Free Zones Act, 2014
Act 5 of 2014
- Published in Uganda Gazette 23 on 25 April 2014
- Assented to on 2 April 2014
- Commenced on 1 August 2014 by Free Zones Act, 2014 (Commencement) Instrument, 2014
- [This is the version of this document from 25 April 2014.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. CommencementThis Act shall come into force on a date appointed by the Minister by statutory instrument.
2. InterpretationIn 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
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 Zones Authority
7. Uganda Free Zones Authority BoardThe governing body of the Authority shall be the Uganda Free Zones 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 BoardThe meetings of the Board shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in Schedule 2 to this Act.
12. Secretary to the BoardThe Executive Director shall be the secretary to the Board.
13. Functions of the Authority
14. Power of Minister to give policy directions to the BoardThe Minister may, in writing, give directions to the Board on matters of a policy nature and the Board shall give effect to such directions.
15. Secretariat of Authority
16. Executive Director
17. Officers and staff
18. Liability of staffA member, officer or other staff of the Authority is not, in his or her personal capacity, liable in civil proceedings in respect of an act or omission done in good faith in the exercise of his or her functions under this Act.
Part IV – Financial provisions
19. Finances of the Authority
20. Bank accounts
22. Financial yearThe financial year of the Authority shall be the same as the financial year of the Government.
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 licenceA person shall not carry on business as a developer of a free zone without a valid licence granted for that purpose under this Act.
28. Application for a developer’s licence
29. Factors to be considered in granting a licenceThe Authority shall in considering an application for a free zone licence require that the applicant demonstrates capacity to develop and manage a free zone under criteria prescribed by the Minister by regulations.
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. Licence for operators
39. Activities of an operator in a free zone
40. Conditions of business enterprises in free zones
41. Notice to Uganda Revenue AuthorityThe Authority shall give notice to the Uganda Revenue Authority of every licensed business enterprise specifying—
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 export processing zones
45. Activities not to be conducted in export processing zonesThere shall not be conducted in an export processing zone activities related to—
46. Treatment of goods and services taken out of export processing zone
47. Goods and services within an export processing zone
48. ExemptionsA developer or an operator shall be granted exemptions from taxes and duties on all export processing zone imported inputs that are for the exclusive use in the development and production out put of the business enterprise including machinery and equipment, spare parts, raw materials and intermediate goods, subject to the limitation on goods specified in the East African Customs Management Act.
49. Warehousing domestic goods
50. Temporary withdrawal of goods from an export processing zoneGoods may be temporarily taken out of an export processing zone or brought into that export processing zone area for refinement, or finishing, additional and repair work and marketing presentations in accordance with the customs laws governing temporary import and export of goods.
51. Standards, regulations, quality and price norms
Part VIII – Goods, activities and equipment in a free port 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 zonesThere shall not be conducted in a free port zone activities related to—
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 a free port zone
58. Removal of goods from a free port zone
59. Retail tradeRetail trade shall not be carried out in a free port zone except with the prior written permission of the Authority.
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 supervisionActivities in a free zone shall be subject to supervision by the Commissioner General as provided under this Part.
63. Inspection by Commissioner General and issue of certificates
64. Contents of the certificateA certificate issued by the Commissioner General shall state—
65. Altering a certificate
66. Customs supervision and control of a free zone
67. Declaring and placing at site of customs goods, e.t.c
68. Inspection of goods
69. Customed goods used as equipment in a free zone
Part X – General
71. Incentives and facilities
72. Register of licences
73. Guarantee against expropriation
74. Application of laws and agreements
75. Appeal against refusal, revocation, etc of licence
76. Annual reportsThe Authority shall, in each year, within two months after the end of the financial year, submit to the Minister, a statement of its activities in the preceding financial year, indicating any particular problems experienced by the Authority in that year in carrying out its objects and functions and making recommendations for resolving those problems and containing such other information as the Minister may direct.
77. Submission of reports to ParliamentThe Minister shall, within three months after receipt of the statement referred to in section 76, lay before Parliament together with the Auditor General’s report the annual report of the Authority.
78. Official secrecy and duty of public officersA person who in the course of his or her official duties in the administration of this Act—
79. Service of notices and other documents
80. Offences and penalties
82. Amendment of ScheduleThe Minister may, with the approval of the Cabinet, by statutory instrument, amend any Schedule to this Act.
History of this document
01 August 2014
Commenced by Free Zones Act, 2014 (Commencement) Instrument, 2014
25 April 2014 this version
02 April 2014