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Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
Doing Business with St Lucia
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  • 1. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA June 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 SAINT LUCIA TABLE OF CONTENTS1. GENERAL INFORMATION..................................................................................... 32. THE ECONOMY........................................................................................................ 5 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 2.4.1 Exports ............................................................................................................ 6 2.4.2 Imports ............................................................................................................ 7 2.5 Saint Lucia’s Trade with CARICOM ................................................................. 73. GENERAL MARKETING FACTORS...................................................................... 8 3.1 Distribution and Sales Channesl ......................................................................... 8 3.2 Transportation ..................................................................................................... 8 3.2.1 Sea Transport .................................................................................................. 84. MARKET ACCESS CONDITIONS ........................................................................ 10 4.1 Customs Tariffs................................................................................................. 10 4.1.2 Other levies and charges ........................................................................... 10 Customs Service Charge ............................................................................................... 10 Import licensing ........................................................................................................ 11 4.2 Import Documentation ..................................................................................... 11 4.3 Prohibited and Restricted Imports .................................................................... 12 4.4 Standards........................................................................................................... 13 4.5 Product Certification......................................................................................... 14 Sanitary and phytosanitary measures........................................................................ 15 4.6 Free Trade Agreements..................................................................................... 155. INVESTMENT PROFILE........................................................................................ 16 5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes ........................................................................ 16 5.2 Foreign Investment Regime .............................................................................. 17 5.3 Free Trade Zones .............................................................................................. 176. ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES ................................................................... 19 6.1 Establishing an Office....................................................................................... 19 6.2 Work Permit Requirements............................................................................... 197. CULTURAL PRACTICES....................................................................................... 21 7.1 Business Customs ............................................................................................. 21 7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements:.................................................................................. 21
  • 3. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA1. GENERAL INFORMATION throughout the year, and the wet season is usually from June to September. TheOfficial Name: Saint Lucia rain forest in the interior of the island receives more than double the averageCapital: Castries annual precipitation on the north and south coasts. 1Area: 616 sq km (238 sq miles)Population: 170,649 (July 2007) Principal Cities and Population: (2005 est.)Population growth index: 1.297 Castries 10,634percent (2007 est.) Bexon 7,119 Babbonneau 5,138Population density: 275 inhabitants Ciceron 3,577per kilometer sq. Dennery 3,051Official language: English (official); Airports: Saint Lucia has twoa French patois is common throughout airports: Hewanorra Internationalthe country. Airport (UVF), located in the southern town of Vieux Fort (approximately 40Currency: Saint Lucia’s currency is miles south of Castries), and Georgethe Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$), a Charles Airport (SLU) located inregional currency shared among Castries, the capital city of Saint Lucia.members of the Eastern Caribbean Most international jet flights land atCurrency Union (ECCU). The Eastern Hewanorra, which is the larger of theCaribbean Central Bank (ECCB) issues two, and smaller flights from within thethe EC$, manages monetary policy, and Caribbean region land at George Charlesregulates and supervises commercial Airport.banking activities in its membercountries. The ECCB has kept the EC$ Ports: The main sea port ispegged at EC$2.7=U.S. $1. Castries. There is an additional deep water anchorage for cargo and containerExchange rate: EC$2.70 = U.S. ships at Vieux Fort in the south near the $1 airport. Pointe Seraphine is the port of entry for cruise ships.Climate: St Lucia, like allCaribbean islands, has a hot, tropical Holidays:climate throughout the year, tempered by New Year Jan 01-02sea breezes and prevailing northeastern Independence Day Feb 22trade winds. The average temperature Good Friday Apr 06year round is between 77°F (25°C) and80°F (27°C). The driest period on the 1island is from about February to May, http://www.climateandweather.com/Climate/Couthough short showers can occur ntries/St+Lucia/ 3
