Doing Business with Antigua & Barbuda

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Doing Business with Antigua & Barbuda

  1. 1. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA & BARBUDA 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 ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA & BARBUDA TABLE OF CONTENTS1. GENERAL INFORMATION..................................................................................... 32. THE ECONOMY........................................................................................................ 5 2.1 Structure of the Economy ................................................................................... 5 Recent Economic Performance....................................................................................... 5 2.2 Balance of Payments........................................................................................... 6 2.3 Overview of Trade .............................................................................................. 6 2.3.1 Exports ............................................................................................................ 6 2.3.2 Imports ............................................................................................................ 7 2.4 Antigua and Barbuda Trade with CARICOM .................................................... 73. GENERAL MARKETING FACTORS...................................................................... 8 3.1 Distribution and Sales Channels ......................................................................... 8 3.3 Transportation ..................................................................................................... 84. MARKET ACCESS CONDITIONS ........................................................................ 10 4.1. Customs Tariffs................................................................................................. 10 4.2 Free Trade Agreements..................................................................................... 10 4.3 Internal Taxes................................................................................................... 10 4.4 Non-Tariff Barriers ........................................................................................... 11 4.5 Import Documentation ..................................................................................... 11 4.6 Labelling and Marking Requirements .............................................................. 11 4.7 Prohibited and Restricted Imports .................................................................... 12 4.8 Standards........................................................................................................... 125. INVESTMENT PROFILE........................................................................................ 13 5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes ........................................................................ 13 5.2 Foreign Investment Regime.............................................................................. 146. ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES ................................................................... 16 6.1 Right to Private Ownership............................................................................... 16 6.1 Establishing an Office....................................................................................... 16 6.3 Work Permit Requirements............................................................................... 16 6.4 Intellectual Property Rights .............................................................................. 17 6.5 Conversion and Transfer Policies ..................................................................... 177. CULTURAL PRACTICES....................................................................................... 18 7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements:.................................................................................. 18 2
  3. 3. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA1. GENERAL Principal Cities and Population:INFORMATION (2005 est.) The island of Antigua is divided into sixOfficial Name: Antigua & Barbuda parishes: St. Johns (capital) 21,514Capital: Saint John’s (population St. Paul 6,117 21,514) St. Mary 5,303 St. George 4,473Area: Antigua--281 sq. km. (108 sq. St. Peter 3,622mi.); Barbuda--161 sq. km. (62 sq. mi.) The island of Barbuda (pop. 1,241) andPopulation: 69,481 (July 2007 est.) the uninhabited island of Redonda each enjoy dependency status. 2Population growth index: 0.527%(2007 est.) Airports: V.C. Bird International Airport, located on the northeast cornerPopulation density: 184 inhabitants of Antigua, is the point of entry forper square kilometer visitors arriving by air to Antigua & Barbuda.Official language: The officiallanguage of Antigua and Barbuda is Ports: Cruise ship ports are located atEnglish, but many of the locals speak St. Johns Harbour and Heritage Quay.Antiguan Creole. Holidays:Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) New Year’s Day Jan 01 Good Friday Apr 06Exchange rate: EC$2.7=U.S. $1 Easter Monday Apr 09 (June 2007) Labour Day May 07 Whit Monday May 28Climate: Temperatures generally Carnival Monday (J’ouvert) Aug 06range from the mid-seventies in the Carnival Tuesday (Last Lap) Aug 07winter to the mid-eighties in the Independence Day Nov 01summer. Annual rainfall averages only National Heroes Day Dec 0945 inches, making it the sunniest of the Christmas Day Dec 25Eastern Caribbean Islands, and the Boxing Day Dec 26northeast trade winds are nearlyconstant, flagging only in September. Literacy Rate:Low humidity year-round.1 Total Population - 85.8% 1 2 http://www.antigua-barbuda.org/index.htm http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm 3
