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This Statement of the Laws of Haiti in matters affecting business
in its general aspects and activities has been prepared under the
auspices of the Inter-American Development Commission of
Washington, assisted by the Haitian Commission of -Inter-Ameri-
CHARLES F. PRESSOIR
Lawyers of Port-au-Prince, Haiti
In making the Statement available to such persons, corporations
and institutions as may wish to study or consult it, the Inter-
American Development Commission is animated by the desire to
render a service as part of its work in the field of practical inter-
American collaboration. The Commissions, of course, do not in
any way assume responsibility for the contents of the Statement.
The information herein contained is not meant to relieve anyone
of the reasonable requirement of consulting counsel in respect
to legal matters in Haiti.
J. RAFAEL OREAMUNO
Inter-American Development Commission
Washington, D. C.
Copyright, 1947, by the Inter-American Development Commission
Washington, D. C.
This is a translation of the French original, which
is deposited in the offices of the Inter-American
Development Commission in Washington, D. C.
Although all due care has been exercised in the pre-
paration of the translation, no assurance is given as
to its absolute accuracy.
INTER-AMERICAN DEVLOPMET COMMISSION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
NATIONALITY AND IMMIGRATION
1. Laws and regulations 1
2. Laws and regulations 3
3. Passports, visas and other requirements 3
4. Civil rights of foreign residents 4
5. Exercise of liberal professions by foreigners 5
RIGHTS OF FOREIGNERS TO ENGAGE IN INDUSTRY AND TRADE
1. Industry 6
2. Commerce 6
3. Nationality of companies or corporations 6
4. Foreign employees and foreign capital 6
1. Forms of mercantile concerns 8
2. Taxes on mercantile concerns 10
3. Taxes on shares of stock 10
FOREIGN COMMERCIAL COMtPAIES
1. Distinction between foreign and Haitian
2. Distinction between corporations and
other business organizations 12
- ii -
1. Fees and taxes for business licenses
and permits 13
2. Individual income taxes 15
3. Schedule of taxes in individual incomes 17
4. Tax exemptions, Capital, Subsidies
Concessions and Registration Charges 18
5. Tax Administration 18
AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES AND ENTERPRISES
1. Law applicable to agricultural activities 20
2. Equal rights for foreigners and Haitians 20
3. Employees 20
4. Taxes 20
1. State and private ownership 22
2. Rules concerning prospecting 22
3. Rules governing exploitation of mines
and quarries 23
4. Rules governing concessions 24
5. Taxes 25
1. Validity recognized by the Constitution 26
2. Procedure for obtaining a monopoly 26
3. State monopolies 26
4. Special Concession 26
- iii -
1. Legislation for the protection of labor 27
EXCHANGE CONTROL 29
REAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
1. Agricultural and forest lands 30
2. Acquisition of public lands 31
3. Fees and taxes on land purchases
possession or rental 32
4. Rights of foreigners to purchase or
use land 32
INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY 33
NATIONTALITY AND IMMIGRATION
1. Laws and regulations regarding nationality
Nationality of individuals in Haiti is covered by the Constitution
of 1944 in articles 5 and 6; and by the law of August 22, 1907. The
law of February 13, 1925, concerns the nationality of companies.
1) Nationality of persons
Article 6' of the Constitution provides that all Haitians are equal
before the law. Article 5 concerns the political rights of persons who
have become Haitians by naturalization.
Article 1 of the law of August 22, 1907, dealing with nationality
and naturalization provides that Haitian citizenship is acquired by
birth, by naturalization and by special provisions of law.
2) Citizenship by birth
The Haitian law' does not declare that all persons born in Haiti
are Haitian citizens. If the father is a Haitian, his child born in
Haiti is Haitian. If the father or mother is a foreigner, but a mem-
ber of the African race, their child born in-Haiti is a Haitian. Birth
in Haiti by parents of another race does not make a child a Haitian,
but upon becoming of age, or later, he or she may choose Haitian ci-
tizenship, or be regarded as a foreigner.
3) Acquisition of nationality by naturalization
Articles 5 and 6 of the law of August 22, 1907, dealing with-na-
turalization havo been replaced by the decree-law of July 1, 1941,
which provides that, to become naturalized, ten yeers of residence in
Haiti is required (article 1). According to article 4 of the decree-
law of December 28, 1943, the term of residence is reduced to five years
for any foreigner who may marry a Haitian woman and to three years for
members of the Catholic Clergy of Haiti, To become naturalized a tax
of 100 gourdes (.20.00) is to be paid and application made to the
Department of Justice (article 2). The following documents should
accompany the application:
1) Residence permit;
2) Identity card;
3) A certificate of residence signed by the Justice of Peace
4) Receipt showing payment of the $20 tax.