  • 4. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIAEaster Monday Apr 09Labour Day May 01Whit Monday May 28Corpus Christi Jun 07Emancipation Day Aug 01Thanksgiving Day Oct 02National Day Dec 13Christmas Day Dec 25Boxing Day Dec 26Quality of LifeLife Expectancy: Total Population -74.08 yearsLiteracy Rate: Total Population - 94.8percentLocal Time: UTC-4 (1 hourahead of Washington, DC duringStandard Time)Telephone Codes: Country code 758Health:FacilitiesSeveral options for health care areavailable namely hospitals, pharmaciesand private doctors.. In an emergency,911 can be dialed for an ambulance totake you to either Victoria or St. Jude’sHospital.ImmunizationsVaccinations are not required for entryinto Saint Lucia unless an individual iscoming from an area that has beeninfected, and in that case individuals arerequired to be vaccinated at least sixdays prior to arrival. 2 2 http://stlucia-guide.info/travel.basics/health.and.medical/ 4
  • 5. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA2. THE ECONOMY force, have attracted foreign investors in several different sectors. Although Saint2.1 Structure of the Economy Lucia enjoys a steady flow of investment in tourism, the single most significantChanges in the EU import preference foreign investment is Hess Oil’s largeregime and the increased competition petroleum storage and transshipmentfrom Latin American bananas have terminal. In addition, the Caribbeanmade economic diversification Development Bank funded an extensiveincreasingly important in Saint Lucia. airport expansion project.The island nation has been able to attractforeign business and investment, Although banana revenues have helpedespecially in its offshore banking and fund the country’s development sincetourism industries. Tourism is the main the 1960s, the industry is now in asource of foreign exchange, with more terminal decline, due to competitionthan 700,000 arrivals in 2005. The from lower-cost Latin American bananamanufacturing sector is the most diverse producers and soon-to-be reducedin the Eastern Caribbean area, and the European Union trade preferences. Thegovernment is trying to revitalize the country is encouraging farmers to plantbanana industry. Economic crops such as cocoa, mangos, andfundamentals remain solid, even though avocados to diversify its agriculturalunemployment needs to be cut. 3 production and provide jobs for displaced banana workers.2.2 Recent Economic Performance Tourism recovered in 2004, following the post-September 11, 2001 recession,GDP (2005): US$825.2 million. and continued to grow in 2005,GDP growth rate (2005): 5.1%. accounting for more than 48 percent ofPer capita GDP (2005): US$4,986 Saint Lucia’s GDP. The hotel andUnemployment 15.7% (2006) restaurant industry grew by 6.3 percent during 2005. Stay-over arrivalsSaint Lucia’s economy depends increased by 6.5 percent, and the Unitedprimarily on revenue from tourism and States remained the most importantbanana production, with some market, accounting for 35.4 percent ofcontribution from small-scale these arrivals. Yacht passengers rose bymanufacturing. All sectors of the 21.9 percent. Redeployment of cruiseeconomy have benefited from ships, remedial berth construction, andinfrastructure improvements in roads, high fuel costs prevented higher growthcommunications, water supply, rates. However, several investors havesewerage, and port facilities. These planned new tourism projects for theimprovements, combined with a stable island, including a large hotel and resortpolitical environment and educated work in the southern part of the island. 4 3 4https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/st.html http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2344.htm 5
  • 6. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA 2.7 percent while maintaining a leading share of GDP.2.3 Balance of payments At the end of 2006, net inflows on theThe current account deficit of the BOP exceeded net outflows andbalance of payments (BOP) is estimated provided an overall surplus of US$48.6to have deteriorated significantly in 2006 million, in contrast to the net deficit ofto US$933.6 million, representing 37.4 US$41.2 million in the previous year.percent of GDP, up from 18.1 percent in This accumulation of financial assets2005. This downturn was largely due to was reflected in the reserve position ofa widening of the goods account coupled the ECCB. 5with the weakening of the services andincome accounts, even with increased 2.4 Overview of Tradeinflows in current transfers. Buoyed by robust economic activity inOn the capital and financial account, net 2006, the value of total merchandiseinflows more than doubled to 33.2 imports advanced by 22.7 percent topercent of GDP in the review period, US$1,406.6 million, building on the 14.4compared to 15.3 percent in 2005. This percent growth in 2005. As a ratio ofperformance was influenced primarily GDP, total visible imports over theby the activities of the central review period was equivalent to 55.7government, commercial banks and percent compared to 48.1 percent inforeign direct investment. In 2006, net 2005. This outcome was largely due toinflows to the central government rose higher outlays on imports of fuel, capitalby 3.8 percent of GDP compared to 0.8 goods and construction materials. Afterpercent in the previous year. In the recording growth of 13.3 percent inreview period, the commercial banks 2005, the value of non-oil importsdrew down on their net foreign assets in expanded by 24.2 percent to US$1,225.4the magnitude of 9.3 percent of GDP million over the review period. 