Doing Business with Suriname

1,843 views

Published on

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,843
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
6
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
16
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Doing Business with Suriname

  1. 1. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME 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. 2. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME 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 ........................................................................................... 7 2.4 Overview of Trade .............................................................................................. 73. GENERAL MARKETING FACTORS...................................................................... 9 3.1 Distribution and Sales Channels ......................................................................... 9 3.2 Use of Agents/Distributors ................................................................................. 9 3.3 Franchising.......................................................................................................... 9 3.4 Advertising & Trade Promotion ......................................................................... 9 3.5 Transportation ..................................................................................................... 94. MARKET ACCESS CONDITIONS ........................................................................ 11 4.1 Customs Tariffs................................................................................................. 11 4.2 Free Trade Agreements..................................................................................... 11 4.3 Non-Tariff Barriers ........................................................................................... 11 4.4 Import Documentation ..................................................................................... 11 4.5 Labelling and Marking Requirements .............................................................. 12 4.6 Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures..................................................... 13 4.7 Prohibited and Restricted Imports .................................................................... 13 4.8 Standards........................................................................................................... 135. INVESTMENT PROFILE........................................................................................ 14 5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes ........................................................................ 14 5.2 Foreign Investment Regime.............................................................................. 15 5.3 Free Trade Zones .............................................................................................. 156. ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES ................................................................... 16 6.1 Right to Private Ownership............................................................................... 16 6.2 Establishing an Office....................................................................................... 16 6.3 Work Permit Requirements............................................................................... 18 6.4 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) .................................................................... 19 6.5 Conversion and Transfer Policies ..................................................................... 197. CULTURAL PRACTICES....................................................................................... 20 7.1 Business Customs ............................................................................................. 20 7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements:.................................................................................. 20 2
  3. 3. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME1. GENERAL INFORMATION Airports: The Johan Adolf PengelOfficial Name: Republic of International Airport, also known asSuriname Zanderij International Airport, is the national airport and is located in theCapital: Paramaribo town of Zanderij, 40 km south of Paramaribo. Local air traffic also departsArea: 163,270 sq km from Zorg en Hoop Airport, Paramaribo.Population: 492,829 (Census 2004) Ports: The principal harbour in Suriname is the Nieuwe Haven SeaportPopulation growth index: 1.103% in Paramaribo. The “Nieuwe Haven(2007 est.) Seaport” handles about 90 percent of Suriname’s imports and exports. OtherPopulation density: 3 inhabitants per seaports include Nieuw-Nickerie whichkilometer sq. handles mainly ricee exports, Paranam, Mungo and Smalkalden which handlesOfficial language: Dutch (official), bauxite exports.English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo(Surinamese, sometimes called Taki- Holidays:Taki, is native language of Creoles and New Years Day Jan 01much of the younger population and is Good Friday Varieslingua franca among others), Caribbean Easter Monday VariesHindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese Holy Phagwha Varies Id’ul Fitre VariesCurrency: Surinam dollar (SRD) Labour Day May 01 Freedom Day Jul 01Exchange rate: The currency rate Independence Day Nov 25per US dollar is 2.7317 SRD (2007). Christmas Dec 25 Boxing Day Dec 26Climate: Suriname has a humid,tropical climate with temperatures Life Expectancy: Total Population -ranging from 23 degrees Centigrade at 73.23 yearsnight to 37 degrees Centigrade in theafternoon during some months of the Literacy Rate: Total Population -year. There are dry and “green” seasons. 89.6 percentPrincipal Cities and Population: Local Time: UTC-3 (2 hours (2005 est.) ahead of Washington, DC duringParamaribo 242, 946 Standard Time)Wanica 85,986Lelydorp 19,000 Telephone Codes: 597Saramacca 25, 980Nieuw Nickerie 36,639 3