  4. 4. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDALife expectancy at birth:Total Population - 72.42 yearsLocal Time: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead ofWashington, DC during Standard Time)Telephone Codes: 268Health: Medical facilities inAntigua and Barbuda include the MountSt John Medical Center and theHolberton Hospital which provideaffordable health care for all citizens.The construction of new clinics andrestoration of existing ones continues in2007.3 3http://www.eclacpos.org/profile/profileByCountry.asp?country_id=1&country_name=ANTIGUA%20AND%20BARBUDA 4
  5. 5. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA2. THE ECONOMY tax reforms, civil service downsizing, measures to improve the investment2.1 Structure of the Economy climate, plans to reform the ailing social security system, and an impendingThe economy in Antigua and Barbuda is strategy to regularize relations withsmall and open. Therefore, the country is creditors. These efforts have beensubject to the vagaries of the economic complemented by extensive outreach toconditions in countries from which it build public support. Successfulimports goods and services. To some implementation of the ongoing andextent, the effect of imported prices on planned reforms could mark a watershedthe economy is moderated because the for Antigua and Barbuda’s economiccountry’s official currency, the Eastern prospects.Caribbean dollar, enjoys a fixedexchange rate with the US dollar The reform drive has benefited from an(EC$2.70 = US$1.00). The Eastern upswing in recent economic activity.Caribbean dollar which Antigua and The economy is experiencing its thirdBarbuda shares with other countries of consecutive year of high growth, driventhe Leeward and Windward Islands is by a construction boom in hotels andthe strongest of the Caribbean housing, as well as projects related to thecurrencies. 2007 Cricket World Cup. Growth in 2006 is expected to reach 8 percent,Tourism is the largest contributor to the among the highest in the region. Overeconomy, accounting for more than half the medium term however, growth willof GDP. Agriculture and fisheries have slow as the construction boom windsdropped from 40 percent of GDP in the down. Inflation has remained low,1960s to about 12 percent. largely reflecting the stability providedManufacturing industries, which thrived by the regional quasi-currency boardin the decade of the 1980s, are export arrangement.5oriented and produce garments, paint,furniture, bedding and galvanized GDP (2005): US$875.8 million.sheets.4 GDP growth rate (2005): 3.2%. Per capita GDP (2005): US$12,586.The government of Antigua and Barbudahas adopted an ambitious reform Recent Economic Performanceprogram in its endeavor to pull theeconomy from decades of fiscal Antigua and Barbuda’s service-basedweakness-characterized by persistent economy grew by 3.2 percent in 2005,fiscal deficits, a triple-digit debt burden, compared with 5.2 percent in 2004.endemic arrears, and a large civil Construction, banking and insurance,service-and declining growth rates. The communications, and wholesale andreform agenda includes comprehensive 4 5http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/economy http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pn/2007/pn0.html 707.htm 5
  6. 6. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDAretail trade sectors were the main US$160.7 mn in 2004. Debt reliefcontributors to economic growth. obtained on the two large external loans renegotiated in 2004 distorted the overallThe economy is experiencing its third balance of payments deficit in 2004. 6consecutive year of high growth, drivenby a construction boom in hotels and 2.3 Overview of Tradehousing, as well as projects related to the2007 Cricket World Cup. The tourism Antigua and Barbuda is a beneficiary ofand hospitality sector has largely the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative thatrecovered after the decrease in tourism grants duty-free entry into the Unitedfollowing the September 11, 2001 States for many goods. In 2005, 7.7terrorist attacks. It posted a strong percent of its total exports went to theperformance in 2004, and in 2005 the United States, and 48.9 percent of itssector was estimated at 50 percent of total imports came from the UnitedGDP. States. Antigua and Barbuda also belongs to the predominantly English-To lessen its vulnerability to natural speaking Caribbean Community anddisasters and economic shocks, Antigua Common Market (CARICOM) and thehas sought to diversify its economy by CARICOM Single Market and Economyencouraging growth in transportation, (CSME). 