Legal Document

Title: Special Economic Zone Authority
Type: Act
Issuing Agency: Ministry of Justice
Responsible Agency: Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority
Issuing Date: 15-02-2016

 

 

THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE ACT

 

Sections

 

PART I- Preliminary 

PART II-Special Economic Zone Authority

PART III - Restriction on Operation of Special Economic Zones

PART IV-Designation of Special Economic Zones, MasterConcessions and Licence-Agreements Designation of Special Economic Zone

PART V - Zone Benefits

PART VI-Special Customs Regime for Zones

PART VII-Offences and Penalties

PART VIII-Miscellaneous

PART IX-Transitional Provisions

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THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE ACT 

15th February 2016

 

 

 

PART I-Preliminary 

 

1. This Act may be cited as the Special Economic Zones Act 2016, and shall come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

"appointed day'' means the day appointed under section 1 for the corning into operation of this Act;

"assets" means any form of property, irrespective of its use or intended use;

"Authority" means the Special Economic Zone Authority established by section 5;

"authorization" means a licence, an authority or an approval, issued

by the Authority under this Act, in accordance with section39;

"benefits" means the tax reliefs and incentives for Special Economic Zones that are conferred on developers and occupants by Part V, including those specified in the First Schedule;

''Board" means the Board of Directors of the Authority, established by section 8;

"Chief Executive Officer" means the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority appointed under section 12;

"concession agreement" means the contractual arrangements under a concession agreement, license-agreement or master-concession regarding any one or more of the following rights; that is, the right to develop, construct, exploit, manage, operate or maintain the infrastructure, buildings, equipment, facilities or amenities in a Zone;

"condition", in relation to an authorization, includes a limitation or restriction;

"customs duties" means the duties payable under the Customs Act;

"customs territory"meansJamaica including thearchipelagic waters of Jamaica as defined in section 5 of the Maritime Areas Act and the territorial waters thereof as defined in section 12 of that Act, but excluding the Special Economic Zones;

"developer" means a company limited by shares that is incorporated under the Companies Act and is established by a sponsor for the purposes of entering into a master concession or a licence-agreement; "document" means, in addition to a document in writing, anything in which information of any description is recorded;

"effective date", in relation to a master-concession or a licence agreement, means the date on which all conditions precedent to its effectiveness set out therein have either been met to the satisfaction of the Authority or waived by the Authority, as the case may be.

"excluded activities" means the activities specified in section 41 (1 );

"existing Free Zone" means a Free Zone, designated as such by or pursuant to the repealed enactment, that is in existence and operating as such immediately before the appointed day;

"fixed lease payment" means the lease rent payable by the developer, under a site lease agreement pursuant to a master concession, to the Authority for the lease of the zone area;

''functions" includes powers and duties; "Government company'' means a company registered under the Companies Act, being a company in which the Government or an agency of Government holds more than fifty percent of the shares;

''infrastructure", in relation to a Zone, means the basic infrastructure which a developer is required to construct or cause to be constructed within the Zone under the master-concession orthe licence-agreement, such as-

(a) site preparation;

(b) internal roads;

( c) common areas;

(d) common facilities, such as guard houses andGovernment offices

( e) fences; and

(f) utilities, such as water, electricity, data communication and sewage;

"licence-agreement" means a concession agreement between the Authority and the developer of a Zone established or intended to be established on land that is not vested in the Authority as the registered proprietor or head lessee of the land;

''master-concession" means a concession agreement concluded between the Authority and the developer of a Zone established or intended to be established on land that is vested in the Authority as the registered proprietor or head lessee of the land;

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for industry;

"MSME" means an occupant that is a micro enterprise, small enterprise or medium enterprise as described in the Second Schedule;

"occupant" means a person, other than a developer of a Zone or zone user, who conducts business in the Zone under a subconcession made by that person with the developer, being a subconcession that is in accordance with a master concession or a licence-agreement held by the developer;

"operating certificate" means the document issued by the Authority to a developer under section 23 evidencing that the Authority has entered into a master-concession or a licence-agreement with the developer;

''register'' means the register kept and maintained under section 40;

"repealed enactment" means the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act;

 

"revenue laws" means the several revenue imposing enactments referred to in the First Schedule;

"security interest" includes-

 (a) a security interest as defined in section 2 of the Security Interests in Personal Property Act; and

(b) any mortgage or charge of an estate or interest in real property;

"site lease agreement" means the agreement executed between the Authority and a developer under a master-concession, granting a leasehold interest to the developer of the zone area;

