Repiblik Dayti - République d’Haïti - Ayti - Republic of Haiti
Haiti is bordered to the east by the Dominican Republic, which covers the rest of Hispaniola, to the south and west by the Caribbean, and to the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Cuba lies some 50 miles (80 km) west of Haiti’s northern peninsula, across the Windward Passage, a strait connecting the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Jamaica is some 120 miles (190 km) west of the southern peninsula, across the Jamaica Channel, and Great Inagua Island (of The Bahamas) lies roughly 70 miles (110 km) to the north. Haiti claims sovereignty over Navassa (Navase) Island, an uninhabited U.S.-administered islet about 35 miles (55 km) to the west in the Jamaica Channel.
Major food imports include cereals, meat, and poultry. U.S. exports of rice, processed food, wheat, and poultry are good market prospects. Haiti’s food imports were valued at $864 million in 2019, decreasing 4.2 percent between FY2018 and FY2019 (Source: Trade Data Monitor (TDM) and other sources).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorizes credit guarantees to Haiti under the Commodity Credit Corporation’s (CCC) Export Credit Guarantee Program (referred to as GSM-102).
More information on USDA’s GSM-102 program can be found at https://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/export-credit-guarantee-program-gsm-102, or contact the Foreign Agriculture Service’s Office of Agricultural Affairs in Port au Prince (AgPortauPrince1@fas.usda.gov).
Major imported agricultural products
• Cereal products; malt, starch, wheat gluten
• Poultry, meat and edible meat offal
Rice is a staple food for a majority of Haitians. When Haitians consumed less rice per person, they were self-sufficient in rice; however, consumption increased, and 80 percent of rice now consumed in Haiti is imported. The United States is especially competitive in long grain milled rice (less than 10 percent of whole or broken kernels of medium and short grain rice). The total amount of rice imported was valued at $218.4 million in 2019, which represented an 8.4 percent decrease from 2018. Of total rice imports, $207 million came from the United States. U.S. exports of milled rice are typically 4 percent broken and packaged in 50 kg and 25 kg bags.
Other Cereal Products – Malt, Flour, Starch, and Wheat Gluten
Cereal products, especially wheat and flour, are major components of the Haitian diet. Haiti, however, does not produce sufficient milled grains to satisfy domestic demand. After rice, other cereal products are the second largest category of U.S. agricultural exports to Haiti. The United States remains Haiti’s largest supplier of wheat, corn, sorghum and millet, as well as rice. U.S. exports of all cereal products increased 9.5 percent from 2018 to 2019, from $253 million to $277 million.
Poultry, Meat and Edible Meat Offal
The United States is Haiti’s leading supplier of poultry. Over the past several years, decreases in the availability of local livestock and increasing feed prices that forced Haitian farms out of business have also factored into the rising demand for poultry imports.
Following the detection of the H5N2 avian flu virus in the Dominican Republic, on January 7, 2008, the government of Haiti instituted a ban on Dominican poultry and egg products. In June 2013, the Minister of Commerce and Industry declared that the government of Haiti had lifted the ban on Dominican poultry meats, but Dominican poultry exporters have to fulfill the requirements of the Haitian government before exporting to Haiti and must obtain an import permit.
Haiti imported $85 million worth of meat and edible meat offal during FY2019, a 13.6 percent decrease in comparison to 2018.
Solid waste management remains problematic in the country. Waste is managed in some municipalities on an individual basis without any control by municipalities, and waste management is stressed by a set of interrelated factors including population growth, urban expansion, insufficient infrastructure, and public management issues. Waste collection in cities is not provided in many municipalities. Almost all of the waste is sent to illegal dumps (rivers, drainage canals) by households without any prior treatment and without development of receiving sites. In some areas, solid waste is burned or buried in the ground, contributing to pollution and emission of greenhouse gases.
Haiti faces significant challenges in generating and distributing energy reliably and lack of access to affordable and reliable power significantly hinders investment and business development. On average, 80 percent of electricity is produced using imported fossil fuels. The Haitian government is exploring various avenues to advance conventional energy usage to lower costs. Underutilized opportunities for small hydropower, smart grid, and biomass systems make Haiti an interesting renewable energy prospect. While hydropower is the renewable option that contributes the most to Haiti’s energy supply, most of the population relies on biomass such as charcoal and wood as their main source of energy.
Solar energy has not been formally developed for large-scale use. Following months of grid instability and decreased power from the electricity utility in 2020, however, a number of middle and upper-income households purchased solar power systems to ensure electricity.
