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FREE ZONES ACT.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS.

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

   1.   Commencement.

   2.   Interpretation.

PART II
DECLARATION OF ZONES.

   3.   Declaration of a free zone.

   4.   Factors to be considered in declaring a free zone.

   5.   Spatial conditions for the establishment of a free zone.

PART III
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK AND MANAGEMENT OF FREE ZONES.

   6.   Establishment of the Uganda Free Zone Authority.

   7.   Uganda Free Zone Authority Board.

   8.   Functions of the Board.

   9.   Composition of the Board.

   10.   Tenure and removal of members of the Board.

   11.   Meetings of the Board.

   12.   Secretary to the Board.

   13.   Functions of the Authority.

   14.   Power of Minister to give policy directions to the Board.

   15.   Secretariat of the Authority.

   16.   Executive Director.

   17.   Officers and staff.

   18.   Liability of staff.

PART IV
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS.

   19.   Finances of the Authority.

   20.   Bank Accounts.

   21.   Estimates.

   22.   Financial year.

   23.   Accounts.

   24.   Audit.

PART V
ESTABLISHMENT OF A FREE ZONE.

   25.   Developer of a free zone.

   26.   Separation and arrangement of a free zone.

   27.   Free zone developer's licence.

   28.   Application for a developer's licence.

   29.   Factors to be considered in granting a licence.

   30.   Processing, grant or refusal of licence to develop a free zone.

   31.   Commencement of activities in a free zone.

   32.   Conditions for utilisation of a free zone.

   33.   Duties of a developer.

   34.   Powers of a developer.

   35.   Changes to a free zone.

   36.   Free zone activity report.

   37.   Withdrawal of approval or closure of a free zone.

PART VI
OPERATION BY A BUSINESS ENTERPRISE IN A FREE ZONE.

   38.   Licences for operators.

   39.   Activities of an operator in a free zone.

   40.   Conditions of business enterprises in a free zone.

   41.   Notice to Uganda Revenue Authority.

   42.   Notice to Authority of intended changes to a licence.

   43.   Revocation of licence.

PART VII
GOODS, ACTIVITIES AND EQUIPMENT IN AN EXPORT PROCESSING ZONE.

   44.   Activities permitted in an export processing zone.

   45.   Activities not to be conducted in an export processing zone.

   46.   Treatment of goods and services taken out of an export processing zone.

   47.   Goods and services within an export processing zone.

   48.   Exemptions.

   49.   Warehousing domestic goods.

   50.   Temporary withdrawal of goods from an exporting zone.

   51.   Standards, regulations, quality and price norms.

PART VIII
GOODS, ACTIVITIES AND EQUIPMENT IN A FREE ZONE.

   52.   Activities permitted in a free port zone.

   53.   Goods brought into a free port zone.

   54.   Activities not to be conducted in free port zones.

   55.   Movement of goods inside free port zone premises.

   56.   Transfer of ownership of goods in free port zone premises.

   57.   Application for removal of goods from free port zone.

   58.   Removal of goods from free port zones.

   59.   Retail trade.

   60.   Facilities in a free port zone.

   61.   Disposal of movable assets from a free port zone.

PART IX
CUSTOMS SUPERVISION AND CONTROL IN FREE ZONES.

   62.   Activities in a free zone to be subject to customs supervision.

   63.   Inspection by Commissioner General and issue of certificates.

   64.   Contents of certificate.

   65.   Altering a certificate.

   66.   Customs supervision and control of free zones.

   67.   Declaring and placing at site of customs goods.

   68.   Inspection of goods.

   69.   Customed goods used as equipment in free zones.

   70.   Records.

PART X
GENERAL.

   71.   Incentives and facilities.

   72.   Register of licenses.

   73.   Guarantee against expropriation.

   74.   Application of laws and agreements.

   75.   Appeal against refusal, revocation, etc. of licence.

   76.   Annual reports.

   77.   Submission of reports to Parliament.

   78.   Official secrecy and duty of public officer.

   79.   Service of notices and other documents.

   80.   Offences and penalties.

   81.   Regulations.

   82.   Amendment of Schedules.

 

      Schedule 1   Currency point.

      Schedule 2   Meetings of the Board.

 

FREE ZONES ACT.

Commencement: 1 August, 2014.

   An Act to make provision for the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of free zones; to establish the Uganda Free Zones Authority to be responsible for the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of free zones; and to provide for other related matters.