  4. 4. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAMEHealth: Suriname has severalmodern hospitals and one academichealth facility with well trained andskillful doctors and health care workers.Several pharmacies in the city anddistricts ensure regular and adequatesupply of medicines.Up to date information on correct anti-malaria medicine can be obtained fromthe Bureau of Public Health inParamaribo, if visiting the interior. 4
  5. 5. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME2. THE ECONOMY The severe shortage of affordable energy sources has hampered Suriname’s ability2.1 Structure of the Economy to expand its industries. This goes for the bauxite sector as well. Currently runningThe economy is dominated by the on diesel-fueled generators, anymining industry (alumina, oil, and gold), expansion of operations to includewhich accounts for more than a third of mining and refining reserves from WestGross Domestic Product (GDP). The Suriname will depend on Surinameshort-term economic outlook depends on expanding its energy-generating sources.the government’s ability to control To alleviate some of Suriname’s energyinflation and on the development of woes, a 14 megawatt (MW) diesel-projects in the bauxite and gold mining generated energy plant was built in 2006sectors. and is expected to be expanded to 18 MW in the near future.Suriname’s economic prospects for themedium term will depend on continued The gold mining sector is largelycommitment to responsible monetary informal, unregulated, and small scale,and fiscal policies and to the but constitutes an important part of theintroduction of structural reforms to informal economy (estimated at as muchliberalize markets and promote as 100 percent of GDP.competition. Suriname has also attracted the attentionProspects for local onshore oil of international companies interested inproduction are good as a drilling extensive development of a tropicalprogram is underway. Offshore oil hardwoods industry and possibledrilling was given a boost in 2004 when diamond mining. However, proposals forthe State Oil Company (Staatsolie) exploitation of the country’s tropicalsigned exploration agreements with forests and undeveloped regions of theRepsol, Maersk, and Occidental. interior traditionally inhabited byBidding on these new offshore blocks indigenous and Maroon communitieswas completed in July 2006. 1 have raised the concerns of environmentalists and human rightsIn 2006 alumina accounted for activists in Suriname and abroad.approximately 46.2 percent of totalexports. Government income from the The sector with the most promisingoil sector, however, has surpassed that of outlook for rapid, near future expansionthe bauxite/alumina sector. Suriname’s is the oil sector. A 2000 study by thebauxite deposits have been among the U.S. Geological Survey suggests thatworld’s richest. there may be up 15 billion barrels of oil in the Guyana Plateau. Other export products include bananas, 1 shrimp and fish, rice, and lumberhttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ns.html 2.2 Recent Economic Performance 5
  6. 6. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAMEAverage growth of the Surinamese increased nominally owing to highereconomy since 2003 has exceeded 6 issues of treasury bonds, among otherpercent per year. The estimate for 2006 factors. Practically no new external debtis for 6.4 percent growth, while a 5.3 was contracted, however, and thepercent expansion is forecast for 2007. authorities made efforts to solve the problem of arrears. An agreement wasThis significant expansion is due to the reached with the Italian insurancefavourable international context and company Servici Assicurativi delrobust demand for gold, alumina and Commercio Estero (SACE) inpetroleum, its three main exports. September 2006 for the forgiveness ofPolitical stability has contributed to an the interest and half of the principal of aincrease in foreign investment, while longstanding loan. This negotiation isfiscal restraint and monetary expansion expected to pave the way for the solutionhave boosted domestic demand. of other outstanding international loans and improving access to the internationalPer capita GDP is expected to exceed capital market. Overall, public debtUS$ 4,000, more than double the level diminished from almost 40 percent ofrecorded at the beginning of the decade, GDP to 36 percent, while external debthelped by the real appreciation of the declined from 22 percent to 20 