Investment Promotion Act, 2004

Number of Act: 
10
Date of assent: 
20 August 2004
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Signed this 20th day of August, 2004

ALHAJI AHMAD TEJAN KABBAH,

President.

The Investment Promotion Act, 2004.

Being an Act to promote and attract private investment both
domestic and foreign for the development of production and value
adding activites, to improve exports and provide employment
opportunities; and generally to create an environment conducive to
private investment and to provide for other related matters.

[26th August, 2004]

Enacted by the President and Members of Parliament in this
present Parliament assembled.

ACT

Supplement to the Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXXXV, No. 49
dated 26th August, 2004

THE INVESTMENT PROMOTION ACT, 2004

 

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

 

Part 1-PRELIMINARY

Section

1. Interpretation.

2. Application.

3. Other investment laws.

Part II-INVESTMENT PROCEDURES

4. Investment in business enterprises.

5. Facilitating agency.

6. Request for assistance.

Part HI-INVESTMENT INCENTIVES AND GUARANTEES

7. Capacity building support.

8. Foreign exchange remittance.

9. Remittance of profit.

10. Guarantee of capital repatriation and of loan remittance.

11. Guarantee against expropriation.

Part IV-MISCELLANEOUS

12. Export licences not required.

13. Expatriate labour requirement.

14. Expatriate first arrival duty waiver.

15. Access to land.

16. Settlement of disputes.

17. Official secrecy.

18. Regulations.

19. Repeal.

Part I-PRELIMINARY

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

"incentives" when used in relation to investment,
means the legal provisions designed to encourage
investment and includes the conferment of any
advantage in respect of particular investments;

"investment" means the direct investment of foreign
or domestic capital into a business enterprise in
Sierra Leone;

"investor" means any natural person or legal entity,
including companies, business associations,
partnerships, sole proprietorships and other
organisations constituted or otherwise duly
organised under the laws of Sierra Leone to operate
a business enterprise;

"Minister" means that Minister responsible for trade
and industry;

"SLEDIC" means the Sierra Leone Export Development
and Investment Corporation established by section
2 of the Sierra Leone Export Development and
Investment Corporation Act, 1993.

2. This Act shall not apply to investment in the production
of arms and ammunition, military, police and prison officers' apparel
and accoutrement.

3. In addition to this Act, there are other enactments providing
specially for investment in business enterprises concerned with
tourism, fisheries, mines and minerals, banks, non-bank financial
institutions and other business activities, including such matters as
the incentives for any such investments.

Part II-INVESTMENT PROCEDURES

4. Any investor whether domestic or foreign may invest in
any legitimate form of business enterprise.

5. (1) For the purpose of facilitating an investment in any
business enterprise, SLEDIC shall be responsible for implementing
the provisions of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, it shall be the function
ofSLEDIC-

(a) to facilitate registration of business
enterprises;

(b) to assist investors in obtaining permits,
licences, certificates or clearances, as the case
may be, needed for the commencement of
business;

(c) to provide information to potential investors
on matters relating to investment;

(d) to assist potential investors in identifying
joint venture partners in Sierra Leone;

(e) to provide such other assistance as may be
needed by an investor for the realization of
his investment; and

(f) to do all such other things as may be
necessary or incidental to the discharge of
the functions conferred by this Act.

6. (1) Subject to section 5, any person who wishes to invest
in a business enterprise in Sierra Leone shall, on request, be assisted
by SLEDIC to obtain the following:-

(a) business name registration certificate;

(b) certificate of incorporation;

(c) business registration certificate;

(d) business licence certificate.

(2) SLEDIC shall seek the cooperation of the relevant
authorities to facilitate the documentation referred to in subsection
(1) within seven working days.

(3) SLEDIC shall also facilitate the process fortlie renewal
of any certificate referred to in subsection (1), if so requested.