6relative to 7.3 percent in 2005.Preliminary data indicate that real output 2.4.1 Exportsin the economy grew by an estimated 5.4percent in 2006, primarily led by robust Exports of goods as a whole increased inactivity in the construction sector. value terms at an annual average rate ofFollowing growth of 4.6 percent in 2005, 7.2% between 2001 and 2005. TheSaint Lucia recorded its fifth consecutive share of agricultural exports in totalyear of real growth driven by increased exports decreased to 46.3% in 2005 fromvalue-added in the construction, road 70.9% in 2001 reflecting mainly thetransport, electricity and banking sectors. continued decline in banana exports;In contrast to the positive growth and their share in the total fell from 46.8% tocontribution by most sectors to thisgeneral economic expansion, the tourism 5 Saint Lucia Economic Review 2006,sector is estimated to have contracted by Domestic Economic Developments, page 8. 6 Saint Lucia Economic Review 2006, page 59. 6
  • 7. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA24.2%. Manufactured exports increased leading to a trade deficit of EC$117over the period, accounting for 36% of million.total exports in 2005 compared with29.1% in 2001; exports of machinery There has been a substantial increase ofand transport equipment accounted for exports from Saint Lucia to other OECShalf of the total. and CARICOM countries in the last ten years. In 2005, CARICOM accountedThe United Kingdom remains the main for over 56% of St. Lucias total exports,single destination for St. Lucias exports, up from 30% in 2001.accounting for some 26% of the total in2005, but down from 47.2% in 2001. Saint Lucia’s top exports fromOther export markets include, Trinidad CARICOM in 2005 included; freshand Tobago, United States, Barbados), bananas, pasta, beer liqueurs andand Grenada. 7 cordials, corrugated paperboard, and pebbles, gravel and crushed stones. The top imports included petroleum products, biscuits (sweetened and2.4.2 Imports unsweetened), poultry feed, building cement and flour.The United States is the main source ofSaint Lucia’s imports with around 44%of the total, followed by the CARICOMarea with some 25%, and the EuropeanCommunities with some 14% of thetotal. Imports from Asia gained somemarket share during the period underreview, accounting for some 10% of thetotal in 2005.In 2005, some 60.8% of imports weremanufactured goods, comprising mainlymachinery and transport equipment,other semi-manufactures, chemicals, andother consumer goods.2.5 Saint Lucia’s Trade withCARICOMIn 2005, Saint Lucia’s imports wereEC$324 million while exports toCARICOM were a mere EC$98 million 7http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2344.htm 7
  • 8. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA3. GENERAL 3.2.1 Sea TransportMARKETING FACTORS Saint Lucia has regular shipping links with all major ports in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Asia. A3.1 Distribution and Sales Channesl number of international lines serve St. Lucias ports, but there is no domesticManufacture agents/distributors is the shipping line.most widely used form of importinggoods into Saint Lucia, since the small In volume terms, the vast majority ofsize of the market does not merit cargo trade (exports and imports) is viaestablishment of a distributor network. maritime rather than by air transport. InThere is normally no specific legislation 2006, just over 3 million kg. of goodsin this regard. Contracts normally state cargo was passed through St. Lucias twothat the agent is not to be regarded as an airports .employee or partner of the principal. Saint. Lucia has six official ports of entry: the main commercial ports are Vieux Fort in the south of the island, and3.2 Transportation Castries in the north of the island. Other smaller ports are Rodney Bay, MarigotThe Saint Lucia Sea and Air Port Harbour, Soufrières, and Cul-de-sacAuthority is responsible for the (which is an oil terminal). .8provision of cargo services and allactivities related to the ports, including 3.2.2 Air transportpilotage services, and for thedetermination of port charges. The Operating licences are required for theMinistry of Communications, Works, operation of air transport services in St.Transport, and Public Utilities is Lucia. These licences can be obtainedresponsible for formulation and from The Ministry of Tourism and Civilmanagement of maritime transport Aviation which is in charge of civilpolicy. aviation and has responsible for safety matters and for issuing operatingUnder the GATS, St. Lucia made market licences. Airports are under the controlaccess commitments in maritime of the St. Lucia Air and Sea Portstransport services with respect to Authority (SLASPA). The maininternational passenger transportation legislation governing air transport is theservices, and freight transportation Civil Aviation Act.services. Saint Lucia also madecommitments with respect to the In 2006, there were a total of 409,489provision of some auxiliary services, passenger arrivals by air to St. Lucia,namely trans-shipment services and free significantly more than most otherzone operations OECS Member states, with the 8 SLASPA online information. Viewed at: http://www.slaspa.com. 8