Local demand for U.S. electrical machinery and equipment was valued at $20.4 million in FY 2018. Electricite d’Haiti (EDH), the underperforming government-owned electricity utility, supplies nine hours or less of electricity per day for most circuits, according to a 2018 World Bank report. During disruptions to the fuel supply chain or in the dry season, electricity availability on EDH-managed grids falls significantly.
The company drastically rationed electricity throughout the metropolitan region of Port au Prince in 2019, with most of the population accessing only a few hours of power every two or three days and in some cases experiencing weeks of blackout. EDH does not collect enough revenue to finance the company’s operations. The estimated losses from the electricity sector amounted to about 1.8and 1.9 percent of GDP in FY2018 and FY2019 respectively. According to information from the Commercial Directorate of EDH, the government of Haiti provides an annual subsidy of around $250 million to keep the utility afloat. Illegal siphoning from the grid, poor billing practices, and unpaid invoices, including from government offices, also result in consistent shortfall for the company, which operates at a loss.
In October 2019, the Haitian Council of Ministers issued a resolution instructing the Ministry of Finance to suspend payments to three named independent power producers related to the execution of power purchase agreements between the Government of Haiti and the power producers. By the end of November 2019, two of those companies were no longer actively operating as independent power producers. Availability of electricity on the Port au Prince metropolitan grid fell by nearly half.
There is an urgent need to repair and expand existing power plants throughout the country. Haiti has an installed capacity of 250 to 400 Megawatts (MW) but only 60 percent of the installed capacity is reliable, as many generation units and grid elements need rehabilitation and repair work. Total unmet demand for residential and commercial electricity in the country is estimated at approximately 550MW per day. Only one third of the population has access to electricity, and of those with access, many are freeriders who are not billed or do not pay. On average, Haitians consume 21 Kilowatts (kW) per person annually, although the Ministry of Public Works estimates that the coverage could be higher when irregular connections are considered.
Even for those with access to electricity, reliability is inconsistent. This unreliability has led many businesses and larger households to install diesel generators. Multinational businesses have expressed dissatisfaction at the expensive energy rates in Haiti’s commercial and industrial sectors, compared to other countries in the region where they do business. The lack of access to affordable and reliable power hinders investment, constrains the development of productive businesses, and degrades living standards for residential customers.
The fuel of choice for food preparation for many rural households in Haiti remains charcoal, which is a major cause of deforestation. The annual consumption of wood products by Haitians is estimated at 4 million metric tons (MT), of which about one-third is transformed into charcoal to meet the cooking fuel needs of urban consumers. Apart from the negative environmental impact of cutting trees for fuel, cooking with firewood and charcoal exposes the population, especially women and young girls, to increased levels of smoke and indoor air pollution.
Authoritative data on electricity generation is not available. Although the government hopes to modernize EDH, it made minimal efforts to improve its performance through July 2020. Electrical blackouts occur frequently in Haiti. Residential owners drive demand for low-cost electrical generation equipment and small-scale power charging stations because of severe limits on local generating capacity. There is also a consistent residential demand for solar energy equipment and smart grids, as well as demand from private businesses. According to Haitian dealers’ records, 50 percent of power generators come from the United States. Other suppliers include Japan, France, China, and South Korea.
Haiti’s largest electricity grid is the Port au Prince metropolitan grid, plus eight smaller regional grids. Some towns, such as Fort-Liberté in the northeast, have an electricity distribution network, but have been effectively abandoned by the national utility EDH for about a decade. Users thus have to rely entirely on small, privately owned generators to meet their electricity demand. One of EDH’s problems is its lack of capital to maintain power plant generators, meaning they cannot run at full capacity. As of September 2020, Taiwan provided the Haitian government a $150 million loan primarily for repairs and upgrades to the metropolitan grids, with $20 million set-aside for rural electrification projects. In addition to production technology, officials are also looking at updating business technology.
In 2019, the Haitian energy sector regulatory authority, ANARSE, began issuing a series of prequalification rounds for concessionaires to take over and expand electricity production, transmission, and distribution for several of the country’s regional grids, including in the Northeast. While this process slowed in 2020 due to COVID-19, ANARSE is expected to select concessionaires for the initial three grids and issue further tenders for more of Haiti’s regional grids in late 2020 and in 2021.