7communications, internet gambling, andfinancial services. 2.3.1 Exports2.2 Balance of Payments Exports--US$58 million (merchandise) and US$454 million (commercialPreliminary estimates of the balance of services)payments for 2005 indicated that thecurrent account deficit widened to Major markets--European UnionUS$96.9 mn from US$88.5 mn in 2004. (23.2%), United States (7.7%), AnguillaThis increase in the recurrent account (7.0%), St. Kitts and Nevis (10.3%),deficit occurred mainly because of a Netherlands Antilles (23.4%)widening in the merchandise tradedeficit to US$331.5 mn from US$323.6mn in the previous year. At the sametime, the surplus on the services accountcontracted by 2.5 percent to US$265.9mn mainly because gross tourist receipts 6remained unchanged at US$337.7 mn, http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:dTPryS6despite the decline in tourist arrivals. On w3ssJ:www.caribank.org/Publications.nsf/ERevithe capital and financial account, a ew2005_antiguabarbuda/%24File/ECReview200surplus of US$55.7 mn was recorded 5_antiguabarbuda.pdf%3FOpenElement+antiguacompared to a deficit of US$54.8 mn a +%26+barbuda,+balance+of+payments&hl=en&year earlier. The estimated overall ct=clnk&cd=13balance of payments deficit was 7US$41.2 mn in 2005, compared with http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm 6
  7. 7. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA2.3.2 ImportsImports--$497 million (merchandise)and $197 million (commercial services)Major suppliers--United States (48.9%),Netherlands Antilles (10.2%), EuropeanUnion (11.6%), Trinidad and Tobago(10.9%), Canada (3.7%) 82.4 Antigua and Barbuda’s Trade with CARICOMIn 2005, Antigua and Barbuda’s importswere in excess of EC$209 million whileexports to CARICOM were a mereEC$73 million leading to a trade deficitof EC$136 million.Antigua and Barbuda’s top exports toCARICOM in 2005 included; paints andvarnishes, rum and tafia, and aeratedbeverages. The top imports includedpetroleum products, beer, wheat,cigarettes and aerated beverages. 8http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2336.htm 7
  8. 8. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA3. GENERAL enough, or for a particular brand or typeMARKETING FACTORS of product that moves in large volumes. This is normally done by establishing a3.1 Distribution and Sales Channels relationship with the large grocery stores, and sending a salesperson on a regular basis to place orders. DirectManufacture agents/distributors is the selling is almost non-existent in manymost widely used form of importing CARICOM countries.goods into Antigua and Barbuda, sincethe small size of the market does not 3.2 Promotionmerit establishment of a distributornetwork. There is normally no specific TV, radio, print advertising are widelylegislation in this regard. Contracts accepted practices.normally state that the agent is not to beregarded as an employee or partner of 3.3 Transportationthe principal. However, long-termdistributors/agents sometimes acquire Antigua’s international airport is a majorcertain claims on distribution rights that gateway for the Caribbean, servinggo beyond and, in some cases, supersede British Airways, US Air, Virgincontract rights under local common law Atlantic, American Airlines, Air Canada,interpretations. BWIA and LIAT, with direct flights from New York, Miami, Toronto andA strong network of manufacture agents London.exists throughout the Caribbean. Theseagents represent large manufactures and Regarding regional transport, LIATprovide a sales and marketing team for airlines, continues to be the leadingthe brand, and fully represent the provider of travel from Antigua andcompanys interests in a particular Barbuda to the rest of the Caribbean andcountry. They bring in container loads the country continues to invest in theof product, warehouse, market, sell and airlines. 9distribute them. Often, these agentsrepresent a full range of goods from Major road development is expected insuppliers. Antigua and Barbuda in 2007. Plans to increase spending on repair andMiami consolidators are used by many maintenance of the roads on both islandsof the larger retail stores, which do are in progress. The government alsoregular buying trips to the large Miami plans to construct a transportation hubconsolidators, who offer the no frills which will house a shopping plaza, carbuying concept at exceptionally good park, vehicle inspection station and a busprices and consolidate container loads of terminal. To ensure a reliable andgoods. 9Direct selling to the end retailer is far http://www.eclacpos.org/profile/profileByCountrless used but could be advantageous y.asp?country_id=1&country_name=ANTIGUAwhere the range of products is large %20AND%20BARBUDA 8
  9. 9. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDAaffordable transportation system on theislands, the duty on vehicular parts forany driver who operates a taxi, bus ortour vehicle were reduced by 50%. 9