percent.Suriname dollar (SR$).1 There was practically no change in theAccording to estimates, a fiscal surplus exchange rate policy and the rateequivalent to 1.4 percent of GDP will be remained at between SR$ 2.7 and SR$recorded in 2006 (compared with a 2.8 to the United States dollar. Thedeficit of 1.3 percent of GDP in 2005), monetary authorities adopted a moresince government revenue outstripped expansionary policy. The interest rate onexpenditure. Tax contributions by treasury bonds and the rate paid for theprimary product exporters were up reserve requirement in local currencythanks to high prices on international fell from 12.5 percent to 10 percent. Inmarkets. The government benefited from turn, the reserve requirement wasthe transfer of windfall profits earned by reduced from 30 percent to 27 percent.the central bank in past financial years, The portion of the reserve requirementwhich had been pending. Receipts from that can be met with mortgage loans wasexcise taxes on tobacco and non- raised from 7 percent to 8 percent. Thealcoholic beverages also increased. maximum value of such mortgage loans increased from SR$ 70,000 to SR$Expenditure was much lower than 100,000. As a result, the commercialprojected. The only item that pushed up banks were able to reduce the interestexpenditure was the compensatory bonus rates and increase the flow of credit tofor fuel prices awarded to civil servants the public.since the end of 2005. Growth in output was driven by exportsThe Government has taken advantage of of primary products. Bauxite productionthese circumstances to relieve the burden was up by 20 percent followingon the public debt. Domestic debt investments in the new mine at 6
  7. 7. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAMEKaaimangrassie. Meanwhile, the 2.4 Overview of TradeRosebel gold mine processed 31 tons ofgold ore, 40 percent more than in the Suriname’s largest export destination isprevious year. 2 the European Union (EU), which absorbed 27 percent of the country’s2.3 Balance of payments total sales in the period 2000-2004, down from an average 35 percent in theIn the last decade, Suriname’s current early 1990s. This is followed by theaccount balance was negative in most United States, with 23 percent, andyears. Weak export growth and rising Norway, with 22 percent. Exports to theimports contributed to the deficit, as did Caribbean Community (CARICOM),substantial outflows of private sector which Suriname joined in 1995, haveinvestment income. Although substantial grown fourfold in the last decade, andremittances flowed into Suriname, they now account for 8 percent of Suriname’sdid not prevent the current account total exports. Exports to Canada havedeficit from reaching over 13 percent of grown even faster, from virtually zero toGDP in 2003 and 2004. Suriname almost 7 percent of total exportsfinanced the deficit with Dutch (average for 2000-2004). Meanwhile, adevelopment assistance and private drastic decline in exports to Brazil hassector investment inflows (which reduced Latin America’s share from 10doubled in two years to reach US$152 percent in the early 1990s to less than 1million in 2004). percent in 2006.However, through 2006, the balance of Suriname’s merchandise imports havepayments shows a sharp expansion in grown by an average 2.6 percent peralumina and gold exports and a year since 1990, compared to importconsiderably lower increase in imports, growth of over 10 percent for the Latinwhich resulted in a surplus on the America and the Caribbean (LAC)current account for the first time in five region as a whole. The origin of importsyears. The central bank’s net is quite diversified: North Americainternational reserves strengthened and (mainly the United States), Europestood at 2.6 months of import cover in (mainly The Netherlands) and AsiaSeptember 2006, compared with 1.6 (mainly China and Japan) each accountmonths in September 2005. 3 for 25-30 percent, with the remaining imports coming from Latin America and the Caribbean (mainly Trinidad and Tobago). Most of Suriname’s imports consist of manufactured goods, which are primarily sourced from the European Union (EU) and the United States. The 2 country has a trade deficit with all of its ECLAC Preliminary Overview of the main trading partners except Canada andEconomies of Latin America and the Caribbean2006, Suriname. Norway. 4 3 ECLAC Preliminary Overview of the 4Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean Jessen, Anneke et. al. Suriname: Trade2006, Suriname. Sector Policy Note, SEP 2006. 7
  8. 8. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME2.4.1 ExportsExports (2006)--U.S. $929.1 million:alumina, gold, crude oil, wood and woodproducts, rice, bananas, fish, and shrimpMajor markets--Norway (23.9%), U.S.(16.8%), Canada (16.4%), France(8.1%), Iceland (2.9%) 52.4.2 ImportsImports (2006) --$1.1 billion: capitalequipment, petroleum, iron and steelproducts, agricultural products, andconsumer goods.Major suppliers--U.S. (24.4%),Netherlands (14.5%), Trinidad andTobago (10.5%), Japan (4.3%), China(5.4%), Brazil (3.6%) 6 5http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1893.htm 6http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1893.htm 8
