High Commission of the Republic of the Fiji Islands

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INVESTOR'S PERMIT

Investor's Permit are issued to foreign investors whose business proposal to invest and operate businesses in Fiji. This section gives you an overview on how to qualify for an investors permit.

Investment in a new field in Fiji, which will create employment opportunities for locals. Proposal papers for such projects are to be submitted to the:

Director
Fiji Trade and Investment Bureau
P O Box 2303
Government Buildings
Suva Fiji Islands
website: www.ftib.org.fj

For consideration first before submitting the permit application to the Department of Immigration.

a) Seven-Year Permit
An investment of $500,000 plus an approved business trade or undertaking will entitle the investor to a long-term permit of seven years.

b) Three-Year Permit
Investors can also obtain a three (3) year permit for an approved investment of less than F$500,000.00. Conditions for the application for the permit remain the same.

c) Service Industry
Applications for permit for investment in Service Industry need not be referred to FTIB first. These permits are issued in new fields which will crate local employment opportunities. Purchase of existing businesses will not entitle the Investors for a permit readily.


Conditions:

Permits to enter and reside or to reside and work in Fiji for a period of seven (7) years may be granted to persons who undertake to introduce into, and maintain in a business trade or undertaking approved by the Minister, capital or assets amounting to not less than $500,000;

Proof of such funds or assets to be submitted;

That funds available are personal funds and not unsecured loans;

That if lands or buildings are required, that the applicants own, or have the lease, or the option to purchase, lease or rent the land or building or space required;

That the holder shall not behave in any manner prejudicial to peace, good order, good government or morals.

Investors must provide documentation showing that funds have or are being transferred from overseas and that project proposals have been approved by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce.
 

CHECKLIST OF FORMALITIES

Immigration Requirements

Any foreign investor wishing to invest and reside in Fiji will need to apply for a work permit on the prescribed form to the Director of Immigration, P.O. Box 2216, Government buildings, Suva. Proposals for such projects are to be submitted to the FTIB for consideration first and the post to be approved before permit applications may be finalized by the Director of Immigration.

A work permit is usually granted to a foreigner holding professional and technical qualifications in fields where Fiji citizens are not available. Persons designated to represent the interests of foreign investors are also granted work permits. Special permits of up to three years can be granted to investors.

Reserve Bank of Fiji:

Applications also need to liaise with the Reserve Bank of Fiji once initial approval to proceed has been granted by the FTIB. Further approval is required from the RBF on the issuance of shares and local borrowing by non-residents.

Development Permit:

Any person who proposes to construct a building, or start a manufacturing unit, must also obtain for the purpose a Development Permit from the appropriate City or Town Council. In addition to a Development Permit, a Building Permit is required for a construction of a building. For development in urban areas, appropriate city and Town Council's permission will need to be sought. Sanitation and hygiene requirements of the Ministry of Health will need to be abided, prior to issuance of a building permit.

Manufacturing License:

As per the business License Act, all businesses require a license. City and Town Council's issue these licenses on the production of a Business Registration Certificate, which is issued by Government on registration of a business. Business license application forms are available from the appropriate city and Town Councils.

Factory Inspectorate:

The main purpose of the Factory Inspectorate is to ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, the safety, health and welfare of all employees. Regular inspections are made in all places of employment.
The Factories Section of the Labour department must be advised at least a month before the occupation of the premises of the name of the occupier, location and the nature of the work.

Electricity and Water:

The promoters must apply in writing to the Fiji Electricity Authority and the Public Works Department for electricity and water supply. The total load requirements and, if possible, the expected maximum demand (KVA) and monthly consumption in kilowatt-hours for electricity should be considered. The Public works Department will also need to be consulted in respect of disposal of trade effluents.

Trademarks:

Application for the registration of a Trade Mark should be made to the Administrator General, government Buildings, Suva. Where an application has been accepted, the applicant shall arrange for the publication of a notice in the government Gazette and the local newspapers. If there is no objection within three months from the date of publication, a certificate of registration will be issued against a payment of F$12.00. The registration is valid for 14 years and may be renewed.

A foreigner wishing to register a Trade Mark must be represented by a duly authorized agent resident in Fiji.

Patents:

According to the Patent's Acts, every inventor of any manufactured article shall be entitled, under the conditions and restrictions enacted, to the exclusive rights of this new invention. A petition for a patent in duplicate is lodged with the Administrator-General at the above address.
Detailed specifications of the invention are to be enclosed. Once the petition is approved, a certificate for protection shall be issued.

Establishment of Companies:

The Memorandum and Articles of Association will need to be prepared in compliance with the Companies Act. A Certificate of incorporation will need to be acquired from the Companies Office, prior to commencement of business.

Employer Registration:

The promoter will need to register himself as an employer by completing prescribed application forms from the Fiji National Provident Fund and the Fiji Islands Revenue and customs Authority (FRCA) as well as registering with the VAT Unit.