Haiti acceded to CARICOM in July 1999, negotiating a ten-year period as a Least Developed Country to fully integrate into CARICOM. The legislation on the Common External Tariff is still pending Parliament approval. To import into the U.S. market, Haiti benefits from several preferential trade programs, including the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Agreement (CBTPA), the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act II (HOPE II) and the HELP Acts, and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), as outlined below.
To import weapons, waste, drugs, and agricultural products, the importer must have authorization from the Haitian government. In June 2013, the Minister of Commerce and Industry removed the 2008 ban on poultry meat only, and imports of eggs are still prohibited from areas exposed to avian influenza. Other than poultry and eggs, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has not updated the list of prohibited products since 1962. Prohibited items include: materials of a pornographic nature; military equipment, including tanks, armored vehicles and parts, warships and lifeboats; arms and ammunition not intended for government use; narcotics; and equipment to be used to manufacture or print counterfeit currency or securities. According to the 1962 law, it is illegal to import used shoes and used clothing. Nonetheless, the law is not usually enforced and used clothing imports constitute a lucrative business in Haiti, particularly used clothing coming from the United States and the Dominican Republic. The goods are usually cleared through customs as personal effects.
The Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for the health and environmental controls of imports. Imports of certain goods are subject to control for security and health reasons. Reasons for prohibition and/or restrictions include protecting Haiti’s flora, fauna, and livestock from dangerous diseases.
Imports of ethyl alcohol, generic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals require prior authorization from the Ministry of Public Health. Imports of agricultural inputs, cattle feed, and animal products (processed or unprocessed) require authorization from the Quarantine Department of Ministry of Agriculture and the submission of a health certificate issued by the exporting country. Imported live animals, plants, and seeds are subject to quarantine. An animal health certificate is required for imports of bovine animals and swine, and the certificate must indicate that the country of origin is free of foot and mouth disease, contagious bovine pleuro pneumonia, rinderpest, vesicular stomatitis, and lumpy skin disease.
In the case of swine, the certificate must also indicate that the animals originate from countries free of vesicular exanthema, African swine fever, ordinary swine fever, and swine encephalomyelitis. Haiti is not a member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); however, it voluntarily adheres to CITES directives. Haiti has no quantitative restrictions on imports of animals.
Verification fee: The charge for inspection is 5 percent of the CIF (cost, insurance, freight). The government waives the fee for goods in transit, storage, or temporary entry regimes and for goods used for diplomatic missions and the import of personal effects.
Value-Added Tax (French acronym TCA): The 10 percent TCA is a general tax on the local sale of goods, supply of services, and imports. It is applied to the CIF value in addition to the customs duty, inspection fee, and excise duties. The TCA is calculated at each stage of production, distribution, and import. Products that are exempt from this tax include: petroleum products; newspapers, books, magazines, and paper used for school materials; local agricultural products; agricultural, livestock breeding, and fishing inputs; inputs used to manufacture medicines sold in pharmacies; agricultural, fishing, and livestock breeding machinery and equipment; and legal services. Goods entering the country under the transit, storage, or temporary entry regimes, including those to be used in processing and assembly industries produced solely for export, are also exempt.
Contribution to Management Funds for Territorial Collectives (CFGDCT): The CFGDCT is applied at the rate of 2 percent on all imports, except on petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, parcel posts, some food products, agricultural inputs, and paper.
Excise Tax: A 10 percent fee is levied on imported cars of 2200 cubic centimeters or more; 90 percent of CIF on gasoline; 40 percent of CIF on diesel fuel; 30 percent of CIF on kerosene; 2 percent of CIF on heavy fuel oil; 2 percent of CIF on lubricants; and 3 percent of CIF on aviation fuel. The excise tax is waived for fuel products which receive a subsidy to keep prices fixed for consumers.
In general, tariff rates are low for raw materials and unprocessed goods, but are higher for semi-finished and finished goods.
New and used automobiles, buses, trucks, and vans are subject to a 5 percent to 20 percent registration tax. This tax applies to the customs value.
A 5 percent tax is applied to vehicles valued at less than HTG 35,000;
A 20 percent tax is applied on vehicles valued over HTG 75,000;
A 5 percent tax is applied to trucks that weigh less than two tons and minibuses with a capacity not exceeding 24 passengers;
Tax exemption applies if capacity accommodates more than 24 passengers; and
A 10 percent Environmental Protection Tax (EPT), is levied on imported used vehicles.