Part IIII-INVESTMENT INCENTIVES AND GUARANTEES

7. In order to further improve the capacity of Sierra Leonean
business enterprises to compete effectively, both locally and
internationally, the Government with assistance from its development
partners shall provide to such business enterprises a number of
capacity building and special support programmes which may
include-

(a) business training;

(b) micro-finance (including support for bulk-
buying);

(c) technical assistance;

(d) business incubator programmes;

(e) pre-qualification programmes for access to
credit;

(f) credit registry; and

(g) registry of local enterprises for joint ventures.

8. Expatriate personnel with work permits shall be permitted
to make remittances abroad through their commercial banks, subject
to such withholding tax obligations as are contained in the Income
Tax Act 2000, if applicable.

9. The remittance of profits, after taxes, earned by a foreign
investor from a business enterprise, is guaranteed as constituting
current international transactions in respect of which payments
transferred abroad shall be allowed without restriction.

10. (1) An investor may freely repatriate proceeds received
from the liquidation of a business enterprise and awards resulting
from any settlement of disputes in respect of such business enterprise.

(2) There shall be no restriction on the transfer of
repayments of principal and interest on an arms length third party
loan contracted outside Sierra Leone and registered with the Bank of
Sierra Leone but interest payments due on such loans may be subject
to the withholding tax obligations in the Income Tax Act, 2000 if
applicable.

11. No private investment, whether domestic or foreign, shall
be expropriated or nationalized in a direct or indirect manner, except
in the special cases specified by section 21 of the Constitution which,
among other tilings, stipulates that the investment or other property
be reasonably required for public purposes and that prompt and
adequate compensation shall be paid in the event of any expropriation
or nationalization.

Part IV-MISCELLANEOUS

12. No export licence is required for the export of locally
produced goods except gold, diamonds and such other goods or
materials as may be prescribed from time to time.

13. A business enterprise which requires expatriate labour shall
apply to the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Industrial
Relations for consideration in accordance with any enactment relating
to labour matters.

14. The personal effects of an expatriate issued with a work
permit and his immediate family shall be exempt from customs duty
under the arrival concessions in force.

15. The Government acknowledges that access to land is vital
to the operations of a business enterprise and will take necessary
steps to facilitate an investor's access to land.

16. (1) Where a dispute arises between an investor and the
Government in respect of an investment in a business enterprise or in
respect of an investment obstructed or delayed by Government the
parties will use their best efforts to settle such dispute amicably.

(2) Where any dispute between an investor and the
Government in respect of a business enterprise is not settled amicably,
it may be submitted at the option of the aggrieved party to arbitration
as follows:-

(a) in accordance with the rules of procedure for
arbitration of the United National Commission
on International Trade Laws (UNCITRAL).

(b) in the case of a foreign investor within the
framework of any bilateral or multilateral
agreement on investment protection to which
the Government and the country of which
the investor is a national are parties; or

(c) in accordance with any other national or
international machinery for the settlement of
investment disputes as the parties may agree.

(3) Where any dispute between an investor and a non-
governmental body in respect of an enterprise is not settled amicably,
and where no recourse is available through arbitration or previously
established contracts or other legal instruments, then the matter shall
be referred to the relevant legal authority within Sierra Leone for
settlement, in accordance with the law binding such transaction.

17. Any person who, in the course of his official duties
transfers or communicates proprietary information obtained from an
investor to any other person to whom he is not authorised by any
enactment or by the Minister to transfer or communicate such
information commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine
not less than three million leones or to imprisonment for a term not
less than one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

18. The Minister may, by statutory instrument, make
regulations to give effect to the provisions of this Act.

19. The Non-Citizens (Trade and Business) Act, 1969 is hereby
repealed.

Passed in Parliament this 17th day August, in the year of our Lord two
thousand and four.

J. A. CARPENTER,

Clerk of Parliament.

This Printed Impression has been carefully compared by me with the Bill
which haspassed Parliament and found by me to be a true and correct printed copy
of the said Bill.

J. A. CARPENTER,

Clerk of Parliament.

Printed and Published by the Government Printing Department, Sierra Leone.
Gazette No. 49 of 26th August, 2004.

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