  9. 9. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME3. GENERAL annual trade fairs of significance: MARKETING FACTORS ITIFAS (a showcase for Surinamese producers) in October and Suri-Flora (a3.1 Distribution and Sales Channels horticultural/ agricultural exhibition) in April. Both shows have grownA local distributor remains the best considerably over the last few years.means to enter the Surinamese market.As the market is relatively small, most 3.5 Transportationforeign exporters resort to buildingrelationships with retail firms rather than The Suriname road network consists ofestablishing a distribution system. asphalted as well as sand roads with a total length of 9,000 kilometers. There is3.2 Use of Agents/Distributors left hand traffic. The National Transportation Company as well asPersons interested in finding an agent or private bus operators provide public busdistributor for businesses should contact transportation. In addition, there arethe following: several taxi companies as well as street The Surinamese Chamber of taxis. Several companies in Paramaribo Commerce also offer cars, scooters and bicycles for (http://www.surinamedirectory.biz/) hire. Foreign aircrafts in general use the Johan Adolph Pengel International The Surinamese Trade and Industry Airport located about 42 km South of Organization Paramaribo. From the local Zorg en (http://www.parbo.com/) Hoop Airport in Paramaribo, small The Surinamese Association of aircrafts and helicopters depart regularly Manufacturers and/or to interior airstrips. There are 47 airstrips The U.S. Embassy in the interior of which 5 are equipped with paved runways.3.3 Franchising Most Surinamese rivers are navigable byThe franchise retail businesses in ships with drafts up to 7 meters.operation are fast food enterprise such as Suriname has three ports for sea goingKentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, vessels. The “Nieuwe Haven Seaport”McDonald’s and Popeye’s Chicken. handles about 55 percent of Suriname’s non-bauxite exports and most of the3.4 Advertising & Trade Promotion countries imports. This port is the hub for a road system, which also serves theSurinamese advertising is direct and interior and is strategically placed on oneinexpensive. There are three daily of the country’s navigable rivers. Easenewspapers: de Ware Tijd, de West, and and cost of the port operations areDagblad Suriname, all of which are therefore important in serving the mainpublished in Dutch. There are many AM population centers and theand FM radio stations and 10 television underdeveloped interior. The “Nieuwestations. All accept commercial Haven Port” is currently undergoing aadvertising. In addition, there are several major reconstruction, that is financed byadvertising agencies. There are two 9
  10. 10. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAMEthe European Union and which willenable this facility to play a key role inthe regional logistical framework. 7 7http://www.surinameembassy.org/welcome.shtml 10
  11. 11. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME4. MARKET ACCESS The country has been a full member of CONDITIONS the WTO since its establishment in 1995. Suriname is currently as an ACP4.1 Customs Tariffs member negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with theImport tariffs for non-CARICOM European Union as part of the Cotonouproducts range between zero and forty Agreement. Suriname ratified thepercent. According to the Ministry of Amazon Co-operation Agreement,Trade and Industry, average import which aims at the development of theduties are currently between 30 and 40 people of the Amazon region (8percent. Licenses are no longer required countries). Suriname is member of theto import many products and the current Organization of American States (OAS)trade law is based on the Negative list. which Headquarter is based inThere are two special import taxes: the Washington DC.statistics duty, which is one half of onepercent of the product’s value, and theconsent duty, which one and one –halfpercent of the product’s value. 8 4.3 Non-Tariff Barriers Non-tariff barriers on both imports and4.2 Free Trade Agreements exports include: proof of residency, registration with the Chamber ofSuriname became a member of the Commerce, registration numbers fromCaribbean Community (CARICOM in the Inspectorate of Customs, and tax1995) and is also a member of identification numbers from the TaxCARIFORUM. Suriname has made Authority of the ministry of Finance.steps to integrate its economy into the Under the 2003 Law on the Movementregional and global economies. As a of Goods, “negative lists” were createdmember of CARICOM, Suriname has for both imports and exports. In theoryreduced its import tariffs. Given the anything can be imported or exported,amount of natural resources, Suriname unless it is included on the negative lists.can play a prominent role in thedevelopment of the CARICOM. 4.4 Import DocumentationSuriname joined the Caribbean countriesin forming the association of Caribbean Trade ConsigmentsStates (ACS). 9 When importing products:  the importer requires a valid importer’s licence; 8  when ordering goods, the importerhttp://www.surinameembassy.org/welcome.shtm must submit to the Institute forl import, Export and Foreign 9 Exchange Control, an import and ahttp://www.surinameembassy.org/welcome.shtm foreign currency licence (E-82); al CIF proforma invoice in duplicate on 11