  • 9. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIAexception of Antigua and Barbuda.Most carriers operating flights in and outof St. Lucia were from the region, fromthe United States, United Kingdom, andCanada.9 St. Lucia has two airports:Hewanorra in Vieux Fort, which handlesmost long-haul international flights; andG.F.L. Charles in Castries, whichhandles mainly regional flights.3.2.3 Local TransportationBuses are available in Northern SaintLucia, around the capital city of Castriesand at Gros Islet. Bus service runs untilapproximately about 10:00pm, and alittle later on Friday nights. However,there is no scheduled timetable. Busfares range from EC$1.50 – EC$7.00dependent on the destination fromCastries to the north coast or south coastareas.Visitors can also take taxis, which areavailable at designated taxi stands, whilecabs can also be called for pickup bytelephone. Minibuses, which canaccommodate up to 10 persons, can behired as taxis for small groups. Taxicabfare from Castries to Hewanorra Airportis about EC$120 (could be has high asEC$160 one way from the airport in thenorth to the international airport in thesouth), and from Castries to Rodney Bayis about EC$40. Up to four persons canride for the price of one. 10 9 For a list of the regional andinternational airlines flying to and from St.Lucia, see SLASPA online information. Viewedat: http://www.slaspa.com/Airports.htm. 10 http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147342-s303/St-Lucia:Caribbean:Public.Transportation.html 9
  • 10. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA4. MARKET ACCESS 4.1.2 Other levies and charges CONDITIONS Customs Service Charge4.1 Customs TariffsAll goods imported into Saint Lucia are St. Lucia applies a customs servicesubject to customs duties. Duties are charge (CSC) of 5% on the c.i.f. value oflevied ad valorem except on seven HS most imports, with specific exemptions.items that carry specific duties.11 Thereare no seasonal tariffs, nor goods subject The CSC is authorized by the Customsto tariff quotas. Tariff rates range from (Service Charge) Act No. 10 of 1989, as0 to 70%. amended in 1994, 1995, and 1999. The Act provides a schedule of exemptedAgricultural products are subject to a articles, including an exemption for allrate of 40%. The maximum applied rate classes of raw materials and packagingarms and ammunition is 75%, 50% for materials imported by localalcoholic beverages and cigarettes, and manufacturers, certified as such by the40% for motor vehicles. Ministry of Commerce for use in the manufacture of goods.Import duty exemptions are available forbeneficiary industries under Saint. Other exemptions concern goodsLucias incentives schemes. The imported by the Government and certainGovernment grants banana farmers related institutions (e.g. public libraries);100% exemption from import duty and diplomatic missions and certain goods ofconsumption tax on most production OECS officials; newspapers, tradeinputs. catalogues, and advertising matter; and certain goods used by approved airlines.St. Lucia grants duty-free access toimports from other CARICOM countries The CSC is applied to CARICOMthat satisfy the rules of origin, in imports. Charitable institutions areaccordance with treaty obligations, eligible for exemptions from both importexcept those where exceptions are duties and the CSC; some of thesegranted under the safeguard provisions organizations are scheduled as exempt inof the CARICOM Treaty. Preferential the law (e.g. the Saint Lucia Red Crossimports are, however, subject to the Society and the Save the Children Fund),customs service charge. while others may obtain such treatment upon the advice of Cabinet. Consumption Tax 11 HS0701.90 certain potatoes, EC$1.65per 100 kg; 0703.102 shallots, EC$65 per 100 Most goods, are subject to a generalkg; 0710.10 potatoes (cooked or uncooked) consumption tax (GCT). The GCTfrozen, EC$0.88 per 100 kg; 0901.21 coffee not applies mostly to non-agricultural goodsdecafinated, EC$0.44 per kg; 0901.22 coffeedecaffeinated, EC$0.44 per kg; 1701.999 other and is applied on the c.i.f. value of(icing sugar), EC$6.60 per 100 kg; 2203.001 imports plus the tariff.beer, EC$10 per liquid gallon. 10
  • 11. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA 1.5% is applied on the c.i.f. value ofFood and essential items are zero-rated. goods in containers of plastic, glass,For most other items, the rates vary metal, or paperboard, and on emptybetween 5% and 35%. containers made of those materials. AllSpecial rates are set for cigarettes other imports, except for clothing,containing tobacco (70%); aerated and footwear, foodstuffs, andmalt beverages in metal containers (a pharmaceuticals, are subject to a rate ofspecific duty of EC$3.17 per container); 1%. In the 2007-2008 Budget Address,and wine, vermouth, or grape must (a the Government proposed to retain thespecific duty of EC$5 per litre). current rate of EC$1,000 on new vehicles, but to reduce and consolidateExcise Taxes the taxes on used vehicles from the current EC$6,000-12,000, depending onExcise taxes are regulated by Excise Tax age, to a single rate of EC$4,000.13Act No. 29 of 1999. The excise tax onimports is determined on the c.i.f. value.The tax must be paid before the goods Import licensingenter St. Lucia. The excise tax is leviedon