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INVESTMENT PROMOTION ACT
Act No. 10
The Investment Promotion Act No. 10 of 2004 has been
passed into law. The Vice President of the Republic
and The Minister of Trade following earlier precedents
of His Excellency the President of the Republic of
Sierra Leone recently took time out to promote the
Act internationally. The Act speaks for itself and
the importance of this for present day Sierra Leone
cannot be overemphasised.
It has been the Government’s desire to re-activate economic activities
in all sectors of the economy following the return
of peace and stability in Sierra Leone. With its rich
human and material resource potential, Sierra Leone
provides an attractive place for investment with protections
The object of this Act, therefore, is to provide the legal, economic
and financial framework for investment and to provide
incentives for investors who contribute substantially
to the realization of the major objectives of the
national development plans and programmes.
Clause 4 of the Act encourages domestic and foreign investors to invest
in any legitimate form of business enterprise.
Below are excerpts of the Act.
Expatriate personnel with work permits shall be permitted
to make remittances abroad through their commercial
banks, subject to such withholding tax obligations
as are contained in the Income Tax Act 2000 if applicable.
9. The remittances of profits, after taxes, earned by a foreign investor
from a business enterprise, is guaranteed as constituting
current international transactions in respect of which payments transferred abroad shall be allowed without restriction.
(1) An investor may freely repatriate proceeds received from the liquidation
of a business enterprise, and awards resulting from
any settlement of disputes in respect of ct of such
(2) There shall be no restriction on the transfer of repayments of
principal and interest on an arms length third party
loan contracted outside Sierra Leone and registered
with the Bank of Sierra Leone but interest payments
due on such loans may be subject to the withholding
tax obligations in the Income Tax Act, 2000 if applicable.
11. No private investment, whether domestic or foreign, shall be
expropriated or nationalized in a direct or indirect
manner, except in the special cases specified by section
21 of the Constitution which, among other things,
stipulates that the investment or other property be
reasonably required for public purpose and that prompt
and adequate compensation shall be paid in the event
of any expropriation or nationalization.
PART IV- MISCELLANEOUS
12. No export licence is required for the export of locally produced
goods except gold, diamonds and such other goods or
materials as may be prescribed from time to time.
13. A business enterprise which requires expatriate labour shall apply
to the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Industrial
Relations for consideration in accordance with any enactment relating to labour matters.
14. The personal effects of an expatriate issued with a work permit
and his immediate family shall be exempt from customs
duty under the arrival concessions in force.
15. The Government acknowledges that access to land is vital to the
operations of a business enterprise and will take
necessary steps to facilitate an investor’s access
(1) Where a dispute arises between an investor and the Government in
respect of an investment in a business enterprise
or in respect of an investment obstructed or delayed
by Government, the parties will use their best efforts
to settle such dispute amicably.
(2) Where any dispute between an investor and the Government in respect
of a business enterprise is not settled amicably,
it may be submitted at the option of the aggrieved
party to arbitration as follows:
16. (2)(a) in accordance with the rules of procedure for arbitration
of the United Nations Commission on International
Trade Laws (UNCITRAL).
16. (2)(b) in the case of a foreign investor within the framework of
any bilateral or multi- lateral agreement on
investment protection to which the Government
and the country of which the investor is a national
are parties; or
16. (2)(c) in accordance with any other national or international machinery
for the settlement of investment disputes as
the parties may agree.
(3) Where any dispute between an investor and a non-governmental body
in respect of an enterprise is not settled amicably,
and where no recourse is available through arbitration
or previously established or other legal instruments,
then the matter shall be referred to the relevant
legal authority within Sierra Leone for settlement,
in accordance with the law binding such transaction.
17. Any person who, in the course of his official duties transfers
or communicates proprietary information obtained from
an investor to any other person to whom he is not
authorized by any enactment or by the Minister to
transfer or communicate such information commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not
less than Three Million Leones or to imprisonment
for a term not less than one year or to both such
fine and imprisonment.