The EPT tax is applicable to the import of used tires, used batteries, and second-hand clothes.
There are additional taxes on new cars, ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent and from 5 percent to 30 percent for used vehicle imports, used passenger transportation vehicles, and used trucks. New passenger transportation vehicles that accommodate more than 25 passengers and new trucks over two tons are exempt. Transit and storage duties are imposed on the import of goods entering under the relevant tax regimes. The highest transit duty is five gourdes per parcel or per 100 kg of net weight. Customs storage duties are 2 percent of the customs value per month of storage. In addition, shipping lines in Haiti charge demurrage fees to clients who are unable to unload their goods within 17 days. An experienced expediter may help move goods more quickly and, therefore, potentially avoid onerous demurrage charges.
The following goods are not always subject to duty (not all products are listed):
Certain bones and horn-cores
Malt (not roasted)
Straw and pellets of unprepared cereals
Certain sowing plants and parts of plants (other than garden seeds) used in perfumery, medicine, or pharmacology
Certain types of fodder
Certain resins and fats for industrial use
Vegetables saps and extracts
Animal oils and fats (in specific forms)
Denatured ethyl alcohol of any type
Some protein materials and their vegetable saps and extracts
Ores, slag, and ash
Tin and articles thereof
Knitted or crocheted fabrics
Vegetable plaiting materials
Wool, fine or coarse animal hair
Yarn and woven fabric
Nickel and articles thereof
Lead and articles thereof
Impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated materials
Other base metals, cements
Fabric and technical articles textiles
Rail and tram locomotives, rolling stock and parts thereof, mechanical traffic signaling equipment
The following goods have a 15 percent duty (not all products are listed):
Sugars and confectionery
Moss and lichen
Carpets and other textile floor coverings
Natural or cultured pearls, precious stones and similar articles
Jewelry and other articles
Edible vegetables, plants, roots
Manufactures of straw, and tubers (fresh, chilled, or frozen), other plaiting materials, basketwork, and wickerwork
Other products and duties:
Cereal based products obtained from blow molding or roasting: 35%
Food preparation based on unroasted cereal flakes: 35%
Canary Seed: 3%
Sorghum and other products of the milling industry: 15%
Citrus fruit: 20%
Certain edible products of animal origin: 20%
Some types of grape must, cider, and vinegar: 15%
In addition to these duties, the government imposes an excise tax on a number of imported or locally produced goods, such as tobacco, alcohol, sugar, flour, aerated water, and some “luxury food products.” Excise taxes may be either specific or value-added. Locally manufactured cigarette firms are required to pay 50 percent duty on product value, although the government issued a delay of the tax rate increase until October 1, 2020. Heavy agricultural and public works machinery are exempt from paying excise duties. Haiti has World Trade Organization (WTO) bound import duties on agricultural and non-agricultural products. Tariffs on agricultural goods range from 0 percent to 30 percent. WTO-bound tariffs on non-agricultural goods, such as hydraulic cement; gasoline for engines; naphtha and benzene; certain varnishes and paints; straw products; esparto or other plaiting materials; basketwork and wickerwork; certain precious metals and stones; imitation jewelry; coins; and camping trailers, range from 0 to 58 percent.
Haiti does not currently grant tariff preferences to any country, but will grant them when provisions of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Treaty come into effect and when the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) – European Union Agreement is ratified by Parliament. Firms that import machinery, spare parts, semi-finished products, or materials needed to promote the development of specific sectors within the economy are exempt from duties on imports.
Registered Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are exempt from customs duties on food products and non-commercial imports of medical materials and equipment; however, NGOs must first obtain certification from the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Planning. NGOs may also be exempt from duties and taxes on imported vehicles, with the exception of the inspection fees, local fees, and Contribution to Management Funds for Territorial Collectives (Contribution au Fond de Gestion et de Développement des Collectivités Territoriales, CFGDCT).
Other duty free goods include:
Educational materials and teaching materials
Equipment and materials needed for national defense
Goods imported under diplomatic or consular privileges and covered by the Vienna Convention
Furniture and objects imported when changing residence
Correspondence courses and related teaching materials
Agricultural equipment (this includes samples with no commercial value, tools, machinery, and re-imported goods that were temporarily exported)
The government of Haiti signed a pre-shipment inspection agreement with Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) on May 5, 2003.As of August 21, 2020, SGS declared a cessation of its agreement with the Haitian government for pre-shipment inspection and customs valuation activities. As the Haitian government works to designate another pre-shipment inspection contractor, potential exporters should verify shipment and customs procedures with the Bureau of Customs (AGD).