- 2 -
The President of the Republic passes upon an application for
naturalization by a decree published in the Official Gazette. Before
the decree is published, the applicant must swear to renounce al-
legiance to any other country than Haiti.
4) Acquisition of nationality by means other than naturalization
Persons entitled to naturalization according to the law of August
22,tl907, are: child of an unknown father and mother (article 3)4
child of a foreign father and mother but not of the African race
(article 4); a foreigner who has been an official of the Haitian Go-
vernment for five years (aritclo 7); and a child of a Haitian woman
married to a foreigner (article 11).
A Haitian woman married to a foreigner who after his marriage
becomes naturalized as a Haitian, thereby recovers her Hait&n-nation- '
ality. The status of the children is dealt with in articles 12 and 13.
A woman of non-Haitian origin married to a foreigner may gain Haitian
nationality if the husband becomes naturalized as a Haitian (article
14). A Haitian woman, by virtue of article 3 of the decree-law of
October 22, 1942, retains her Haitian citizenship upon marrying a
According to article 16, adoption of the above privileges is
5) Civil and political rights of naturalized citizens
According to the Constitution of 1944, all Haitians are equal be-
fore the law and in the exercise of civil rights.
Article 5 of that Constitution provides that foreigners naturalized
as Haitians may not exercise political rights until having resided in
the country for ten years aftor naturalization.
6) Loss of nationality
Article 17 of the law of August 22, 1907, states that citizenship
1) By naturalization in a foreign country;
2) By abandoning the homeland at a time of imminent danger;
3) By unauthorized acceptance of public office or pensions from
a foreign government;
4) By rendering services'to enemies of the Republic or by any
transaction with them; and
5) By life sentence to corporal and degrading punishment.
2. Laws and Regulations
Decree-law of January 1, 1945, groups foreigners entering Haiti
into three categories: 1) for rosidonce (articles 1 to 9); 2) as
tourists (article 9); and 3) in transit (articles 19 and 20).
1) Foreigners arriving for permanent residence
A foreigner arriving in Haiti to reside'must possess $200 if
single, or $400 if accompanied by his family. Also he must present to
the Immigration Service a health certificate and a certificate showing
that he has never been comdemnod for a crime or common law offense.
These documents must be legalized by a Haitian consular or diplomatic
agent (article 18).
Within twenty-four hours after arrival the foreigner, in person
or through his hotel, must present to the Department of the Interior
or to the Police Station, a declaration of residence. He must go to
the Department of the Interior, or if outside the capital, to the Of-
fice of the Deputy, for a residence permit. There he will receive a
card, and should then go to the Tax Office, where he pays $6.00, of
which $1o00 is for the residence permit (pormis de sejour) and $5.00
for the annual residence tax, Having paid the tax the foreigner may
receive his actual residence permit from the Department of the Interior.
The residence permit is renewable nine times and therefore is valid for
teo years. After ten years of residence the annual tax is $3,00 instead
A tourist may remain in the country thirty days (article 9). He
may obtain an extension of his sojourn, subject to a tax of $2,00, upon
application to the Department of the Interior.
3) In Transit
A foreigner in transit may remain in the country for seventy-two
hours without observing any formalities, if the transportation company
or enterprise furnishes a written guarantee to the Immigration Service.
He may obtain permission to' prolong his stay 15 days upon payment of
a tax of $3.OJ (article 19). Permission for further prolongation of
his stay must be obtained by applying to the Department of the Interior,
and payment of a tax of $2.00.
3. Passports, Visas and other requirements
In principle, any foreigner may enter Haiti upon fulfilling legal
requirements; the government reserving the right to refuse admission.
Every foreigner desiring to enter the country must apply to the Haitian
consulate or diplomatic office located at his place of residence for
a passport visa for that purpose.
The consul or diplomatic agent will refer the application to the
Haitian Government for approvc'l (articles 4 to 6). Upon approval by
the Government the passport is visaed upon payment of a fee of 05.00
(article 7). A consul or diplomatic agent does not need the approval
of the Government for a visa for a tourist.
A tourist pays a fee of 2.00 for a visa by a Haitian consul or
diplomatic agent (article 9) with the exception of a North American
tourist, who as a result of the exchange of notes of February 2, 1945,
is exempt from payment of this fee.