"Special Economic Zone" or "Zone" means an area designated under section 18; "Special Economic Zone Fund" or "Fund" means the fund established by paragraph 8 of Part I of the Third Schedule;

"sponsor" means an investor who, or a consortium of investors that, proposes to provide shareholder capital to finance, directly or indirectly, the business that a developer will undertake pursuant to a master-concession or a licence agreement;

"subconcession" means a concession agreement entered into between a developer and an occupant; "zone area" means the geographical area of a Zone, as designated in the master-concession or licence-agreement between the Authority and a developer;

''zone user'' means a person, not being a developer or an occupant, who performs activities or services in a Zone on the basis of an authorization from the Authority.

 

3. This Act applies to Special Economic Zones established in Jamaica.

 

4. This Act shall be regarded as an enactment relating to the customs for the purposes of the Customs Act

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PART II-Special Economic Zone Authority 

 

5.-(1) For the purposes of this Act, there is established a body to be known as the Special Economic Zone Authority which shall be a body corporate to which section 28 of the Interpretation Act applies.

(2) The provisions of Part I of the Third Schedule shall have effect as to the constitution, administration and financing of the Authority, and otherwise in relation thereto.

(3) Subject to subsection ( 4), the Authority may raise capital by the issuing of shares on such terms and conditions as the Minister may prescribe by order published in the Gazette.

( 4) The Government, or an agency of the Government, shall at all times hold no less than 50.1 % of any shares issued wider subsection (3).

 

6. The functions of the Authority are to­

( a) regulate and supervise Zones;

 

(b) acquire real property, whether freehold or leasehold, and to act as a landlord in respect of real property that is vested in the Authority as registered proprietor or head lessee;

 

( c) advise the Minister on matters of general policy relating to Zones;

 

( d) recommend to the Minister the location of Zones;

 

( e) issue guidelines and directions to developers, occupants and zone users for the implementation of this Act;

(f) manage the Fund;

 

(g) consider and determine applications by prospective developers on the basis of the relevant eligibility criteria specified in the Fourth Schedule;

(h) negotiate and enter into master-concessions and licence agreements in accordance with this Act on the basis of the relevant eligibility criteria specified in the Fourth Schedule and any approval criteria that the Minister may prescribe by order published in the Gazette;

(i) approve subconcessions in accordance with this Act, on the basis of the relevant eligibility criteria specified in the Fourth Schedule and any approval criteria that the Minister may prescribe by order published in the Gazette

(j) manage and operate a business acceleration centre for the coordination of its activities with those of Government entities, in order to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Zones;

(k) receive and take prompt action to resolve complaints from developers, occupants and zone users in a Zone, and exporters of goods and services located in the customs territory to a Zone;

(l) facilitate the mediation and settlement of disputes among persons referred to in paragraph (k);

(m) make recommendations to the Minister as to the making of regulations under this Act;

(n) promote and market Zones;

(o) raise capital to support the execution of its functions on a commercial basis to the extent practicable, and to reduce its dependence on public resources;

(p) establish subsidiaries for the more effective implementation of its functions; and

(q) perform such other functions relating to the administration and operation of Zones as may be assigned to it by or under this Act or any other enactment

 

7.-(1) The Authority shall, in the performance of its functions, operate on business principles that maximize its effectiveness and efficiency, and have regard to the desirability that its operations-

( a) enhance the Jamaican economy by increasing levels of investment and creating job opportunities;

(b) promote measures, actions and investments aimed at improving the logistics chain of which the Zones are a part;

(c) foster the development and expansion of the Zones in collaboration with the Government, international organizations and the private sector;

( d) ensure that the environment is protected in the course of the development and operation of Zones;

( e) enable persons conducting business in the Zones to compete effectively in the conduct of their business;

(f) promote research and development in the fields of Zone activities, and related services, facilities and amenities; and

(g) collaborate with universities and other educational institutions for the promotion of technical and operational education and training in the fields of Zone development, promotion, operation and management.

 

     (2) TheAuthority shall not permit any existing business operating in the customs territory to be transferred or reestablished in a Zone as a developer or an occupant, during the Zone establishment period.

 

    (3) In subsection (2), "Zone-establishment period" means the period of ten years from the appointed day or such other period as the Minister may prescribe by order subject to affirmative resolution.

 

    ( 4) In exercising his functions under subsection (3), the Minister shall take into account the level of development of Zones in Jamaica and the need to protect Jamaica's tax base from erosion.

