An Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is a Customs area where one is allowed to import plant, machinery, equipment and material for the manufacture of export goods under security, without payment of duty. The imported goods are subject to customs control at importation, through the manufacturing process, to the time of sale/export, or duty payment for home consumption.
Other benefits of operating such enterprises include; free trade conditions, streamlined Government red tape allowing for one stop registration and licensing and also a facility of long term tax concession.
Q: Who is the licensing authority for EPZs?
EPZs are licensed by the Ministry of Trade in the different Partner States.
Q: What are the importation procedures followed by an importer in the EPZ? (Reg. 169)
The importer should:
- Make a declaration of the imported goods in the prescribed Form C17
- Execute a security bond using Form CB4. The bond secures the duty amount that would have otherwise been payable at the time of importation. The bond also takes care of the taxes due in the event the goods are consumed elsewhere other than the EPZ or disposed off in the domestic market without authority
- Present the imported goods together with Form C17 to the proper officer in charge of the EPZ for receipt and deliveries recording
- Provide examination facilities within the EPZ where imported goods are examined or verified. The Commissioner may on reasonable grounds direct a Customs officer to carry out examination of the goods at the port of entry.
Q: Who keeps records of goods that go in or out of the EPZ? (Reg. 170)
- An operator of an enterprise within an EPZ shall maintain stock records of the raw materials and the finished products in a monthly return register and produce the same for inspection by a Customs officer as requested and on a monthly basis before the fifteenth day of the following month.
- If goods are found missing on inspection, the operator shall be liable to a penalty equivalent to twice the amount of duty payable.
Q: What are the export procedures followed by an operator in the EPZ? (Reg. 171)
- Goods intended for exportation from EPZ should be entered using Form C17
- A bond for the removal of goods from an EPZ to the port of exportation shall be executed using Form CB4
- The goods together with a copy of the export entry shall be taken to the port of exportation. If the seals placed by the EPZ officer have been tampered with, re-examination of goods shall be done by the Customs officer at the border.
- A certified copy of Form C17 confirming that exportation of the goods has taken place shall be given to the owner for the purposes of security bond cancellation.
Q: What are the procedures followed when moving goods from one EPZ to another (Reg. 172)
- Enter the goods to be moved from one EPZ to another EPZ using Form C17
- Execute a bond for the movement of goods from one EPZ to another EPZ using Form CB4
- Obtain a certified/endorsed copy of Form C17 from the officer at the receiving EPZ for the purposes of bond cancellation
- If the movement of goods is within the EPZ, the person in charge of an enterprise shall inform the proper officer of such movements of goods.
- Execute a Security bond using Form CB4
Q: What are the procedures followed when moving plant and machinery from an EPZ to any other area? (Reg. 173)
- Plant, machinery and equipment may be removed for repair, servicing or maintenance, from an EPZ to a Customs territory this seems to be incorrect, where they shall be accorded temporary importation facilities and shall be entered using Form C17.
- The form used to execute a security bond in respect of the plant, machinery and equipment, is Form CB10.
Q: What is the procedure for waste disposal and destruction? (Reg. 175)
- Waste disposal or destruction may be carried out within an EPZ under the supervision of the Customs officer. A certificate of destruction must be issued thereafter by the officer.
- Normal import procedures are to be applied for waste that the importer may wish to sell in the home market.
Q: Are there specific conditions when transporting EPZ goods (Reg. 177/178)
Goods shall be transported in sealed vehicles, except those of exceptionally heavy or bulky objects authorized by the Commissioner. Small packages and samples may be transported in any vehicle, in locked boxes made of steel, sealed by the Customs.