  10. 10. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA4. MARKET ACCESS 4.2 Free Trade Agreements CONDITIONS Antigua and Barbuda is a member of4.1. Customs Tariffs Caricom and a beneficiary of Lomé IV, Caribcan, and the Caribbean BasinThe Customs Tariff classification is Initiative (CBI) trading agreements.based on the Brussels nomenclature, andthe Brussels definition of value is used Other trade agreements signed and infor Customs valuation purposes. Rates of force: Multilateral WTO member sincecustoms duty range from 5 percent to 70 01 January 1995; CARICOM memberpercent, but a wide range of goods are since 04 July 1973; CARICOM –free of customs duty. Additional special Colombia since 24 July 1994;rates apply to tobacco, cement, CARICOM – Venezuela since 13petroleum products, vans and lorries, October 1992. Trade agreements signedand certain types of timber. but not in force: CARICOM – Costa Rica since 09 March 2004; CARICOM – Dominican Republic since 22 AugustAll OECS Members apply additional 1998.11charges on most or all imports. Antiguaand Barbuda applies a customs service 4.3 Internal Taxescharge (CSC) at a rate is 5%, The CSCapplies to imports from other 4.3.1 Corporation TaxCARICOM countries, but not to importsby government agencies. Incorporated, registered or continued companies are charged a 40 percent taxThe environmental (returnable tax) levy on profit.provides for a deposit levy to be chargedon all aerated beverages, malt, water, Unincorporated businesses pay a twostout and beer bottles and cans at a rate percent tax on gross income. However,of EC$0.25 per bottle/can. However, it is the first $4,166 of gross income in anyrefundable subject to the re-export or calendar month is exempt.crushing of the containers. The levy isonly collected on imported products. 4.3.2 Property TaxIn addition to the CSC and Residential - tax on residential propertiesEnvironmental levy consumption tax – is based on the current constructionvaries from 0-70%, and excise tax – replacement cost of the property. Invaries from 0% - 50%.10 addition, there is a surcharge (0-20%) depending on zoning regulations. 10 11 http://e-fpo.fpo.go.th/e-fiscal/PWGuides/individualguides/DOCS/wcd00 http://www.sice.oas.org/ctyindex/ATG/ATGagre009/wcd009d1.htm ements_e.asp 10
  11. 11. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDACommercial - hotels are taxed at a rate 4.6 Labelling and Markingof 1/5 of one percent of their taxable Requirementsvalue. Other commercial properties mustpay 3/4 of one percent taxable income. The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards has notified nine (9) standards4.3.2 Export duties as National (Voluntary) Standards these will soon be declared as mandatoryAntigua and Barbuda does not impose standards/ Technical Regulations. Theyany export duties, except for those on are as follows:lobsters, sea-island cotton, sugar,molasses and fish.12 1. Antigua and Barbuda Specification for Pre-package ice 2. Antigua and Barbuda Specification for Packaged Water(Mineral Water,4.4 Non-Tariff Barriers Spring Water, Purified Water) 3. Labelling of Commodities Part 1:In Antigua and Barbuda, imports of 80 General Principlesproducts and any import from 34 4. Labelling of Commodities Part 2:countries require an import license. Labelling of Pre-package goodsDifferent agencies are involved in 5. Labelling of Commodities Part 3:granting the licenses. Labelling of Pre-package foods 6. Labelling of Commodities Part 4:Clearing customs takes on average three Labelling of Pesticidesdays in Antigua and Barbuda. 7. Labelling of Commodities Part 5: Labelling of Brewery Products 8. Antigua and Barbuda Specification4.5 Import Documentation for new and used pneumatic tyresThe documents required for importation These standards were prepared toare an invoice, a certificate of origin, a provide basic information that applies tobill of lading, shipping documents, a the labelling of goods. It is intended fordeclaration of value, and, for certain use by manufacturers, importers, anditems, an import license. Demurrage is retailers.payable if a consignee delays clearanceof goods. These standards will be compulsory as will all labelling standards. Therefore failure to comply with these standards constitutes a breach of the laws administered by the Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards. These standards are based on JS 1: Part 12 1: 1984 - Jamaican Standardhttp://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/taxissues. Specification for the Labelling ofhtml Commodities. Part 1: General Principles. 11