 

8.   (1) There is established, for the purposes of this Act a Board of Directors of the Authority

 

     (2) The provisions of Part II of the Third Schedule shall have effect as to the constitution of the Board and otherwise in relation thereto

 

9. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board is responsible for overseeing the general administration of the Authority.

 

10. The Minister may, after consultation with the chairman of the Board, give to the Board directions of a general character as to the policy to be followed by the Board in the performance of its functions, as appear to the Minister to be necessary in the public interest; and the Board shall give effect to the directions

 

11. (1) The Authority may, subject to the provisions of this act delegate to any person the performance of such of its functions, other than the power of delegation, as it may, from time to time, consider to be necessary.

 

       (2) A delegation of any function under subsection (1) is revocable by the Authority and the delegation shall not preclude the performance of that function by the Authority. 

 

 

12.  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Board may appoint and employ a competent and experienced person as the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, at such remuneration and on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit. 

 

      (2) An individual who would not be eligible to be an appointed member of the Board by virtue of paragraph 2 of Part II of the Third Schedule is not eligible to be appointed as Chief Executive Officer.

     (3) For the proper carrying out of the provisions of this Act, the Chief Executive Officer may appoint and employ to any office with the Authority, officers and employees, at such remuneration and on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit, subject to the approval of the Board.

      (4) Except with the prior approval of the Minister responsible for the public service-

 ( a) no salary in excess of the prescribed rate shall be assigned to any office specified in subsection (1) or(3); and

(b) no appointment shall be made to any such office to which a salary in excess of the prescribed rate is assigned.

     (5) For the purposes of subsection ( 4 ), the 'prescribed rate" shall be such rate as the Minister responsible for the public service may prescribe by order subject to affirmative resolution.

     (6) The Governor-General may, subject to such conditions as he may impose, approve the appointment of any officer in the service of the Government to any office with the Authority, and any officer so appointed or while so employed, in relation to other rights as a public officer, shall be treated as continuing in the service of the Government.

   (7) The Chief Executive Officer shall consult with the Board in establishing the qualification for the various offices within the Authority, and shall advise the Board on all appointments to fill such offices.

13. The Authority may, with the approval of the Minister responsible for the public service-

( a) enter into arrangements respecting schemes, whether by way of insurance policies or otherwise; and

(b) make regulations,

for medical benefits, pensions, gratuities, and other retiring benefits or disability or death benefits, relating to officers and employees of the Authority and such arrangements or regulations may include provisions for the grant of benefits to the dependants and the legal personal representatives of such officers and employees.

14.-(1) The Chief Executive Officer shall be responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of the Authority. directing, supervising

      (2) The Chief Executive and coordinating Officer shall the activities be responsible of the Authority for planning, in the performance of the functions conferred upon the Authority by section 6, including-

( a) the development of the programmes, performance targets and service standards of the Authority for the approval of the Board;

 

(b) implementation of the programmes, performance targets and service standards referred to in paragraph ( a); 

 

( c) the preparation and submission of the strategic, corporate and other plans for the approval of the Board;

 ( d) ensuring administrative support for the Board and any committees of the Board established under Part II of the Third Schedule, as is required;

 ( e) ensuring that the Board is kept abreast of matters relevant to the administration and management of the Authority;

 (f) the performance of such other functions as are conferred upon the Chief Executive Officer by or under this Act or any other enactment.

     (3) The Chief Executive Officer shall have regard to the advice and recommendations given to the Chief Executive Officer by the Board. 

15. -(1) No civil or criminal action, suit or other proceedings may be brought, nor may any professional sanction be taken, against any person, who in good faith, under this Act or any regulations made under this Act, discloses to the Authority information requested by the Authority or submits a report or other document to the Authority.

      (2) No suit or other legal proceedings may be brought or instituted personally in respect of any act done or omission made in good faith, against any officer, employee or agent of the Authority in the course of carrying out the provisions of this Act or any regulations made under this Act.

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PART III-Restriction on Operation of Special Economic Zones 

16.-(1) Except under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act and any regulations made under this Act, a person shall not hold himself out as providing, developing, constructing, exploiting managing or maintaining infrastructure, buildings, equipment, facilities

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction in a Resident Magistrate's Court to a fine not exceeding three million dollars or, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

17. (1) Subject to this Act, unless the Minister in the public interest directs otherwise after having regard to the matter set out in subsection

(2), the Authority shall not allow the development of single-entity Zones, that is to say, Zones whose operation is restricted to one business entity operating under a master-concession or licence-agreement.