 

PART I
PRELIMINARY.

 

1.   Commencement.

   This Act shall come into force on a date appointed by the Minister by statutory instrument

 

2.   Interpretation.

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "Authority" means the Uganda Free Zones Authority established by section 6;

   "benefits" includes facilities and incentives provided under this Act;

   "Board" means the Uganda Free Zones Authority Board established by section 7;.

   "business enterprise" means an operator licensed under section 38.

   "capital" means cash contributions, plant, machinery, equipment, buildings, spare parts, and other business assets, other than goodwill, which are not consumed in the regular operation of a business;

   "CIF" means cost, insurance and freight;

   "client charter" means an implementable work schedule of personnel to meet client needs;

   "Commissioner General" means the Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority;

   "currency point" means the value specified in Schedule 1 to this Act;

   "Customs officer" means an officer of the Commissioner General;

   "customs territory" means an area under the control of the Commissioner General;

   "Customs Union" means the East African Community Customs Union established under article 2 of the Protocol;

   "developer" means a body corporate established to develop and administer a free zone;

   "domestic developer" means a developer owned or controlled by Ugandans;

   "domestic goods" means goods from the customs territory stored in an export processing zone and not to be used in processing;

   "domestic market" means Uganda;

   "Executive Director" means the Executive Director appointed under section 16;

   "export" means to take or cause goods to be taken out of Uganda or a free zone;

   "export processing zone" means a designated part of a free zone or territory of Uganda, where any goods introduced are generally regarded for the purpose of import and export duties and taxes, as being outside the customs territory but are duly restricted by controlled access and where the benefits provided under this Act apply and where the East African Community Customs Management Act applies;

   "facilities" means support services and approvals necessary for the establishment and operation of a business enterprise;

   "free port zone" means a customs controlled area where imported duty free goods are stored for the purpose of trade;

   "free zone" means a designated area where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded, so far as import duties are concerned, as being outside the customs territory and includes an export processing zone or free port zone;

   "goods" includes all kinds of articles, wares, merchandise, livestock, and currency, and, where the goods are sold under this Act, the proceeds of sale;

   "incoterm" means international commercial terms used to define transaction costs and responsibilities between a buyer and a seller or a seller and a shipper which deal with questions related to delivery of products from a seller to a buyer and defines terms agreed on between a buyer and a seller;

   "infrastructure" means physical structures such as roads, bridges or storm sewers, which facilitate economic or other activities or which protect property;

   "import" means to bring or cause goods to be brought into Uganda from a foreign country or from a free zone;

   "import duties and taxes" means any customs duties and other duties, taxes, fees or other charges which are collected on or in connection with the importation and exportation of goods, but do not include fees and charges which are limited in amount to the costs of services rendered;

   "incentives" means the incentives accorded to investors by Government in the promotion and facilitation of investments by the investors;

   "licence" means a licence issued under this Act;

   "Minister" means the Minister responsible for finance;

   "operator" means a person carrying out a business enterprise in a free zone under Part VI of this Act;

   "place at site" means to offload, store or warehouse goods within a free zone;

   "Protocol" means the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Customs Union;

   "services" means export or free zone related services provided by or to an export processing or free port zone enterprise, including consultancy, information, brokerage and repair services, but excludes financial services and commercial activities.

 

PART II
DECLARATION OF FREE ZONES

 

3.   Declaration of a free zone.

   (1) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Authority, by statutory instrument, declare any building or area of land in Uganda to be a free zone.

   (2) An instrument under subsection (1) shall state the name and boundary description of the free zone.

 

4.   Factors to be considered in declaring a free zone.

   (1) In recommending an area to be declared a free zone, under section 3, the Authority shall be satisfied that—

   (a)   in case of production for export, the percentage of goods and services exported from the zone is not more than the percentage stated in section 47(1)(b)(iv);

   (b)   by performing the activities in the free zone, there will be an increase in employment; and

   (c)   the production and technological processes of the goods that are manufactured and stored, and the services that are performed, do not endanger the environment.

   (2) A free port zone may only be established at a lake, river port, airport, border point or a place with similar geographic and economic advantage.

 

5.   Spatial conditions for the establishment of a free zone.

   (1) A free zone shall be established in an area determined by spatial or physical plans for a locality.

   (2) The construction of any infrastructure and the performance of other activities in a free zone shall be in the public interest.

