About The Industries Encouragement Act, 1970
The Industries Encouragement Act, which was enacted in 1970 to provide incentives to manufacturers who manufacture “approved products”, seeks to diversify the Bahamian economy by encouraging manufacturing. The Act is administered by the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration and the Minister of Financial Services approves applications of applicants seeking to become an “approved manufacturer” under the Act.
The Minister may declare by Order a product to be an “approved product” if satisfied that it is in the public interest, that the product would benefit The Bahamas, that it does not or will not entail any substantial detriment to The Bahamas and as a matter of policy is environmentally sustainable.
In cases where a company which is applying to become an “approved manufacturer” has a principal who is a foreign national, approval must also be obtained from the National Economic Council (NEC) which is a subcommittee of the Cabinet.
The Ministry applies a broad definition to the term “manufacturing” and thus applicants seeking the Minister’s approval to be designated an “approved manufacturer” are usually involved in processing, packaging or assembling of products into a finished product. They are also eligible to receive relief from customs duty under the Act.
For purposes of the Act, customs duty means any customs duty under the Tariff Act, any tax payable on any export or import entry under the Stamp Act, and any duties or taxes imposed on or payable on goods imported into The Bahamas. An approved manufacturer is also entitled to relief from:
- export tax on any relevant approved product manufactured by the approved manufacturer;
- come tax on any profits or gains earned by the approved manufacturer from the manufacture of the approved product; and
- real property tax in respect of the factory premises specified in the Order signed by the Minister.