  12. 12. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDASCOPE - These standards describe standards and standards related mattersgeneral labelling requirements for all that are relevant to the sustainablecommodities which are customarily development of the nations economy.labelled in the course of trade, except forthose, for which more specific The ABBS participates in the work ofrequirements have been elsewhere standardisation at both the regional levelprescribed. 13 as a member of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), and at the international level4.7 Prohibited and Restricted being a signatory to the WTO/TBT CodeImports of Good Practice for Standardization and having responsibility for the NationalMost goods may be freely imported Enquiry Point for the WTO/TBTunder an open general license granted by Agreement.the Ministry of Finance. Certaincommodities require individual licenses The work of the ABBS presentlyunless they are imported from consists mainly of information servicesCARICOM countries. Citrus fruits may that are supported by training workshopsnot be imported from North America. in areas such as Metrology and ISOThere are import restrictions on certain 9000 awareness, quality systems,basic foodstuffs, such as rice, sugar, Internal audits and Food Safetyfresh fruit, and vegetables, which are (HACCP) systems. The ABBS,controlled by the governments Central however, is currently engaged inMarketing Corporation. These items developing legislation and acquiringmay be imported in small quantities infrastructure that will provide aunder license. Also, certain locally made capacity for offering metrology servicesor assembled products have been as well as other testing services.protected in the past, but the trend is to Standards Development and responses torelax these controls. product-related complaints are dealt with in cooperation with various private and public organisations as well as other4.8 Standards regional bureaux. 14The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau ofStandards (ABBS) is the NationalStandards Body (NSB) of Antigua andBarbuda, established under theStandards Act (1987), Cap.411 of theRevised Laws of Antigua and Barbuda1992. The ABBS has responsibility forthe promotion and promulgation of 13 14http://www.abbs.gov.ag/abbs_info/Standards/lab http://www.iso.org/iso/about/iso_members/iso_elgen-princ.htm member_body.htm?member_id=1543 12
  13. 13. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA5. INVESTMENT PROFILE The legal basis for Antigua and Barbuda’s tax holidays for investors is5.1 Investment Incentives Schemes codified on the Fiscal Incentives Act. The length of the ‘holiday’ depends onAntigua and Barbuda welcomes foreign the amount of value added in Antiguainvestment and provides a hospitable and Barbuda. The definition of localenvironment and generous incentives to value added is the amount realised fromencourage such investment. the sales of the product over a continuous period of 12 months, minus:The government is keen to assureinvestors that their investments are a) Cost of imported raw materials,secure and well protected. Therefore, components, parts of components, fuelsInvestment Protection Agreements have and services;been signed with the Federal Republic ofGermany and with the United Kingdom. b) Wages and salaries paid to foreign nationals;While the Government intervenes in theeconomy as a regulator in some c) Profits and dividends distributed toinstances, the private sector is the foreign nationals;dominant force in the economy. Thegovernment and the ruling United d) Interest, management charges andProgressive Party (UPP) are committed other income payments to not-residentsto upholding the principle of free (including companies); andenterprise and this pledge is hared by themain political parties. Successive e) Depreciation of imports of plant,governments have respected the machinery and equipment.agreements and commitments madebetween previous administrations and The government offers numerousinvestors. concessions to investors, particularly if the investment is substantial. TypicalNo investor has ever had assets concessions include:nationalised or been forced to leave theisland. Under the island’s constitution, • Freedom from the payment ofproperty can only be nationalised in Corporate Tax on the profits arisingexceptional circumstances and even in out of the profitable operations of thesuch cases the country’s constitution company for a period of 15 years indemands that fair compensation must be the first instance which is eligible fordetermined by an independent authority renewal for a further 15 years;and must be paid promptly. Thisconstitutional requirement is unusual in • Waiver of all import duties ondeveloping countries and casts Antigua consumption tax on the importationand Barbuda in a very attractive light for of materials and equipment used ininvestment. the operations of the company; 13
  14. 14. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA• Grant of an export allowance in the business to be transacted easily within an form of an extended tax holiday on appropriate time frame. the exportation of goods produced in Antigua and Barbuda.15 International commercial banking has been conducted on Antigua for many5.2 Foreign Investment Regime years. Offshore banking is more recent, having started in 1983. Since that timeOECS foreign investment receives the industry has grown rapidly. Workingnational treatment in all OECS Member in co-operation with the private sector,countries. The only restriction generally the Government has improved Antigua’srelates to requirements for obtaining offshore company and bankingalien landholding licences. The rationale environment through the introduction offor this restriction is related to new foreign residency, trust, andlimitations