 

PART III
INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK AND MANAGEMENT OF FREE ZONES.

 

6.   Establishment of the Uganda Free Zones Authority.

   (1) There is established an Authority, known as the Uganda Free Zones Authority.

   (2) The Authority shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, and may, in its own name—

   (a)   enter into any contract, acquiring, holding and disposing of property, movable and immovable, necessary for the achievement of its objectives and performance of its functions under this Act;

   (b)   sue and be sued; and

   (c)   do all acts and things that a body corporate may lawfully do or suffer.

 

7.   Uganda Free Zones Authority Board.

   The governing body of the Authority shall be the Uganda Free Zones Authority Board.

 

8.   Functions of the Board.

   (1) The Board shall—

   (a)   be the policy making organ of the Authority;

   (b)   give direction to the Executive Director in connection with the management, performance, operational policies and implementation of the policies of the Authority;

   (c)   on the recommendation of the Executive Director, approve such organisational structures, terms and conditions of service of staff of the Authority;

   (d)   prescribe such administrative measures as may be required to safe guard all revenue of the Authority;

   (e)   establish such committees as are necessary for the proper discharge of its functions under this Act; and

   (f)   subject to section 16, appoint, remove and suspend the members of staff of the Authority.

 

9.   Composition of the Board.

   (1) The following shall be the members of the Board—

   (a)   a Chairperson, who shall be a person of high moral character with proven integrity and relevant experience;

   (b)   the Vice Chairperson,

   (c)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for finance;

   (d)   a representative of the Ministry responsible for trade,

   (e)   a representative of the Uganda Investment Authority;

   (f)   a representative of the workers nominated by the Federation of Labour Unions in Uganda;

   (g)   a representative of the Uganda Land Commission; and

   (h)   a representative of the Uganda Revenue Authority, who shall be an ex officio member.

   (2) The Minister shall appoint the Chairperson and other members of the Board

   (3) The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall be appointed from the Private sector.

   (4) At least one-third of the membership of the Board shall be of either gender.

 

10.   Tenure and removal of members of the Board.

   (1) A member of the Board shall serve a term of three years, and may be reappointed for only one more term.

   (2) A member of the Board may resign his or her office by writing to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect one month from the date of receipt of the letter of resignation by the Minister.

   (3) Where a member of the Board dies or resigns or otherwise vacates office before the expiry of the term for which he or she was appointed, the Minister may appoint another person in his or her place.

   (4) A member of the Board may be removed from office by the Minister if he or she—

   (a)   becomes of unsound mind or is incapable of performing the duties of his or her office;

   (b)   fails, omits or neglects to carry out his or her responsibilities as a Board member;

   (c)   has been adjudged or declared bankrupt under any law in force in Uganda and has not been discharged;

   (d)   is convicted of an offence punishable by more than three months imprisonment or is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty; or

   (e)   fails to attend, without lawful excuse, three consecutive meetings of the Board or is absent from four board meetings for a consecutive period of six months.

 

11.   Meetings of the Board.

   The meetings of the Board shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in Schedule 2 to this Act.

 

12.   Secretary to the Board.

   The Executive Director shall be the secretary to the Board.

 

13.   Functions of the Authority.

   (1) Subject to this Act, the Authority shall be responsible for the establishment, management, maintenance, marketing, supervision and control of free zones.

   (2) Without prejudice to the general effect of subsection (1), the Authority shall have the following functions under that subsection—

   (a)   to oversee, coordinate and administer the provisions of this Act;

   (b)   to advise the Government on all matters relating to free zones and on its own initiative to make recommendations to the Government on policy, legal, financial and other issues that may affect the work of the Authority and the performance of free zones and to advise on best practices for implementation of free zones in Uganda;

   (c)   to recommend to the Minister the declaration, extension and termination of a free zone;

   (d)   to identify and map areas to be declared as free zones;

   (e)   to act as a body having national responsibility for the drafting and implementation of policies and actions relating to free zones including the establishment, development, promotion, management, control, operation, supervision and monitoring of free zones;

   (f)   to provide, construct, develop, alter, adapt, maintain and administer free zones;

   (g)   to ensure that all required measures to facilitate business activities in a free zone are identified, including, but not limited to, requirements for physical amenities, infrastructure, manpower and training and to devise measures that will encourage the provision of those requirements;

   (h)   to foster sustainable development through establishment or causing to be established free zones in such numbers and locations and for

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