  12. 12. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME which the freight and insurance Export and Foreign Exchange charges are specified separately; Control; On importation of the goods the Single Document (clearing) form Exchange margin is paid after approval must be prepared. Within six days of the EA-licence. after the arrival of the shipment, the goods must to be cleared or it will Import duties can be paid before the incur storage cost on expiration of approval of the EA-licence. The this term. necessary documents are: The Single Document must be presented to the Tax Office for  one Single Document payment of the indebted import  one invoice duties, consent and statistics. The  Bill of Loading form will then be signed by the  appraisal report Customs, stamped and a number and a date will be supplied; The following documents have to The Single Document with the submitted, depending on the type of import licence, invoice and Bill of goods: Lading, must be presented at the Institute for Import, Export and Certificate of Origin Foreign Exchange Control. There they make a note that the licence has The certificate of Origin (CVO) is a been used or can be used for another form which is used as an official shipment; copies of the afore declaration about the country of origin of mentioned documents must be a specific dispatch of goods. At the enclosed; export of the goods a Certificate of The Single Document with necessary Origin is necessary so that the goods documents such as invoice, bill of could have a preferential treatment (such lading and import licence must be as without paying import duties, presented at Customs, where control alterations of import of duties). of the value, quantity of the goods, import duties paid as well as other particulars will take place. Further, a 4.5 Labelling and Marking note is made on the Manifest that the Requirements goods have been unloaded; The goods (single Document) with Products must be clearly labeled, with the documents should be presented the content, weight, brand and to the officer who is in charge of the production date, as well as the expiration delivery of goods in the temporary or date of the product clearly visible. This in bonded warehouses for which may be done in English. For brewery authorization of the shipping products this must be done in Dutch and company is necessary. English. EA-licence is used only for gift parcels. The EA-licence can be applied for at the Institute for Import, 12
  13. 13. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME4.6 Sanitary and Phytosanitary Suriname Standards Council c/o(SPS) Measures Ministry of Trade & Industry Havenlaan Noord, Nieuwe Haven Postbox 9354Health Certificate SR- ParamariboThis certificate has to be submitted forthe import of animals and plants. For theimport of animals, a separate licencefrom the Head of the VeterinaryInspection is required.Phytosanitary CertificateWhen importing plants and seeds forsowing, this document to be issued by anauthorized organization from the countryof origin. 104.7 Prohibited and RestrictedImportsThere are prohibited, on quota restrictedand on rules aligned goods laid down bythe Ministry of Trade and Industry,which may only be imported afterspecial permission of abovementionedMinistry (State resolution 1980 No. 7and amplified by State resolution 1982No. 97).4.8 StandardsRecent measures and policies intendedto improve investment policy includedthe development of the establishment ofa Standards Bureau, which would setuniform standards for local andinternationally produced goods. Theaddress is as follows:Suriname Standards Bureau 10http://www.parbo.com/business/kvk.html 13
  14. 14. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME5. INVESTMENT PROFILE fishing, or hunting are considerably less expensive.5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes Inventions - Payments for technicalOne of the advantages of doing business assistance received by patent-holdingin a small country like Suriname, is that companies are subject to a reduced taxit can offer a wealth of investment rate.incentives. Suriname’s most recentinvestment law dealt solely with Capital Gains - Capital gains and profitsfinancial incentives. It is also common arising solely from speculation and notfor foreign investors to negotiate unique considered as income and are thus notinvestment-incentive packages agreeable considered in income tax.to the government and/or local partners. Fiscal Incentives LawIndustrial Enterprises - Enterprises withshare capital formed under Surinamese Due to a new investment law publishedlaw with a certain initial capital in July 2002, investors are eligible forinvestment are eligible for incentives. the following incentives:Qualifying new or existing enterprises in  One year income tax holiday with anthe process of expansion are granted a initial investment of at least $5,000full or partial exemption from import or a 6 percent (or 10 percent if atduty on the importation of capital goods, least 80 percent of producedraw materials, and other goods intended goods/services are exported)for use in manufacturing, so long as reduction in income tax if thecomparable products are not produced investment amounts to at leastlocally. $100,000 (Article 4 and 5).  