the wholesale price of domestically The import-licensing system is regulatedproduced goods or services. Goods principally by the Customs, However,subject to the tax are spirits, motor other types of import licences (for healthvehicles and parts, and propellant ans safety reasons) are administered bypowders. Rates may be specific (in the other agencies. Import licenses includecase of spirits) or ad valorem (in the case automatic and non-automatic licences.of propellant powders and motorvehicles). Rates for motor vehicles rates Licences applications are usuallyrange from 30.5% to 85%, as amended presented within 24 hours of arrival ofby S.I. 63 of 2004. goods, but may be presented before clearing customs; they are usuallyCustoms duties consist of Import Duty, processed within 48 hours. All persons,Consumption Tax, Customs Service firms, and institutions are eligible toCharge (5%), Environmental Levy apply for licences. No licensing or(1.5%) and Excise Duty12. administrative fees are charged, and there is no deposit or advance paymentEnvironmental Levy requirement. Licences are non- transferable.The Environmental Protection Levy ActNo.15 of 1999, as amended in 2002,imposes a tax on most imports, but does 4.2 Import Documentationnot apply to domestically producedgoods. Specific rates are set for motor Imports require up to seven documents.vehicles, tyres, used refrigerators and The c.i.f. value of the goods importedfreezers, and batteries. A general rate of must be stated, and accompanied by bills of lading or airway bills. An importer of 12 13http://www.customs.gov.lc/index2.htm Government of St. Lucia (2007). 11
  • 12. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIAgoods is also required to file a dissatisfied that those goods werecommercial invoice and the single imported at the time of presentation ofadministrative document (SAD). the customs entry.CARICOM goods require a certificate oforigin. Where necessary, the appropriate Where an error is found on the submittedimport or export licence, certificates entry an importer may be granted arequired under the Plant Protection Act, period of ten (10) days to account for it.the Pesticide Control Act, or health and If after final submission the departmentmeat inspection certificates must also be is still dissatisfied with the entry theattached to the SAD. person will become liable to penalties under the law.Common documents used: Note: Persons submitting incorrect and• Form 19 (CARISAD) false information on the submitted entry• Invoices are liable to penalties and seizure of the• Documents of Title (Airway bill/ Bill related goods. 14 of Lading)• Certificate of Origin (for goods manufactured from another Caricom 4.3 Prohibited and Restricted country) Imports• Form 61 (For individual items exceeding a customs value of Prohibited imports are those items that $2500.00), are considered detrimental to the general• Import Licenses/Import Permits welfare of the country. Prohibited (where applicable) imports will be immediately seized by• Phytosanitary Certificate Customs and the importer may be liable to severe penalties.• Bill of Sight (in the absence of proper invoices) • Counterfeit currency and coins.Under the Customs Control and • Food unfit for human consumptionManagement Act No. 23 of 1990 • Indecent or obscene prints, paintings,persons importing goods by air are photographs, books, cards,required to submit a customs entry lithographic or other engravings,within seven (7) days of importation of pornographic records, videos or anythose goods, by sea this document must other indecent articles or matter.be submitted within fourteen (14) days • Matches which contain white orof importation. Exempt from the above yellow phosphorus.are fresh fish (including shell fish) • Prepared opium and pipes or othercaught by Saint Lucia fishermen and utensils for use in connection withimported by them in their vessel, the smoking of opium or otherpassenger’s accompanied baggage. narcotic drugs.Saint Lucia Customs and Excise 14Department reserves the right to refuseto accept any entry of goods if they are http://www.customs.gov.lc/index2.htm 12
  • 13. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA• Opium, morphine, cocaine, LSD, marijuana and other narcotic drugs.• Preparations of opium or other narcotic drugs for smoking.• Any pistol or other apparatus in the form of a stylographic pen or pencil 4.4 Standards capable of firing any kind of shot cartridge whatsoever there from; and The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards any cartridge containing gas. (SLBS) was established under the• Fictitious stamps and any die, paint Standards Act (#14) of 1990, and instrument or materials capable of commenced operations on 1 April 1991. making any such stamps. The Standards Act gives the Bureau the• Condoms manufactured by responsibility to develop and promote MONKOK LATIX of South Korea. standards for products and services for• Flick knives and blades, night sticks, the protection of the health and safety of ratchet knives and other similar and consumers and the environment as well familiar knives with flying blades. as for industrial development, in order to• Shaving brushes made in or exported promote the enhancement of the from Japan. economy of Saint Lucia.