightCopyright Act No. 5 of 2003, which isnot yet in force, will replace theCopyright (Dominica) Order, 1965, ofthe United Kingdom. The new lawprovides for the protection of literary 22
  • 23. DOING BUSINESS WITH DOMINICA7. CULTURAL PRACTICES7.1 Business CustomsBusiness Hours: Office hours areMonday to Friday 8am to 4pm.7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements:For citizens of many western andregional countries, Dominica maintains afairly open visa regime for visits to thecountry lasting less than 21 days.However, nationals of most non-westerncountries require a Dominican consularvisa stamped in a passport. Being a smallcountry, Dominica maintains only a fewoverseas missions, but visas can beobtained through British HighCommissions abroad where a Dominicanembassy or consulate is not present.Citizens from selected countries do notrequire pre-approval from a Dominicanconsulate to enter Dominica for a visit ofup to six months. You can merely arriveat an entry point and obtain a visitor’svisa stamp.Airport Departure Tax in Dominica:Non-Nationals - EC$55.00/US$21.00Nationals - EC$45.00/US$18.00Children under 12 years are exempt. 27 27http://www.investdominica.dm/visa.cfm 23