If at least $20,000 of investment isNew enterprises can opt for a tax holiday made in regions approved by(depending on the size of the initial government, net income (for thecapital investment) or accelerated purposes of income taxes) can bedepreciation. reduced by 20 percent or 10 percent if at least $1,000 of investment isThe Oil Sector - Import of all equipment made in an environmentallyand supplies used in petroleum protected area (Article 6).operations is free. Hydrocarbon exports  After the first and up to the ninthare also exempt from taxes. year that a company/manufacturer has started, the company is free fromInvestment Companies - Companies the levying of income tax (Article 9)whose sole purpose is acquisition, if:holding, and management of securities o profit is from a new business.are subject to certain tax benefits. o it is working in agriculture, herding, aquaculture,Agriculture - Annual fees to register a forestry, mining, or tourism.company engaged solely in agriculture, 14
  15. 15. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME o company doesn’t use to further spur investments began with facilities of Articles 4,5,6,8, passage of the “2001 Investment Law” or 13. in 2002. Perceived shortcomings with o if the company complies with this legislation led to the formation of a rules on investing and commission in 2005 made up of number of jobs created. government and business representatives No import duty on goods brought in who were charged with drafting a for business resources if import revision that better meets the needs of value is at least $10,000 or on goods both the local and international business used to make a product if value is at community. least $5,000 if goods are used within one year (Article 10-11) Suriname’s membership in CARICOM, If a investor invests in an area its participation in the Caribbean Single chosen by the government, person Market and Economy (CSME) and its who is responsible for taxes may recognition of the effects of increasing take a tax reduction of 10 percent of globalization has given greater impetus the total wages paid to their workers to further trade and investment (cannot be greater that income tax liberalization. Suriname has also been a taxed on wages) for a total of 5 years member of the WTO since 1995 and (Article 13) although it has not had any formal trade complaints filed against it, it still Limitations remains out of compliance with the 2000 To benefit from the various deadline to pass and enforce intellectual incentives, entrepreneurs must property protection, which is TRIPS submit requests within certain time compatible. frames. Information submitted to InvestSur is 5.3 Free Trade Zones confidential (Article 21). Investments of more than USD Free Zone Regime 50.000.000 for mining of bauxite, There are no free trade zones in hydrocarbon material, gold, and Suriname. radioactive minerals are eligible for special investment incentives (Article 25). 115.2 Foreign Investment RegimeForeign direct investment is playing anincreasingly important role in thedevelopment of Surinames economy.Efforts to modernize the investment law 11http://www.amchamsuriname.org/doingbusinessinsuriname.htm 15
  16. 16. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME6. ESTABLISHMENT OF RegistrationBUSINESSES All businesses except public enterprises and agriculture companies that do not6.1 Right to Private Ownership have the form of a limited liability company and societies and foundationsIn principle, it is possible for foreigners that belong to minors must be registeredto acquire private property but foreign at the Chamber of Commerce andinvestors must first seek permission Industry. To register, applicants mustfrom the Foreign Exchange submit: a passport photo of theCommission. CARICOM nationals are founders/board members/manager andpermitted to acquire real estate, but must director, their birth certificates, Articlesregister it with the Foreign Exchange of Association, and list of members (ifCommission within 30 days after applicable). To set up a branch office, apurchase. 12 letter of appointment is also necessary. An annual registration fee is assessed based on capital investment. Any6.2 Establishing an Office changes in the corporation’s address, functions, or management must beLicensing reported to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.The license fee is approximately US$10.Applicants must supply a declaration to Partnershipsthe tax office indicating that they haveno tax arrears; a settlement agreement, a The Chamber of Commerce and Industryhealth certificate, a birth certificate, a can assist manufacturers in finding jointcertificate of credibility, a letter from the venture partners or financiers,owner of the building, and (for a factory, performing feasibility studies and markettravel agent, tour operator, commission research and analysis.agent or grocer) a bank guarantee.Import and export applications must be Four kinds of partnerships aresubmitted at the Ministry of Trade and recognized under Surinamese law:Industry. Other licenses must besubmitted at the local district  Professional Partnershipscommissioner’s office. (maatschap) – mainly used in accounting, law, and medicine. EachAll foreign companies require a license partner contributes to theto do business in Suriname, as well as do partnership, but remains solelymost other business people, from responsible for debts due toaccountants to goldsmiths to hotels to misfeasance, unless one partner isbakers to shoe makers to travel agents given power of attorney or alland so on. partners stood to gain from those actions.  General Partnerships (vennootschap onder firma) – joint liability. Each 12 individual contributes and each ishttp://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/2006/62381.htm 16
