The Export Control (Textile and Apparel Articles) Regulations, 2003
Supplement to the Sierra Leone Gazette Vol. CXXXIV, No. 20 dated 8th May, 2003
STATUTORY INSTRUMENT No. 5 OF 2003
Published 8th May, 2003
THE SIERRA LEONE EXPORT DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT CORPORATION ACT, 1993 (Act No. 23 of1993)
THE EXPORT CONTROL (TEXTILE AND APPAREL ARTICLES)
In exercise of the powers conferred on her by section 28 of the Sierra Leone Export Development and Investment Corporation Act, 1993 the Minister of Trade and Industry hereby makes the following
1. (1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise Interpretation requires -
"AGOA" means the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, enacted by the Government of the United States of America as Title 1 of the Trade and Development Act of2000;
"authorised Government officer" means a government officer designated as such by the Minister;
"certificate" means the Certificate of Origin executed in accordance with these Regulations;
"Commissioner-General" means the person appointed Commissioner-General under section 19 of theNational Revenue Authority Act, 2002;
"exporter" includes any person who, at the time of exportation -
(a) owns any goods exported;
(b) carries the risk of any goods exported;
(c) represents or acts as if he is the exporter or owner of any goods exported;
(d) actually takes or attempts to take any goods legally from Sierra Leone for the purpose of export;
(e) is beneficially interested in any goods exported;
(f) acts on behalf of any person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e), and in relation to imported goods includes the manufacturer, supplier or shipper of such goods or any person inside or outside Sierra Leone representing or acting on behalf of such manufacturer, supplier or shipper;
"Minister" means the Minister of Trade and Industry and "the Ministry" shall bear the corresponding meaning;
"officer" includes any person appointed by the Minister for the implementation of these Regulations or AGOA;
"preferential treatment" means duty-free and quota free treatment applicable under AGOA in respect of any product;
"product" includes textile and apparel articles claiming preferential tariff treatment under the AGOA;
"producer or manufacturer" means any person manufacturing or producing goods in Sierra Leone;
"person" includes an individual, partnership, company or corporate body;
"Permanent Secretary" means the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tr;ide and Industry;
"USA" means the United States of America;
"transhipment" in these Regulations has occurred when preferential treatment for a textile or apparel article has been claimed under AGOA on the basis of material false information concerning the country of origin, manufacturer, processing or assembly of an article or any of its components.
(2) False information is material if disclosure of the true information would mean or have meant that the article is or was ineligible for preferential treatment.
2. (1) Any person who exports any textile or apparel product under AGOA to the USA market shall apply and be issued with a Visa in accordance with these Regulations,
(2) An application for a Visa shall be accompanied by –
(a) the original commercial invoice
(b) two copies of the original commercial invoice;
(c) the certificate of origin as described in paragraph 6 in triplicate.
(3) A Visa issued under these Regulations shall not be valid if any of the following have been altered, or are missing, illegible or incorrect –
(ii) Date of Issuance;
(iii) Signature of authorized Government official;
(iv) Grouping (1-9),
(v) Quantity .
(4) A Visa shall only be signed by an authorized Government officer.
(5) The. Permanent Secretary or his designate may on receipt of an application for a Visa –
(a) request the applicant to furnish any other information as he may deem fit;
(b) issue a Visa on such terms and conditions as he may deem fit;
(c) reject the application if it does not comply with the provisions of AGOA (in case of export to USA) or these Regulations
(6) The Visa stamp, in blue or black ink only, shall be affixed only on the front of the original commercial invoice.
3. Any person who exports any product shall –
(a) register with the Ministry of Trade and Industry;
(b) keep proper books of accounts showing a true financial status of his operation.
4. (1) Any person who produces, manufactures or exports any product shall maintain at all times complete records of –
(a) The purchase, cost, value or and payment for the exported goods;
(b) Purchase, cost, value of and payment for all materials including indirect materials used in the production of the exported goods;
(c) production of goods in the form in which they are exported, including materials used;
(d) place of production;
(e) number of employees in production
(f) export of any product;
(g) import of any product used in production
(h) number, identification and types of machinery used in production
(2) A person referred to in subparagraph (1) shall, in all instances, keep available for inspection by an officer, the records referred to in subparagraph (1) and any such books, accounts and documents associated with the export of good for at least five years from the date of exportation or manufacturing as the case may be; such documents and records shall be provided to any officer and the USA Customs Service on request.
5. (1) An officer may at all times enter any premises upon or in which products are manufactured or produced or from which products are exported to –
(a) investigate throuroughly allegations of transhipment and may require access to all parts of the premises;
(b) to ensure that the provisions of these Regulations are being complied with;
(c) to verify the facts deposed to in the certificate and observe facilities used in the production of goods.
(2)USA Customs Officials may accompany any officer in conducting verification visits.
(3) An exporter or manufacturer whose plant is visited by the officer shall provide the officer with all such information the offi.cer may need and produce all such documents the officer may demand.
(4)The business information collected through such a visit shall be treated as confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person except the authorities responsible for the administration and enforcement of determination of origin, and of customs and revenue matters and to officials of USA Customs Service.
(5) Prior to conducting a verification visit, the officer shall, except in the case of a textile or apparel verification visit –
(a) notify the producer, manufacturer or exporter whose premises are to be visited of the intention to conduct a visit;
(b) notify the Commissioner-General.
6. The Certificate shall –
(a) be as specified in the AGOA certificate of origin provisions and executed in accordance with the instructions for completing the certificate;
(b) Contain the following information: -
i. production records;
ii. information relating to the place of production;
iii. the number of workers employed in production;
iv. certification from the manufacturer and the exporter;
v. registration number of both the manufacturer and exporter;
(c) be executed by the producer, manufacturer or exporter respectively; and
(d) be applicable to one or multiple importations of identical products that occur within 12 months
7. (1) Any person, including a producer, manufacturer or exporter who –
(a) fails or neglects to keep appropriate books and records as provided in these Regulations;
(b) submits, for the purpose of an application for a Visa, information which is false, incorrect, incomplete or misleading in any way or a document which is not genuine;
(c) tampers with any Visa or causes any Visa to be tampered with;
(d) refuses access to an officer either as regards entry into the premises or inspection of the records;
(e) claims preferential treatment for a textile or apparel on the basis of material false information concerning the country of origin, manufacture, processing or assembly of the article or any of its components,
commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not less than ten million leones or three times the value of the goods which are the subject matter (where applicable), whichever is greater.
(2) Any person including a producer, manufacturer or exporter who contravenes any other provision of these Regulations commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not less than seven million leones or two times the value of the goods which are the subject matter of the offence (where applicable), whichever is greater.
(3) Commission of any offence under these Regulations or failure to provide the requested information may result in Visa denial and denial of preferential tariff treatment.
MADE this 22nd day of April, 2003
DR. KADI SESAY,
Minister of Trade and Industry