All imports must carry proper documentation, including the Declaration Prior to Import (DPI) and the original of Certificate of Verification (AV) before shipping cargo to Haiti. A DPI is not needed for shipments of used products regardless of the value.
Previously, under the agreement between the government of Haiti and SGS, all imports with a Free on Board (FOB) value of at least $3,000 had to be inspected by SGS. SGS issued a verification certificate, which the importer submitted to Customs. The inspection certificate, with the declared value and the document, is affixed to the other shipping documents. As of September 2020, the SGS office in Port au Prince remained open.
Goods exempt from inspection:
Precious stones and metal art
Ammunition and arms other than for hunting and/or sporting purposes
Explosives and pyrotechnical articles
Newspapers and magazines
Personal effects and used household articles (including used vehicles)
Supplies for diplomatic or consular missions
Supplies for United Nations organizations
Machinery for international subcontracting enterprises
Petroleum and petroleum products
Donations by foreign governments or international organizations to charitable organizations.
The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) remains an important element of U.S. economic relations with Haiti. The CBI is intended to facilitate the development of stable economies in the Caribbean Basin by providing beneficiary countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods.
Approximately 3,500 Haitian export products are eligible for duty-free entry into the United States under the CBI. Most textiles are excluded, with the exception of those made from linen or silk, or qualifying as handicraft work. Other excluded items include certain watches and watch parts, petroleum and its by-products, prepared or canned tuna, sugar, molasses, syrup, beef, spirits, and footwear.
Products must be shipped directly from Haiti to the United States to qualify for CBI preference. The products may incorporate imported components as long as the goods exported to the United States are a new merchandise product distinct from such components and the Haitian direct costs of production (including domestic raw materials and those originating in other CBI beneficiary countries, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) must amount to at least 35 percent of the customs value. Materials of U.S. origin may be included up to a maximum of 15 percent of its customs value.
Eligible articles assembled or processed from U.S. materials, components, or ingredients are accorded duty free access into the United States regardless of whether such articles satisfy the 35 percent value-added criterion.
Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA)
On October 2, 2000, Haiti was designated as a beneficiary of the CBTPA. Congress passed the CBTPA as part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. It is designed to provide greater duty-free access to the U.S. market for Caribbean and Central American nations. The CBTPA expands on the CBI program by allowing duty-free and quota-free treatment for imports of certain apparel from the region, and by extending USMCA-equivalent tariff treatment to a number of other products previously excluded from the CBI program. The CBTPA is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2020.
The HOPE and HELP Acts
Partially in response to concerns over issues of equal pay between male and female apparel workers in Haiti, Congress enacted the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act of 2006, which went into effect on March 19, 2007. Congress provided HOPE in addition to other trade preferences under the General System of Preferences (GSP), Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), and CBTPA. Eligibility criteria includes progress towards achieving a market-based economy, increasing employment, enhancing the rule of law, eliminating barriers to U.S. trade, combating corruption, and protecting internationally recognized human and worker rights.
In May 2008, the U.S. Congress passed an extended HOPE bill—HOPE II. The HOPE II bill includes an increase in the Tariff Preference Level (TPL) for woven and knit products from 50,000,000 to 70,000,000 square meter equivalent; co-production with the Dominican Republic; and the inclusion of luggage, headgear, and sleepwear.
HOPE established special new rules of origin that make Haiti eligible for new trade benefits for apparel imports, and that enhance sourcing flexibility for apparel producers in Haiti. HOPE II modified the existing trade preference programs under HOPE, and HELP provided duty-free treatment for additional textile and apparel products from Haiti. These preferences are scheduled to expire on September 30, 2025.
The trade preferences available under HOPE/HELP are specifically designed for Haiti, and are conditioned on both the Haitian government and individual producers meeting certain core labor standards and Haitian labor laws. Producers must participate in a Technical Assistance Improvement and Compliance Needs Assessment and Remediation program (TAICNAR) and comply with internationally agreed core labor standards.
The Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act helps create sustainable support for Haiti’s economy by expanding tariff benefits for certain Haitian textile and apparel exports to the United States. HELP also allows the expansion of duty-free access to the U.S. market for Haitian textile and apparel exports and extends existing trade preference programs for Haiti.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world, provides preferential duty-free treatment for over 3,500 products from a wide range of designated beneficiary countries. As a least-developed beneficiary developing country, Haiti qualifies for duty-free access to the U.S. market for an additional 1,500 products, to make a total of 5,000 duty-free eligible products under GSP. The combined lists include most dutiable manufactured and semi-manufactured products and also certain agricultural, fishery, and primary industrial products that are not otherwise duty-free.