(2) The matters referred to in subsection (1) are-

( a) whether the area is one that is identified as having growth potential in the Government's development plan;

(b) the existence of required off-site infrastructure, including roads, telecommunication, ports, airports;

( c) whether the proposed location and its surroundings have the capacity to absorb any necessary infrastructure improvements;

( d) the availability of water and electric power supply for use in the Zone;

( e) the availability of vacant land nearby for use as possible zone expansion;

(f) the availability of skilled, semi-skilled and non-skilled labour force around the Zone;

(g) whether the area is strategically located;

(h) whether the proposed Zone will be situated in an area where controls can be established to prevent adverse environmental activities.

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PART IV-Designation of Special Economic Zones, MasterConcessions and Licence-Agreements Designation of Special Economic Zone 

 

18.(1) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Authority after consultation with the Minister responsible for finance, designate a geographical area as a Special Economic Zone by order published in the Gazette.

         (2) The Authority may allow the establishment of­ 

(a) general Zones; or

 (b) specialized Zones, that is to say, Zones limited to specific economic activities, such as maritime or aviation related Zones (which may include dry docks, bunkering facilities, aircraft maintenance and repair, or tank farms)

19.  (1) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette transfer to the Authority any property belonging to the Government which appears to him to be necessary or useful to the Authority in  carrying out its functions under this Act, and such property shall vest in the Authority by virtue of the order and without further assurance

 

        (2) An order made pursuant to subsection (1) shall-

( a) specify the amount of compensation(if any)payable to the Government in relation to property so transferred, and the manner in which such compensation shall be paid; and 

(b) contain such incidental, consequential or supplementary provisions as the Minister may think .necessary or expedient for the purposes of the order

 

        (3) All property vested in theAuthorityunderthisAct shall, in addition to its exemption under the First Schedule, from property tax, be exempt from sewerage rates and all rates imposed under the provisions of Part VII of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act, or of the Parochial Rates and Finance Act. 


 

Master-Concessions and Licence-Agreements

20.-(1) The Authority shall establish procedures for the marketing  initiation and conduct of negotiations in relation to the making of applications by sponsors for the entry into master-concessions and licence-agreements.

(2) Procedures established under subsection (1 )­ 

( a) shall be commercially reasonable; and

 (b) may include requirements for the payment of prescribed fees

(3) Subject to section 22, theAuthoritymayenterintomasterconcessions and licence-agreements under this Act. 

21.-(1) In executing the procedures under section 20, the Authority may- 

( a) carry out such investigations in relation to the applicant as it considers appropriate in order to verify the accuracy of the information in the application, and 

(b) request fin1herinfonnation and documents from the applicant for the purposes of considering the application

(2) The Authority shall exercise due diligence in order to ensure that sponsors and developers are not engaged in- 

( a) money laundering or other financial crimes; 

(b) the financing of terrorism; or

 (c) the manufacture or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

22. The Authority shall not enter into a master-concession or a licence-agreement unless the Minister has approved the Authority's doing so by order published in the Gazette.

23. Where pursuant to section 20, the Authority enters into a master -concession or a licence-agreement, the Authority shall issue an operating certificate in the prescribed form to the developer

24.-(1) The Fifth Schedule provides for certain rights and obligations of developers and the Authority, respectively, that shall arise wider a master-concession or licence-agreement.

       (2) The rights and obligations referred to in subsection (1) shall be in addition to any other rights and obligations that may be agreed by the parties to the master-concession or licence-agreement and that are not inconsistent with the provisions of the Fifth Schedule

25.-(1) Upon the effective date of a master-concession, the Authority shall, in accordance with the provisions of the master concession, confer on the developer vacant and exclusive possession and quiet enjoyment of the relevant zone area, which shall include the sole and exclusive right to enter upon, occupy, possess and use the relevant zone area.

 

      (2) Zone areas shall be free and clear of any security interest or other encumbrance that is inconsistent with the rights and interest granted to the developer under the master-concession, and for the avoidance of doubt this paragraph shall not preclude-

( a) security interests granted by the developer in accordance with the master-concession or licence-agreement; or 

(b) security interests granted by the Authority which are subject and subordinate to the rights and interest of the developer wider the master-concession or licence-agreement.

26. Subject to the provisions of the master-concession, the Authority shall, throughout the term of a master-concession, use its best efforts to facilitate the supply of services and facilities external to the zone area, such as road access, water, electricity, telecommunications and waste water, as are reasonably required for the commercial operation of the

Zone by the developer.