in land availability for partnership legislation.commercial purposes, and the need torationalize land use and enable nationals The International Business Corporationsto afford property while avoiding Act of 1982 provides for speedyspeculation by foreign nationals. formation of international businessLicences are subject to satisfactory corporations (IBCs) at very competitiveapplications to national Cabinet of charges. The formation can be carriedMinisters and the payment of requisite out by a locally registered trust companyfees. However, licences are not required or by an accountant or attorney.in a number of cases, such as investment Formation can usually be completedin sectors considered of priority for the within 24 hours and full corporate andcountry, or where the purchase does not trust services are available to bothexceed a certain threshold. private and corporate investors including:While Antigua and Barbuda is probably Registration and maintenance ofbest known as an up-market destination corporate charters for offshorefor more discriminating tourists, its companies; Reception, management, andnatural and developed assets have also disbursement of the assets of offshoreallowed it to emerge as an attractive companies; Provision and maintenanceoffshore business centre. The country is of a registered office; Maintenance ofin a convenient time zone, sharing the the company’s records and statutorysame time as New York, Toronto, register; Preparation of all necessaryCentral and part of South America, and corporate returns and reports to thefalling five hours behind the UK and Director; Provision of directors andEurope in the summer and four hours in officers on request; Incorporation andthe winter which allows international management of offshore banks and captive insurance companies; and a full range of traditional trust services. 15http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/insentiveforinvestors.html 14
  15. 15. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA5.2.1 Internet Gaming Revenue would have no interest in the books of entities that pay the full cap.Internet gaming facilities are deemed to However, such operators are obliged tobe financial institutions under the law. continue to maintain financial books andThey are regulated by the Financial records and to provide access by theServices Regulatory Authority (FSRC), Government through its authorisedwhich gives the internet gaming agencies in the event of the need tooperators a high level of comfort in the examine such books and records injurisdiction and in the ability to conduct accordance with the laws of the Statebusiness on a predictable basis. It is particularly the Money Launderinguseful to take note of the following (Prevention) Act, the Internationalpoints: Business Corporations Act and the Proceeds from Crime Act and theira) A three percent tax is payable by amendments.operators on their “Net win” defined as“the difference between the gross stakes (f) The maximum cap of US$50,000.00laid and the winnings paid out”. per month on taxes and the terms and conditions described in (e) above would(b) Operators are entitled to deduct remain unchanged until 2004, aftersoftware licensing or software which they will be subject to review bydevelopment costs from (a) above, the Government and representatives ofcapped at no more than 40 percent of the the Industry.Net win for all companies providedclaims for the deduction of such costs (g) Gaming Licence fees areare accompanied by documentary US$75,000.00 per annum for thosesupport evidencing the costs. Operators who maintain a primary server and operations in Antigua and Barbuda(c) Operators are entitled to deduct and who pay the tax as described above.charge backs on credit cards for a periodup to 18 months after the original charge (h) Wagering Licence fees arewas made provided claims for the US$50,000.00 per annum for Operatorsdeduction of such charge backs are who maintain a primary server andaccompanied by documentary support operations in Antigua and Barbuda andevidencing the original credit and the who pay the tax as described above.charge back. The internet gaming industry benefits(d) The three percent tax on Net Win and from high quality telecommunicationthe deductibles, as described at (a), (b) facilities provided by Cable andand (c) above, are fixed until 2006, after Wireless. The costs of suchwhich they will be subject to review by telecommunications are highlythe Government and the representatives competitive and are lower than in theof the Industry. vast majority of jurisdictions, which provide a home for internet gaming.(e) Operators are entitled to a maximumcap of US$50,000.00 per month on taxesand the Commissioner of Inland 15