Current Preference Highlights
Ttrade preference highlights include:
• Duty-free access, with some exclusions, for up to 70 million square meter equivalents (SME) of knit apparel and 70 million SMEs of woven apparel without regard to the country of origin of the yarn, fabric or components, as long as the apparel is wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti; once the 70 million SME limits for knit and woven apparel are hit, the limits increase up to 200 million SMEs;
• Duty-free treatment for apparel wholly assembled or knit-to-shape in Haiti with between 50 percent and 60 percent value from Haiti, the United States, a U.S. free trade agreement partner or preference program beneficiary, or a combination thereof; this preference is currently set to expire in 2020;
• Duty-free treatment of knit or woven apparel under a “two for one” earned import allowance program: for every two SMEs of qualifying fabric (sourced from the United States or certain trade partner countries) used to produce exports for the U.S. market in Haiti, one SME of non-qualifying fabric can also be used;
• Duty-free treatment for certain brassieres, luggage, headgear, and certain sleepwear; and
• Permission for Haitian goods to enter the United States duty-free if shipped either directly from Haiti or through the Dominican Republic.
More information on these programs is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel(OTEXA).
Free Trade Zones
A law on free trade zones entered into force on August 2, 2002, and set out the conditions for operating, creating, and managing free trade zones, along with the exemption or incentive regime applicable to investment in such zones. The law defines free trade zones as geographical areas to which a special regime on customs duties and customs controls, taxation, immigration, capital investment, and foreign trade applies, and where domestic and foreign investors can provide services, import, store, produce, export, and re-export goods. Free trade zones may be private or joint ventures, involving state or private investors.
To date, Haiti has issued free trade zone licenses for the following areas:
• FTZ de Trou du Nord, the first agricultural free trade zone.
• FTZ CODEVI in the northeastern city of Ouanaminthe, where a Dominican company, Grupo M, manufactures clothing for a variety of U.S. companies and rents factory space to several
American and foreign companies.
• FTZ Port Lafito: in Douillard, Cabaret. Lafito is the home of the Haiti’s only Panamax seaport.
• FTZ Hispaniola in Route 9 Cité Soleil.
• FTZ SIDSA in Tabarre Port-au-Prince.
• FTZ de Digneron: in Croix-des-Bouquets.
• FTZ Santo Dujour located in Croix-des-Bouquets.
• FTZ HEH Les Palmiers in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince.
• FTZ Balan in Ganthier.
An inter-ministerial commission, called the Free Zones National Council (CNZF), comprised of representatives from both the public and private sector, is responsible for:
• Receiving applications for approval as a free zone.
• Approving applications for admission to the free zone regime.
• Ensuring that projects approved are carried out in accordance with relevant regulations.
• Authorizing the operation of free zones.
• Defining and regulating free zones.
• Approving and monitoring procedures and operations in free zones.
• Approving its own rules and procedures.
The Free Zones Directorate, an entity within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, acts as the CNZF’s Technical Secretariat. It implements and ensures implementation of decisions taken by the CNZF; receives investors and potential investors; sends quarterly reports on the establishment and operation of free trade zones to the CNZF for approval; examines applications for approval of free trade zone; participates in all negotiations likely to lead to agreements or conventions on free trade zones at the national and international level; monitors the operation of all free trade zones in Haiti; and ensures regular monitoring of the free trade zones.
The law provides the following incentives for enterprises located in free zones:
• Full exemption from income tax for a maximum 15-year period, to be followed by a period of partial exemption that gradually decreases;
• Customs and fiscal exemption (including registration taxes) for the import of
capital goods and equipment needed to develop the area, with the exclusion of tourism vehicles;
• Exemption from all communal taxes (with the exception of the fixed occupation tax) for a period not exceeding 15 years;
• Registration and transposition of the balance due for all deeds relating to purchase, mortgages, and collateral.
Goods and services sold from free trade zones on the Haitian market are considered to have entered through Haitian customs and are subject to relevant duties and taxes. The volume of free trade zone goods allowed for sale in Haitian markets may not exceed 30 percent of the total production of an enterprise in the free zone.
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