• All publications, articles or other The SLBS is responsible for developing, matter associated with black magic, adopting and promoting the maintenance secret magic obeah, witchcraft or of standards. Implementation of the other magical arts and occultism. Bureau’s mandate falls under the• Goods the importation of which is following programmes: Standards prohibited by any other enactment of Development, Product Certification, the State. Compulsory Standards Compliance, Verification and Calibration of WeightsRestricted imports are those items which and Measures, Information Services andmay be allowed entry into Saint Lucia Training.but under specific approval andconditions of the relevant authority. E.g. The Bureau also administers theanimals, plants and parts therefore are to Metrology Act No. 17 of 2000. Thisbe accompanied by the relevant legislation gives the Organization thePhyto/Vet certificates from the country responsibility to regulate all weights andof origin or export. Upon arrival into measures activities on the island andSaint Lucia, Customs officials at the coordinate metrication of Saint Lucia.point of entry will detain these goods forinspection by the relevant authority, The Bureau has forged partnerships withwhich will determine whether they are many regional and international standardsuitable for entry. Most cooked and setting bodies such as ISO, CROSQ (theprocessed products are allowed. 15 Caricom Regional Organization for 15 Standards and Quality), the IEC andhttp://www.customs.gov.lc/travellers_hints_pro_ ASTM. The SLBS, through CARICOMimports.htm (as signatory to the CIPM MRA), is an 13
  • 14. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIAAssociate of the CGPM. The Bureau ordinating the Bureau’s Qualityalso serves as the WTO/TBT Enquiry Management System.Point and the national CODEX contactpoint. Certification provides a written assurance that products, materials,The SLBS is a statutory body operating services and systems measure up to theunder the jurisdiction of the Ministry of requirements of relevant standards,Commerce, Tourism, Investment and regulations and/or other specifications.Consumer Affairs. The affairs of theBureau are directed by a broad based 15 With so much trade taking place acrossmember Standards Council, which is the borders, a written assurance thatpolicy making body. The Director of the products, materials, services and systemsBureau is the Chief Executive, who measure up to the requirements ofmanages the day-to-day administration relevant standards, regulations and/orof the institution. 16 other specifications has become an important component of the world4.5 Product Certification economy. Moreover, in addition to enhancing customer confidence in aA key function of the Saint Lucia particular product/service, independentBureau of Standards is to verify quality or third-party certification reduces thethrough inspection, testing and costs to the consumer, by minimizingcertification. multiple testing to determine conformity. Other benefits include:In an effort to stimulate Saint Lucianproducers and service providers to raise • Competitive advantage ofthe quality of their products and services products/servicesto levels set in the international arena, • Enhancement of customerthe Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards’ satisfactionCertification Department issues • Reduction of operating costscertificates that provide testimony that a • Enhancement of staff productivityproduct or process is in conformance toa relevant national/regional/international Certification Services Offered:standard. In addition, this Department isresponsible for the issuance of the • Product certificationCertificate of Free Sale which provides • Process certificationtestimony that the sale of a particular • Certificate of Free Saleproduct is not in contravention of the • Other certificates of conformity 17Standards Act and Regulations.The Certification Department is furtherresponsible for maintaining and co- 16 17http://www.iso.org/iso/about/iso_members/iso_ http://www.slbs.org.lc/services_certification.htmmember_body.htm?member_id=1840 l 14
  • 15. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIASanitary and phytosanitary measures Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries Saint Lucia is a beneficiary of the U.S.and Forestry is responsible for the Caribbean Basin Initiative. Specificimplementation of sanitary and products made or assembled in Saintphytosanitary measures. The Veterinary Lucia are allowed to enter the Unitedand Livestock Division of the Ministry is States duty free.responsible for sanitary issues, while thePlant Protection Division is responsible Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreementfor phytosanitary issues. The Environmental (CARIBCAN)Health Department of the Ministry of Duty free access to the Canadian marketHealth and Labour Relations deals with for all imports from the Commonwealthenvironmental issues, and the SLBS Caribbean countries and measures toprovides food safety certificates for encourage Canadian investment andcertain foods. other forms of industrial cooperation. CARICOM/Venezuela Trade Agreement4.6 Free Trade Agreements An agreement with the fundamental objective of strengthening trade andThe development of Saint Lucia’s economic relations.infrastructure systems and the number ofregional and international trade CARICOM/Columbia Tradeagreements have enable it to trade Agreementeffectively with the countries of the An agreement with the fundamentalCaribbean (CARICOM), Canada, objective of strengthening trade,Europe, Japan, United Kingdom, and the economic and technical cooperation.United States of America. These tradeagreements are summarized below: Lomé Agreement Qualified goods exported from members Caribbean Community (CARICOM) of the African, Caribbean and PacificSaint Lucia is a member of the States (ACP) to countries of theCaribbean Community and Common European Union are granted duty freeMarket (CARICOM). The country hosts status. 19the headquarters of the Organization ofEastern Caribbean States (OECS). 18Saint Lucian manufacturers havepreferential access to a regional marketof fifteen countries whereby goodsmanufactured may be imported duty freeinto any of the CARICOM countries. 19 18 http://www.visitslu.com/doing_business/biz_envhttp://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2344.htm iron/trade_activity.html 15