27. -(1) Subject to its provisions, a master-concession or licence -agreement shall remain in force for such term, not exceeding fifty years  from the effective date thereof as may be specified therein

       (2) The term of a master-concession or licence-agreement may be extended by the Authority on such terms and conditions as the Authority may, in writing, determine. 

28. Subject to the provisions of this Act and the tenns and conditions of the master-concession or licence-agreement, the developer shall, during the term thereof- 

(a) be entitled to set and revise the rents and service charges payable by occupants, zone users and other persons in respect of the operation and management of the Zone by the developer; and

 (b) enjoy all benefits granted to it under this Act and the revenues to which it is entitled under the master-concession or licence agreement, as the case may be

 

29.- (1) The developer shall pay an annual licence fee to the Authority in accordance with the provisions of the master-concession or licence-agreement.

      (2) In the case of a master-concession, the developer shall pay a-fixed lease payment to the Authority as consideration for the lease of the zone area to the developer.

30. A master-concession may include provisions that provide that, upon the termination of the master-concession (whether by expiry of the term thereof, or otherwise}-

(a) subject to the provisions of the master-concession, the assets of the developer necessary for the Zone's operation, including infrastructure, developer's equipment, facilities, records, computer systems, software licences and other intellectual property used by the developer prior to the termination of the master-concession, shall be transferred to the Authority;

(b) after full completion of any Zone-related works in accordance with the agreed construction programme, and subject to the relevant provisions of the master-concession, the Authority may pay termination compensation, based on a percentage of the written down book value of the assets referred to in paragraph ( a) that were constructed or brought into the Zone by the developer during the terms of the master-concession and remain in the Zone

 

31.-(1) A developer shall not assign, transfer or otherwise dispose of its rights or obligations under a master-concession or a licence- agreement without the prior written consent of the Authority.

 

      (2) With respect to an assignment or other transfer of any obligation under a master-concession by the developer, the developer shall, unless the Authority otherwise agrees in writing, retain responsibility for its obligations under this Act and the master-concession as if no such assignment or transfer had occurred, until the obligations have been performed to the satisfaction of the Authority.

 

32.-(1) The developer shall manage and operate the Zone on a common user basis, that is to say, the Zone shall in principle be open to prospective occupants who satisfy the eligibility criteria established under this Act

 

      (2) The developer shall refrain from indulging in any unfair or discriminatory practice against any occupant or prospective occupant.

 

     (3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a Zone referred to in section 17.

 

33. The developer of a Zone shall-

(a) promptly commence operations and the construction of Zone -related works (if any) upon the effective date of the master concession or licence agreement ( in this section referred to as the "applicable agreement") as it own cost and expense ;

(b) execute the agreed construction programme (as updated from time to time) for the construction of the Zone - related works;

(c) at all times during the term of the applicable agreement, comply with applicable law, any guidelines and directions lawfully issued by any authority, and any licences or permits granted to the developer;

(d) make payments to the Authority in accordance with the provisions of the applicable agreement;

( e) maintain the infrastructure of the Zone in good working order and condition, normal wear and tear excepted;

(f) develop, construct, manage, operate and market the Zone in accordance with any applicable law or standard prescribed by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Authority.


Subconcessions

 

34. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a developer of a Zone may enter into subconcessions with occupants for the use of sites located in the Zone

35. The developer shall ensure that, at all times, any subconcession referred to in section 34 provides that-

(a) the term of the subconcession shall not exceed the term of the developer's master-concession or the licence-agreement, as the case may be;

(b) the occupant shall not, during the tenn of the subconcession, perform activities which are included in the list of excluded activities;

( c) the occupant shall take reasonable steps to control pollution of the air, land and sea by oil, chemicals, emissions, hazardous material, effluent, solid waste and other waste originating or emitting from the zone area, to the satisfuction of theAuthority, the National Environment and Planning Agency and in accordance with any applicable law pertaining to the environment; and

( d) all agreements between the Authority and the developer in respect of landscaping, zoning, design and construction standards shall be complied with

36.-(1) A subconcession shall not come into effect unless the developer has applied for and obtained an authorization from the Authority with respect to the subconcession.

      (2) The Authorityshall grant an authorization with respect to a subconcession iftheAuthorityis satisfied that-

( a) the subconcession is consistent with the terms and conditions of the master-concession or licence agreement held by the developer;

(b) the subconcession is in conformity with section 35; and

( c) that the occupant the occupant is not will engage, engaged, and in there any is activity no reason referred to suspect to in section 21 (2) or any of the excluded activities.

