Chapter

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2000
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Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: November 22, 1983.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar issued by the ECCB.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderThe Eastern Caribbean dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar, the intervention currency, at EC$2.70 per US$1. The ECCB also quotes daily rates for the Canadian dollar and the pound sterling.
Exchange taxA foreign exchange levy of 1% is applied on purchases of foreign currency.
Exchange subsidyn.a.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with residents of member countries of the CARICOM must be made either in the currency of the country concerned or in Eastern Caribbean dollars. Exports to Jamaica are settled in U.S. dollars. Settlements with residents of other countries may be made in any foreign currency or in Eastern Caribbean dollars.
Payment arrangements
Regional arrangementsAntigua and Barbuda is a member of the CARICOM.
Clearing agreementsNo.
Administration of controlThe MOF applies exchange control to all foreign currency transactions.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payment arrearsYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesn.a.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be opened, especially in tourist-oriented industries or export trade where receipts are primarily in foreign currency and a large number of inputs are imported or financed in foreign currency.
Held domesticallyYes.
Approval requiredCommercial banks are required to report external accounts operations to the MOF on a monthly basis.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyn.a.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be maintained in any currency and may be credited with receipts from sales of merchandise (whether from export-oriented or local production) or from remittances.
Approval requiredCommercial banks are required to report external accounts operations to the MOF on a monthly basis.
Domestic currency accountsn.a.
Blocked accountsn.a.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetn.a.
Financing requirements for importsn.a.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsPayments for authorized imports are permitted upon application and submission of documentary evidence.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresCertain commodities require individual licenses, unless imported from CARICOM countries. Antigua and Barbuda follows the CARICOM rules of origin adopted.
Open general licensesMost goods may be freely imported under OGLs granted by the MOF and the Ministries of Industry and Commerce.
Import taxes and/or tariffsAntigua and Barbuda applies the CARICOM’s CET. Tariff rates range from zero to 25% for nearly all items. There are no tariffs on a number of items, including milk and poultry. Exemptions from import duties exist for some goods, including basic foods and agricultural goods. Other exemptions for machinery, equipment, and raw materials are granted on a case-by-case basis. On January 1, 2000, the fourth phase of the CARICOM CET went into effect.
State import monopolyn.a.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsn.a.
Financing requirementsn.a.
Documentation requirementsn.a.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesReexports are not subject to any tax if transactions take place within the bonded area.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for invisibles (related to authorized imports) exceeding EC$100,000 require prior approval for certain categories, except for payments for freight, insurance, unloading and storage costs, administrative expenses, commissions, and profits and dividends, which are not subject to controls.
Investment-related paymentsProfits may be remitted in full after compliance with corporate income tax payments. Verification is not applied in practice; the authorities, however, can decide to undertake such verification. Information is not available on the amortization of loans or depreciation of direct investments.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Payments for travel
Prior approvalApproval is required only for amounts exceeding the equivalent of EC$100,000.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal paymentsInformation is not available on the transfer of pensions.
Prior approvalPayments related to family maintenance and alimony are allowed if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsFor payments related to medical and studies abroad, approval on a case-by-case basis is required only for amounts exceeding the equivalent of EC$100,000.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Foreign workers’ wages
Prior approvalThese remittances are allowed, if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalPayments for consulting and legal fees are allowed, if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsThe limit for subscriptions and membership fees is EC$10,000 a year.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsNo.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentLarge transfers abroad for investment purposes may be phased over time by the Financial Secretary.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAn alien landholding license is required, and the purchase must be approved by the Cabinet.
Controls on personal capital movementsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsAs a result of laws governing offshore financial institutions, (1) the International Financial Sector Authority was created, with responsibility for licensing offshore financial institutions; (2) there are annual inspections of offshore financial institutions; (3) the minimum capital requirement for offshore banks is US$5 million, of which US$1.5 million is to be deposited in the domestic banking system; (4) all bank directors are to be natural persons, at least one of whom must be Antiguan (thus making bank ownership more transparent); and (5) offshore banks are allowed to extend credit to the Antiguan government.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)MOF approval is required for these transactions. Loans are subject to a 3% stamp duty.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.a.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 1999
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.
Changes During 2000
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. The fourth phase of the CARICOM CET went into effect.

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