  17. 17. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME liable for debts. If there is one investor does not speak Dutch). general partner, his bankruptcy entails bankruptcy of the partnership. In general, foreign investors and Limited Partnerships (commanditaire exporters are expected to maintain a vennootschap) – one or more general higher standard of good business partners and one or more limited practices. partners. The limited partners are only liable to the extent they contributed to the assets and The N.V. participated in management, while the general partners are fully liable, The public limited liability company although individual bankruptcies (if (Naamloze Vennootschap or N.V.) is the there is more than one general only form of stock corporation partner) do not entail the bankruptcy recognized by Surinamese law and the of the partnership. most common form of business. A NV Partnerships Limited by Shares works like a US small corporation with (commanditaire vennootschap op the shares usually in the hands of a few aandelen) – partnership represented shareholders. Each incorporator must by (usually fully transferable) shares. participate in the capital accumulation, at Partners may be general or limited least 20 percent of which must be according to the deed. subscribed on incorporation.Professional, general, and limited All NVs start as I.O.s (in oprichting--partnerships are governed by the Civil translated as being set up). It takes atCode and not considered separate legal least 3-4 years to change over to be anentities. Partnerships limited by shares N.V. and requires the approval of theare governed by the Commercial Code President of Suriname. Oneof Suriname and are considered separate disadvantage of companies starting as anentities for tax purposes. I.O. is that the individuals setting up the business are, during the time they are anChoice of Business Entity/Structure I.O., legally responsible until the N.V. is set up and can be taken to court.Suriname recognizes one-manbusinesses, open partnerships, limited The deed of incorporation, which mustpartnerships, foundations, limited be written in Dutch, must state theliability companies, cooperative number and value of shares. Before theassociations, and branch offices. corporation begins its activities, at least 10 percent of each share must be paidA joint venture with a Surinamer is and the President must approve the deedusually the easiest way for foreigners to of incorporation, a process which usuallydo business in Suriname. A local involves an investigation by the Ministrybusiness partner can help maneuver of Justice, the Ministry of the Interior,through some of the complicated trade the Chamber of Commerce, and theand investment rules (especially if the Inspector of Direct Taxes. 17
  18. 18. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAMEReductions in capital are subject to filed with the Chamber of Commercepublic inspection and must be filed with and Industry (KKF). After dissolution, athe Commercial Register and announced corporation can only wind up itsin the Official Gazette. Shareholders business.have a right to object to reductions in thecompany’s capital up to 2 months after it The managing director is responsible foris publicized. paying the corporation’s creditors unless another liquidator is appointed by theRegulations on voting, stock transfers declaration of bankruptcy. No redress forand meetings should be described in the wages of former employees is possibledeed of incorporation. At least one after dissolution. Any assets remaininggeneral meeting of shareholders must be after debts are paid can be distributed toheld annually. Only shareholders can shareholders 2 months after a plan ishave voting rights and at least 20 percent published in the Official Gazette. Anyof the capital must be represented by interested party may oppose the plan andvoting members. suspend distribution during this time period.A general meeting of shareholders maydismiss, suspend, or appoint managing Within one month of the finaldirectors and supervisory directors. distribution, an account of the liquidation must be published at theDirectors can be held liable for improper Chamber of Commerce and Industryactions. (KKF) and at another location. Notice of the final account’s publication must beBalance sheets and a profit and loss published in the Official Gazette.account must be submitted annually tothe shareholders for approval along with If within three months of thecriteria by which assets had been valued. announcement in the Official Gazette, no suits are brought against the liquidator,A group of shareholders holding at least the dissolution is considered complete. 