     (3) The Authority shall not, without prior consultation with the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, issue an authorization for a subconcession involving goods to which the Excise Duty Act applies; and any such authorization shall comply with such logistical and security requirements as the Commissioner of Customs and Excise may determine.

37. In the event of any conflict between a master-concession or a licence-agreement and a subconcession, the provisions of the master-concession or the licence-agreement, as the case may be, shall prevail.

38. In the event of the termination of a master-concession prior to the expiration of the original term of the master-concession

( a) subject to the rights of a holder of a security interest granted by the developer in accordance with the master-concession theAuthority shall assume the interim responsibility for the management and operation of the Zone and may make such · arrangements with respect thereto as it considers necessary; and

(b) the occupants shall have the right to continue to operate within the Zone in accordance with their subconcessions until such time as either a new master-concession comes into effect with respect to the Zone or the Zone is closed, as the case may be.

 


Authorizations

39 .-(1) The Authority may, upon application being made to it in the prescribed form and manner by a developer, issue an authorization to a zone user, authorizing the zone user to carry out or operate, as the case may be, any activity, service or facility in the Zone.

      (2) An application under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by the prescribed application fee.

      (3) The Authority may require the applicant to provide any further information that it considers necessary to determine the application.

       (4) The Authority may-

( a) grant the authorization, subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, upon payment of the fee prescribed in relation to the activity, service or facility; or

(b) refuse to grant the authorization.

     (5) Where the Authority refuses to grant an authorization under subsection (4) (b ), it shall so inform the applicant, in writing, stating the reasons for the refusal.

     (6) The Authority shall not, without prior consultation with the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, issue an authorization for the operation of a retail trade within the Zone, and any such authorization shall comply with such logistical and security requirements as the Commissioner of Customs and Excise may determine.

 

40.-(1) The Authority shall keep or cause to be kept, for the purposes of this Act, a register of operating certificates issued with respect to master-concessions and licence-agreements, and authorizations issued with respect to subconcessions and zone users, under this Act.

      (2) The Authority shall, forthwith, cause to be entered in the register with respect to each operating certificate and authorization-

( a) the name, address and occupation or description of the person to whom the operating certificate or authorization is issued;

(b) the date on which it was issued;

( c) the Zone to which the operating certificate or authorization relates; and

( d) the activities which the person to whom the operating certificate or authorization is issued is entitled to carry out in the Zone.

(3) The register shall be kept in such form as the Authority thinks appropriate, including by electronic means.

( 4) The Authority shall update the register from time to time and correct clerical errors in the register.

( 5) Information on the register may be made available for inspection by the public, whether by electronic means or otherwise.

41.    (1) A developer or an occupant shall not carry on any of the following activities, whether directly or indirectly, in a Zone-

( a) extractive industries, including mining, quarrying or drilling for natural resources (but not including the lawful extraction of water for the developer's or occupant's own use);

(b) tourism services;

( c) telecommunications services;

( d) public utilities (but not including the generation of electricity by a developer or an occupant solely for its own use and not for supply to any other person other than the Single Buyer pursuant to a standard offer contract for net billing or a wheeling arrangement under the Electricity Act);

( e) financial services regulated by the Bank of Jamaica or the Financial Services Commission;

(f) construction services, unless as part of a manufacturing process within a Zone;

(g) real estate;

(h) health services, excluding research and development;

(i) catering services;

(j) retail trade;and

(k) such other activities as the Minister may, specify by order prescribed in the Gazette

 

     (2) The Minister responsible for finance may, after consultation with the Minister, add to or remove or otherwise amend the list of excluded activities; however, an amendment of the list shall not apply so as to negatively impact a developer or an occupant who is already carrying on an activity that was not included on the list prior to such amendment

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PART V-Zone Benefits 

 

 

42.-(1) The Authority shall enjoy the benefits specified in the First Schedule.

     (2) Developers and occupants shall enjoy the benefits specified in the First Schedule, for the duration of the master-concession, licence agreement or subconcession to which each is a party, as the case may be.

    (3) The provisions set out in the First Schedule shall be read in conjunction with the relevant revenue laws to which they, respectively, relate.

    (4) A developer and an occupant shall maintain books and records in accordance with any relevant revenue laws.