  • 16. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA5. INVESTMENT PROFILE 5. Import and Excise Duty5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes This amount ranges from 0 – 100 percent.Changes are made to Saint Lucian taxlaw each year and the incentives are 6. Personal Income Taxgenerous in order to facilitate serious This amount ranges between 10 – 30investment which will result in overall percent of taxable income.economic growth while improving thesocioeconomic well being of the 5.1.2 Fiscal Incentivesresidents of Saint Lucia. These are available to various categories5.1.1 Business Tax Overview and types of enterprises planning to invest, particularly in the tourism and1. Corporate Income Tax manufacturing sectors. IncentivesSaint Lucian companies ordinarily offered to an industrial investor mayresident (both public and private) pay tax vary according to the value of theat a flat rate of 33.3 percent on income enterprise’s contribution to the local andaccruing in Saint Lucia or elsewhere, regional economy; usually measured inwhether received in Saint Lucia or not. terms of local value added. Whereas, an investor in the tourism sector is not2. Income Tax- International Financial subject to similar local value added Services requirements. Some of the incentivesCompanies licensed under the offered by the government, under threeRegistered Agent and Trustee Licensing legislative Acts include:Act pay a blanket rate between 50 - 100percent on all profits. • Tax Holiday up to a maximum of fifteen years.3. Property Tax • Exemptions from Income Tax,Stamp duty is payable on the applicable to tourism investmentconveyance, transfer or sale of any operations.immovable property. The purchaser pays • Waiver of Import Duty and2 percent ad valorem and the vendor Consumption Tax on imported plant,pays between 2.5 - 10 percent ad machinery and equipment, raw andvalorem, which is based on whether the packing materials from outsideindividual or the entity is a citizen of CARICOM.Saint Lucia, a registered company, or • Tax relief on export earningsnot. • Unrestricted repatriation of all Profits and Capital4. Hotel Tax • Lower corporate taxes for investorsA combined hotel occupancy tax of 18 in special development areas 20percent which accounts foraccommodation and service charge. 20 http://www.visitslu.com/doing_business/biz_env iron/taxation.html 16
  • 17. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA 5.3.1 Free Zone Regime The Saint Lucia Free zone is an enclosed5.2 Foreign Investment Regime area treated for customs purposes as lying outside the customs territory of theSaint Lucia has an open economy which island. Goods of foreign origin may beis heavily dependent on foreign trade held pending eventual transhipment, re-and investment and therefore, welcomes exportation and, in some cases,foreign investment as a necessary input importation into the local market,in the development strategy and without payment of customs duties.economic modernization of the country.The economy was once oriented around In accordance with the Free Zone Act,agriculture, particularly the production No. 10 of 1999, imported merchandiseand exportation of bananas, however, entering a free zone for commercialthere has been significant progress made purposes is duty free, and is not subjecttowards the diversification of this to quotas or any import restrictions.particular sector. Currently, the tourism Import-licensing requirements do notsector plays a major role in the country’s apply, in general, to free zones, with theeconomic growth, ranking as the highest exception of goods restricted for safetyforeign exchange earner and in 2001, the or health reasons.largest single contributor towards thecountry’s Gross National Product (GNP) Other benefits include: tax credits inof 12.7 percent. accordance with the number of nationals employed on a continuous basis;In keeping with the economic changes exemption from income tax during thewithin our global environment which first five years of operations and thecontinues to influence the country’s possibility to carry forward total neteconomic development, the Government losses accrued during this five-year taxof Saint Lucia has identified the holiday and deduct them against profitsfollowing as priority areas for in the three years following the taxinvestment opportunities: holiday.• Financial Services Goods available include sanitary ware• Informatics and Information and tiles, generators and related Technology equipment, computers and accessories,• Hotel and Resort Development alcohol, tobacco and perfumes, electrical goods, catering equipment, furniture,• Agriculture, Aquaculture and Agro construction equipment and souvenirs. 21 Processing• Manufacturing There are two main industrial free-zone areas in St. Lucia, both located in Vieux Fort; only one is active. A third free5.3 Free Trade Zones zone, located in Cul-de-Sac, is devoted 21 http://www.stluciafreezone.com/ 17