1320 percent of the stock may request anauditor from the district court to 6.3 Work Permit Requirementsinvestigate the company’s financialaffairs. Foreigners who want to work in Suriname first need to apply for aA corporation may be dissolved by a residency permit with the Ministry ofgeneral meeting of shareholders, on the Justice and Police, after which they canexpiration of its term (if specified in its apply for a work permit at the Ministryarticles of incorporation, although of Labor. Through CSME regulationsusually, a corporation’s term is infinite), the free movement of artists, mediaor after a declaration of bankruptcy. workers, musicians and sports persons ofA declaration of bankruptcy made by a 13general meeting of shareholders must be http://www.amchamsuriname.org/doingbusinessiannounced in the Official Gazette and nsuriname.htm 18
  19. 19. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAMECARICOM origin is arranged. Neighboring rights in copyrights,Legislative and administrative steps still geographical indications, industrialneed to be implemented for all other designs, utility models, layout designs ofCARICOM professionals to move and integrated circuits, undisclosedestablish themselves freely. information, or new plant varieties remain unprotected. 146.4 Intellectual Property Rights 6.5 Conversion and Transfer Policies(IPR) There are no restrictions on convertingIn practice, IPR protection is non- or transferring funds associated with anexistent. Suriname is officially a member investment (including remittances ofto the following agreements on investment capital, earnings, loanintellectual property: repayments, lease payments) into a the Paris Convention for the freely usable currency and at a legal Protection of Industrial Property market clearing rate. However, (1883) permission is required from the Foreign the Berne Convention for the Exchange Commission of the Ministry Protection of Literary and Artistic of Finance to transfer any funds out of Works (1886) the country. the Hague Convention concerning the International Deposit of The period for obtaining permission Industrial Designs (1925) from the Foreign Exchange Commission the Nice Agreement concerning the may vary depending on the sector and/or International Classification of Goods the amount. The average transfer period and Services for the Purpose of currently in effect is anywhere between Registration of Marks (1957) two and five days through the Society the Strasbourg Agreement for Worldwide Interbank Financial concerning the International Patent Telecommunications (SWIFT) system. 15 Classification (1971)Suriname is also a member to the WorldIntellectual Property Organization(WIPO) since 1975. Even though amember of the World TradeOrganization (WTO), Suriname has stillnot ratified the TRIPS Agreement. Anyprotection under these agreements islimited since they are not yetincorporated into the legislation. 14The current legal framework, which http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/2006/62381.htmdates back to 1912 and 1913, only 15provides very limited protection forcopyrights, trademarks, and patents. http://www.state.gov/e/eeb/ifd/2006/62381.htm 19
  20. 20. DOING BUSINESS WITH SURINAME7. CULTURAL PRACTICES 7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements:7.1 Business Customs Requirements:Business customs in Suriname do not  Valid Passportdiffer significantly from those  Passport must be signed and valid forinternationally, although the pace can be 6 months from the date of intendeda great deal more leisurely. Most travelbusinesses are open from about 8 a.m. to  Photocopy of your valid return ticket4 p.m., Monday through Friday. (if you have one)Government offices generally are open  One completed Application formfrom 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Meetings with  Business Letter for business visagovernment officials are best arranged in  One (1) recent passport photothe morning.  For children under 18 years, a letter of consent by parents or legalBusiness entertainment largely takes guardianplace at dinners and cocktail parties.Business lunches do take place, but not Application Forms: The forms can beon such large scales. Working breakfasts downloaded from the Embassy’sare rare. website: www.surinameembassy.orgBusiness suits are worn, but due to the Visa Fee:tropical climate, casual clothing isacceptable at most business meetings Tourist Visa US $100.00(except those with senior government Business Visa US $100.00officials). Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders - GratisSurinamers prefer establishing acomfortable working relationship first,as opposed to directly tackling business.Given the consensual nature of theSurinamese government, there is often alengthy consultation process before adecision is reached.Suriname is one hour ahead of easterndaylight time (two hours ahead ofstandard). Driving is on the left-handside of the road. 16 16http://www.surinam.net/index.phtml?page=biztravel 20

×