Foreign Investment Certificate Approval:

For all investment projects applying for a Foreign Investment Certificate with the FTIB, the following is a checklist of the information required and to be submitted with the completed Foreign Investment Application Form. The foreign Investment Application Form can be obtained from the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau (FTIB).

Copy of the birth certificate/passport for all shareholders;

Background information for all the shareholders including details about current business;

Full contact details address, phone, fax and e-mail address for all the shareholders;

Bankers reference/evidence of funds for the proposed project;

Furthermore, for specific sectors/activities, the following information needs to be included to the above checklist.

Agriculture:

Details and land.

Fisheries:

Details of the boat such as costs, valuation, registration etc;

A minimum of 30% local share in any company that proposes to use Fiji's fisheries resource for business;

Situation of stock level on the target fisheries be confirmed if proposal is basically a fishing venture;

Number of licenses already used and if there is space still available in the fishery;

Vessel ownership, flagging etc, would be looked into since Fiji is party to various regional and international conventions where protocols for some clearances may have been established;

If the investment project is to process fishery products, factory details need to be submitted to assess whether it is in line with the requirements for HACCP/EU QUALITY standards etc;

Export market information is necessary to that quality requirement could be enforced.

Manufacturing:

Full contact details including address, phone, fax and e-mail address for all the shareholders;

Detailed description of the manufacturing process required for manufacturing products;

Details and costs of the plant and equipment that will be used in the project. Also provide details/costs of the plant and equipment to be imported;

Details for marketing the products i.e. export markets, and/or domestic market.

Marine:

Application of registration of vessels should be accompanied by the following documents;

Main ships plan with principal particulars;

Builders certificate;

Tonnage certificate;

Latest survey report;

Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the vessel;

If the vessel has been registered under a law of a country other than Fiji, evidence that registration in that country has ceased.

Hotel/Resort:

Details of land where the resort/hotel will be constructed;

The location and description of the site;

The number and description of proposed new bedrooms and beds and the toilet facilities proposed to be established in connection therewith;

A description of any other amenities proposed;

A sketch plan showing in sufficient detail the site and layout of the proposed hotel/resort;

EIA for large projects (F$10 million dollars and over);

Compliance with OHS Regulations;

Landowners (Resource Owners) consent on land and sea;

Source of financing for the Project.

Service:

Detailed description of the proposed service;

Details of the end users of the services and its sales projections.

Water Sports Activities:

Consent from the Fishing Right Owners

Forestry:

Consent from landowners (NLTB)

Forestry sector Restriction: A Foreign Investor carrying on business on forestry must have at least 30% local equity.

Implementation and Follow-Up Steps:

On approval of the investment project, the applicant will need to liaise with the Reserve Bank, Immigration Department and other authorities as may be mentioned in the approval.

The company is to provide evidence to the FTIB within a period of 3 months from the date of approval that it is engaged in the establishment of the project, followed by regular progress reports.

The FTIB will monitor the company's overall performance and will liaise with the Fiji Island's Revenue and Customs Authority.

Commercial production should begin within 12 months effective from the date of approval of the project and the company must inform the FTIB of the date of commercial production/operation.

Checklist:

The first point of contract is the FTIB which will facilitate the approval of the project including duty and tax concessions, work permits, Reserve Bank approvals and other assistance available;

Negotiation with financial institutions and/or investment projects for securing term loans and bank overdraft facilities;

Location of factory premises;

Application for Development Permit;

Application for Electricity Supply;

Application for Water supply;

Application for telephone and/or mobile, telex and facsimile;

Submission of schedules list of equipment and materials to be imported duty free and follow-up with the Fiji Islands Customs Service for the purpose of vetting the list;

Fulfilling of other statutory formalities;

Inland Revenue Department, Vat Unit, Registrar of companies and Government Municipal Authority etc.;

Clearing of goods from Customs for consignments arriving prior to date of operation;

Recruitment of Personnel.

APPROVALS

APPROVING AUTHORITY

Customs Concessions
Boarder control of import/export goods

Customs Service

Tax concession and depreciation allowances

Inland Revenue Division

Development of Land
Rezoning of Land
Subdivision for Land/Building of land

Department of Town & Country Planning

Leasing of state land
Land Development

Department of Lands

Lease of native land

Native Land Trust Board

Assessment of environmental impact

Department of Environment

Building material and food standards
Health Standards(especially) drainage and sewerage treatment

Ministry of Health

Extension of expatriate workers work permit
Approvals for Health & Safety requirements of factories

Ministry of Labour and Industrial Relations

Approvals for Hotel Developments
Prospector's Rights & Prospecting License and Exploration & Mining Leases
 

Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation

Mineral Resources Department

Approvals for agriculture, fisheries and forestry developments

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests

Water/Sewerage connections

Department of Water & Sewerage

Telephone/Fax connections

Telecom Fiji Ltd

Electricity connections

Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA)

Land Developments within a Town/City Council scheme/Business License

Suva City Council (SCC) or other town councils

VAT registration

VAT Unit

FNPF registration

Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF)

 

 

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