  16. 16. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA6. ESTABLISHMENT OF BUSINESSES Antigua and Barbuda separated its commercial registry from the country’s high court in 2005, reducing the time to start a business by 10 days, from 31 to6.1 Right to Private Ownership 21 days. It also cut the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 30 percent.In Antigua & Barbuda the entrepreneurneeds 26 days from start to finish to An entrepreneur in Antigua and Barbudatransfer the title on a piece of property. spends 12.5 percent of the country’s income per capita to start up a business.In June 1995, the government introduceda permanent residence scheme to In Antigua and Barbuda, the costs toencourage a limited number of high net- register a property add up to 13.0 percentworth individuals to establish tax of property value. However, registryresidency tax in Antigua and Barbuda. records are fully digitized, leading toAs residents all their income would be efficient property registration, which isfree of local tax. associated with greater access to land and finance.To obtain a permanent residencecertificate an applicant must: maintain a A number of international banks have apermanent place of abode in Antigua and presence in the country, includingBarbuda; obtain an alien landholding Barclays International Ltd, Royal Banklicence costing five percent of the of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia and theproperty value; pay a purchasers stamp Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.duty of 2.50 percent; pay an annual levy There are also two locally owned banks -of US$20,000/annum; reside in Antigua the Antigua Commercial Bank and theand Barbuda for not less than 30 days a Antigua and Barbuda Investment Bank.year.16 A number of local and international insurance companies also offer a range6.1 Establishing an Office of insurance services. 17Foreign or local individuals may 6.3 Work Permit Requirementsestablish: sole proprietorships;partnerships; corporations; joint Persons seeking employment cannotventures; and branches of foreign apply for a work permit. Employerscorporations. Businesses are generally must advertise vacancies locally. If norequired to obtain an annual business suitable candidates are located locally,licence. the employer has to apply for a work permit for a foreigner to the 16 17http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/permane http://www.ab.gov.ag/gov_v2/business/financialintresidence.html nstitutions.html 16
  17. 17. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDACommissioner of Labour, Ministry ofLabour, St John’s, Antigua.6.4 Intellectual Property RightsUnder current legislation, patent, trademark and industrial designs are protectedin Antigua and Barbuda if they areregistered in the United Kingdom.As regards the efficiency of contractenforcement, in Antigua and Barbuda ittakes 297 days from the time a claim issubmitted until a judgment is enforced.Antigua and Barbuda is among theglobal best performers in terms of costof going through bankruptcy, where thecost of bankruptcy proceedings amountsto one percent of the value of the estate.6.5 Conversion and Transfer PoliciesIn order to facilitate the provision ofservice and movement andestablishment, provision is made for theremoval of exchange controls bymember states. The Members of theOECS, which includes Antigua &Barbuda, maintain that their foreignexchange system is fully liberalized. 17
  18. 18. DOING BUSINESS WITH ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA7. CULTURALPRACTICES 1. Valid passport (with minimum life of six months)7.1 Business Customs 2. One completed application form 3. Confirmation of travel (return orCommercial: 8:00-12:00,1:00-4:00 p.m. onward ticket or letter confirming dateMonday-Friday (closed on Thursday of travel from travel agent)afternoon).Government: 8:00 am – 4:30 p.m. 4. Confirmation of accommodation or letter of invitation if you are staying in the community with friends or family7.2 Entry/Exit Requirements: 5. 1 x passport-size photograph 6. Visa fees: Single Entry £30.00 (for aMost European Union citizens do not single visit within three months of daterequire a visa to enter Antigua and of issue) or Multiple Entry £40.00 (forBarbuda on holiday or business. Persons multiple visits within six months of datevisiting are permitted to stay as long as of issue)their business takes, provided that: Fees should be in postal orders or ana) this is no longer than six months; international money order made payableb) they have an onward or return ticket; to “Antigua and Barbuda Highc) they have confirmation of Commission” or exact cash (whenaccommodation; delivering in person). Please add and) they can produce evidence of their extra £5.00 for registered post if theability to maintain themselves in passport is to be mailed. ProcessingAntigua and Barbuda period for the issue of a visa is normally three to five working days.Cruise ship visitors who would normallyrequire a visa would not require one Taxes:provided that they arrive in Antigua and Antigua & Barbuda has a US$20 ppBarbuda in the morning and depart the airport departure tax, a room tax of 8.5same evening. percent and service charge of 10 percent.18‘Intransit’ passengers travelling withinthe same day, who normally require avisa, do not need a visa for entry intoAntigua and Barbuda, provided that theyhave proof of their onward journey. 18 http://www.antigua-Documentation required when applying barbuda.com/travel_tourism/information/passporfor a visa: t_visa.asp 18

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