  • 18. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIAexclusively to the import andtransshipment of petroleum products. 18
  • 19. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA6. ESTABLISHMENT OF registered and need not be that of the BUSINESSES individual who remains liable for all his business debts and commitments.6.1 Establishing an Office 6.1.2 Trade LicencesIt is easy to set up a business in SaintLucia. The various forms of business All foreign individuals and companiesorganizations are recognized in Saint who intend to conduct business in SaintLucia are provided below. Lucia and own more than 49 percent of the company shares require a Trade6.1.1 Types of Organizations Licence. This is usually obtained annually, for a fee, from the Ministry of 1. Incorporated: Commerce, Tourism, Investment andEach company requires a memorandum Consumer Affairs. 22and articles of association and requiresto be registered under the CommercialCode. Registration is normally handled 6.2 Work Permit Requirementsby a Lawyer based in Saint Lucia. Under the Foreign National and 2. Partnership: Commonwealth Citizens (Employment)A partnership is formed by an agreement Regulation, all non-nationals who wishbetween two or more persons to carry on to conduct a business or be gainfullya trade, profession or business together employed in St. Lucia must apply for aunder a joint name. The partners are work permit. Applications can bejointly and severally liable for its obtained from the Labour Department ofobligations. All profits and losses are the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Homeallocated to the partners for tax Affairs and Labour. A Work Permit ispurposes. Partners are free to agree valid for one (1) year, and should beamongst themselves as to distribution of renewed every year23.profit and allocation of loss. Work permits are however not required 3. Branch: for CARICOM nationals covered by theA foreign enterprise can apply to the CARICOM Free Movement of Skilledgovernment for permission to establish a Persons Act. The St. Lucia’s Caribbeanbranch in Saint Lucia which is subject to Community (Free Movement of Skilledthe regulations of the Companies Act. A Persons) Act applies only to national ofbranch established in Saint Lucia is a qualifying CARICOM state whosesubject to he laws of Saint Lucia. Ingeneral, the tax rules applying to a 22limited company apply to a branch. http://www.visitslu.com/doing_business/biz_env iron/set_up.html 4. Sole Trader:The sole trader is an individual who 23wishes to carry on business in his own http://www.visitslu.com/doing_business/biz_envright. The name of the business must be iron/workpermits.html 19
  • 20. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIAlaws provide for reciprocal treatment forSt Lucia citizens. 20
  • 21. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIA7. CULTURAL 7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements: PRACTICES Visitors must carry a valid passport7.1 Business Customs except citizens of the United States of America and Canada who may enterStandard working hours are from 8:30 Saint Lucia with adequate proof ofa.m. to 4:30 pm for government and citizenship (a birth certificate or a photomost other businesses. ID, e.g. drivers licence).A shirt and tie is recommended for Citizens of the Organization of Easternbusiness meetings, whereas suits are Caribbean States (OECS) may enter withreserved for formal business events their drivers licence, identification cardincluding award ceremonies and or passport.meetings with senior governmentofficials. Visitors from all other Commonwealth countries require a valid passport. VisasAppointments should be made in are not required for the citizens of thoseadvance. countries, however, they are issued an immigration form which is valid (whenMany hotels offer conference and completed) for a period of stay of up tobusiness centres. six months.International courier deliveries are Visitors may apply for an extension atavailable via FedEx and DHL. Local and the immigration department at the Policeinternational express delivery services Headquarters in Castries. Withoutare available via the national mail exception, an onward or roundtrip ticketservice. 24 and proof of sufficient funds for your stay is required.Business Hours: Business hours inSaint Lucia are from 8:30 am to 12:30 It is important to note that overstayingpm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm during the your visit without permission from theweekdays. Bank hours are from 8:30 am local authorities is an offence, includingto 3:00 pm Mondays to Thursdays; up to taking any form of paid employment5:00 pm on Fridays. Many shops are without a work permit. 25opened from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon onSaturdays however, most supermarkets All visitors over 12 years old, leavingand shopping centres stay open later. Saint Lucia through either of the island’s two airports, are required to pay a departure tax of EC $68 (US $35). CARICOM nationals are required to pay EC $35 (US $13). In general, it is 24 25http://www.visitslu.com/doing_business/biz_trav http://www.visitslu.com/travellers_essentials/enteller/tips.html ry.html 21
  • 22. DOING BUSINESS WITH SAINT LUCIArequired for visitors who spend morethan 24 hours on the island. AutomaticBanking facilities (ABM/ATM) areavailable at Hewanorra InternationalAirport and George F.L. Charles Airportfor your convenience. Credit cards arenot accepted. 26 26http://www.visitslu.com/travellers_essentials/facts.html 22

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