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PART VI-Special Customs Regime for Zones 

 

43.-(1) In order to facilitate the efficient operation of Zones in Jamaica, the Commissioner of Customs and Excise shall make arrangements for-

( a) the availability of customs services in Zones on a continuous basis to meet the needs of the developers and occupants;

(b) customs procedures and systems that enable electronic transactions and payments and pre-arrival clearance of goods;

( c) the facilitation of imports of capital goods and equipment destined to remain in a Zone;

( d) the efficient transportation of goods and equipment destined for a Zone from the point of entry, under customs control, directly and without any unnecessary delay, to its destination, subject to complying with such security and bonding arrangements as are acceptable to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise;

( e) expediting the determination of the accuracy and authenticity of declarations concerning imports and exports into or from a Zone, prior to the release of the goods;

(f) the release of goods from a Zone, the release of goods destined to or originating from a Zone prior to the final determination of customs duties, taxes, fees, and charges, provided that all regulatory requirements, including security requirements, have been met

(g) the expeditious release of flow risk consignments;

(h) the expedited release of goods bound for a Zone, entered through air cargo facilities, provided that all regulatory requirements, including security requirements, have been met;

(i) the import or export of software through a data communication link;

(i) efficient and flexible procedures and practices to be applied for goods imported from the customs territory into a Zone and exported from a Zone into the customs territory; and

(k) simplified customs procedures for the movement of goods through the customs territory from one Zone to another Zone.

(2) Goods entering the customs territory from the Zone shall thereupon be deemed to be imported into the customs territory and the provisions of the Customs Act shall apply thereto accordingly.

 

44. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Customs Act shall apply in the Zone to the extent required for the Commissioner of Customs and Excise to carry out this obligations under this Act.

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PART VII-Offences and Penalties 

45.-( 1) A person who, without a reasonable excuse, enters or remains in a Zone without a valid pass issued by the Authority commits an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction in a Resident Magistrate's Court, to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand dollars or, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.

       (2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to an officer or employee of the Government or a Government entity while acting in an official capacity.

46. A person commits an offence if that person furnishes any information required of him under any notice under this Act which he knows to be false in any material particular, and shall be liable on summary conviction in a Resident Magistrate's Court to a fine not exceeding three million dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

47. A person who commits an offence under this Act or regulations made under this Act for which no specific penalty is prescribed shall be liable on summary conviction in a Resident Magistrate's Court to a fine not exceeding one million dollars or, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

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PART VIII-Miscellaneous 

48. Any summons, notice or other document required or authorized to be served upon the Authority under this Act or any other enactment may, unless there is express provision to the contrary, be served by delivering same to the chairman or secretary, or by sending it by registered post addressed to the secretary at the principal office of the Authority.

 

49 . (1) The Minister may, after consultation with the Authority, make regulations generally for the better carrying out of the provisions and purposes of this Act and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the regulations may make provisions-

(a) prescribing fees, charges and cost recovery measures to be imposed by the Authority for services provided by or on behalf of the Authority;

(b) facilitating the raising of capital by the Authority through the issuance of equity securities or other financial instruments ( and such regulations may apply such provisions of the Companies Act or of any other enactment as the Minister thinks necessary, with such modifications as the Minister thinks fit);

( c) determining criteria for the designation of Zones;

( d) determining the application process, criteria, conditions, terms and procedures for designation of Zones and the issue of authorizations under this Act;

( e) determining the general conditions of entry of persons into a Zone;

(f) regulating and managing the Fund;

(g) requiring information from developers, occupants and zone users, and the inspection of their books and records by the Authority or persons so authorised on its behalf;

(h) facilitating the corporatization of the Authority in order to introduce and strengthen the use of corporate and business management techniques in its adminstration

    (2) For the purpose of giving effect to this Act, the Minister may, by order subject to affirmative resolution, make such amendment to any law as appears to him to be necessary or expedient to ensure consistency with the provisions of this Act.

    (3) Notwithstanding section 29(b) of the Interpretation Act, regulations made under subsection ( 1) may provide in respect of a breach of any provision thereof, on summary conviction in a Resident Magistrate's Court, for a fine not exceeding one million dollars

 

 

50. (1) The Minister may, by order subject to affirmative resolution, amend or vary any monetary penalties prescribed by or under this Act or amend any of the Schedules, other than the First Schedule.

     (2) Subject to subsection (3), the Minister responsible for finance may, after consultation with the Minister, amend the First Schedule by order published in the Gazette, subject to affirmative resolution

     (3) No amendment shall be made to the First Schedule pursuant to subsection (2) that would reduce or eliminate any of the benefits enjoyed by an existing developer or existing occupant during the remainder of the term of the master-concession, licence agreement or subconcession to which he is a party, as the case may be.

   (4) For the purposes of subsection (3), an existing developer or occupant means a developer or an occupant who is party to a master concession, licence-agreement or subconcession that is in effect as at the date that the amendment comes into operation.

51.-(1) The Jamaica Export Free Zones Act is repealed.

      (2) The Income Tax Act is amended-

(a) in section 38, by inserting next after subsection (1A) the following as subsection (1B)-

"(1 B) This section shall apply as if the rate at which- ( a) the occupant shall deduct tax from distributions by way of dividends paid out of profits derived from the conduct of a trade, profession or vocation in the Z.One, is 0%;and

(b) the developer shall deduct tax .from distributions by way of dividends paid out of profits derived from non-exempt income from the conduct of a trade, profession or vocation in the Zone is 0%;

(b) delete the words "Jamaica Export Free Zones Act" wherever they appear and substitute therefor in each case the words "Special Economic Zones Act".

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PART IX-Transitional Provisions 

52. In this Part-

"approved enterprise" means any enterprise approved under the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act.

(a) by a Promoter; or

(b) if the enterprise is a Promoter, by the Council,

to carry on a approved activity within the meaning of that Act;

"continuing beneficiary" means a Free Zone Promoter or an approved enterprise that immediately before the appointed day, was entitled to fiscal incentives under the repealed enactment;

"council" means the Jamaica Free Zone Council constituted under section 2A of the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act;

"existing Free Zone" means a Free Zone in existence under the repealed enactment immediately before the appointed day;

"fiscal incentive" means any exemption or relief, in respect of any tax, duty, levy or other impost, that is granted under any of the revenue laws;

"Free Zone Promoter'' or Promoter" means-

( a) any person who is licensed by the Council to promote develop or operate any area of land or a building or part of a building as a Free Zone pursuant to the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act; and

(b) the Port Authority.

53.-(1) Any Free Zone Promoter of an existing Free Zone which desires to continue its activities as a developer under this Act shall enter into a master-concession or a licence-agreement with the Authority  within a period of four years from the appointed day, and on doing so shall be deemed to a developer for the purposes of this Act.

 

 

    (2) Any approved enterprise within an existing Free Zone which desires to continue its activities as an occupant under this Act shall enter into a subconcession with a developer within a period of four years from the appointed day, and on doing so shall be deemed to be an occupant for the purposes of this Act.

 

  (3) The Minister may by notice published in the Gazette extend the period specified in subsections (1) and (2) for an additional period of up to six months.

54. Notwithstanding the repeal of the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act, all licences, agreements, instruments or other documents granted, made or given under the provisions of the repealed enactment shall, subject to this Act and in so far as they are consistent with this Act or the regulations made under the Act, continue in force for a period of four years from the appointed day or ( where it arises) until the end of an additional period referred to in section 53(3).

55. Notwithstanding the repeal of the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act and subject to the provisions of this section, a continuing beneficiary shall continue to be entitled to the fiscal incentives to which he was entitled under the repealed enactment until the 31st day of December, 2019 or such earlier date as he becomes entitled to benefits under this Act.

56.-(1) Where immediately before the 1st day of January, 2020, by virtue of the fiscal incentives available under the repealed enactment ( as extended for four years after its repeal, by virtue of this Act), no initial allowance or annual allowance was made to a continuing beneficiary in respect of capital expenditure incurred by the continuing beneficiary before the 1st day of January, 2020, the continuing beneficiary shall, where permitted, be entitled to an initial allowance and an annual allowance, in accordance with subsection (2), in respect of that capital expenditure.

      (2) Capital expenditure referred to in subsection (1) ( other than capital expenditure incurred on the purchase, alteration or improvement of a private motor vehicle) shall be deemed, for the purposes of the First Schedule to the Income Tax Act, to be capital expenditure incurred on the 1st day of January, 2020, and-

( a) subject to subsection (3), an initial allowance shall, where permitted, be made in accordance with the First Schedule to the Income Tax Act in respect of the amount of that capital expenditure; and

(b) annual allowances shall, where permitted, be made in accordance with the First Schedule to the Income Tax Act in respect of the amount of that capital expenditure.

(3) For greater certainty, no initial allowance shall be made under subsection (2)( a) in respect of capital expenditure for which an initial allowance has previously been made

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