As a foreigner in transit is exempt from the above formalities,
he need no', appear beforeoa consular nr diplomatic agent before his
departure (article 19). A foreigner who has been in Haiti more than
three days may not leave the country without obtaining an exit visa
from the Department of the Interior, for which he pays a foe of $2,00.
This visa must be registered at the Police Station.
4. Civil rights of foreign residents other than those connected with
commercial, industrial, agricultural or mining activities)
The status of a foreigner in Haiti, with reference to exercise of
civil rights, does not differ from that of a Haitian, except in regard
to a) the right to own real property, and b) the exercise of certain
A foreigner may own real property in Haiti only for his own per-
sonal occupation. He is prohibited from leasing it to others (article
1 of the law of February 13, 1925).
Article 15 of the law of February 13, 1925, provides that to pur-
chase real estate a foreign individual or company must show proof that
it is required for the purposes of habitation, for industrial under-
taking, or for teaching. At the time of purchase there must be submit-
ted the designation of his residence and information as to the use and
purposes of the property to be acquired.
However, the statement of purposes will not prevent the foreigner
from later making such use of the property as is permitted by law.
One important effect of this limitation on the right to hold real
property is found in matters of inheritance. Different cases of this
kind should be noted.
1) Foreign heirs, legatees or surviving spouses
The respective rights of these persons, if all are foreigners, are
determined by the last will and testament of the deceased and the present
law. The competent court is that of the placi of residence in Haiti
of the deceased.
2) Haitian heirs
The Haitian laws of succession are applicable,
3) Conflict between Haitian and foreign heirs
The division of property is made by the competent Haitian court
in accordance with Haitian laws. However, in regard to the foreign
interests there are two different cases to be considered:
1) If the foreigner does not reside in Haiti at the time of
settlement of the estate, the property that would have
gone to him is sold at public auction unless the Haitian
co-heirs or co-logatees decide to keep it. In this case
the foreign heir or legatee is paid a sum determined by
expert appraisers chosen by the parties concerned, or
by the Court;
2) If the heir or legatee resides in Haiti he cannot receive
in kind the real property assigned to him unless it is to
be used for one of the purposes provided in the heretofore
mentioned law of February 13, 1925.
5. Exercise of liberal professions by foreigners
A foreigner may not exercise certain of the liberal professions,
such as notary and lawyer, but may exercise the profession of physician,
pharmacist, dental surgeon, or midwife. However if their professional
degrees were obtained abroad they must obtain the equivalent degrees
The number-of such professionals is, moreover, limited by the law
of July 9, 19,40, to five physicians, two dental surgeons, two pharmacists
and one midwife.
- 6 -
RIGHTS OF FOREIGNERS TO ENGAGE
IN INDUSTRY AND TRADE -
Foreigners have the right, not restricted by any law, to engage
in any kind of industry in any part of the country.
By virtue of article 1 of the decree-law of September 23, 1939,
foreigners may not engage in commerce except in the ports open to foreign
commerce, that is, in Port-au-Prince and the eleven large coastal cities
such as Cap Haitian, Jacmel, A6r6mie, etc. Hence a foreigner may not
have a commercial establishment in a non-open port, such as l'Archaie
or in an interior town such as Hinche. Moreover, even in the open ports,
foreigners may not sell at retail the goods listed in the decree-law
of September 23, 1939.
These restrictions apply only to the purchase and sale of goods.
Consequently, a foreigner may operate a hotel, even in a non-open port
or in an interior locality, such as Kenscoff.
3. Nationality of companies or corporations
The nationality of companies is dealt with in article 4 and 5 of
the law of February 13, 1925. A society6 anonyme" corresponds to a
corporation in the United States. If formed in Haiti and maintaining
its headquarters there its nationality is Haitian. As stated in the
section relating to taxation, it does not pay a license fee and its
patent fee in general amounts to one half the patent fee of a foreign
company. A company, other th-n a corporation organized in Haiti under
the laws of the country, has Haitian nationality if at least one half
of the capital belongs to Haitians.
4. Foreign employees and foreign capital
In principle, there are no provisions of law compelling foreign
agricultural or industrial enterprises to employ a certain percentage of
Haitian workers or employees. Nevertheless it is the usual rule in
contracts between the state and private individuals or companies, for
the Government, before approving the undertaking, to establish a definite
percentage for the number of Haitian employees.
The technical and administrative staff of a commercial or industrial
enterprise is not included in the terms "employees and laborers" such
personnel always may be foreign.
Haitian law fixes no limit on the percentage of foreign capital
that may be invested in industrial or commercial enterprises, whether
such enterprises belong to nationals or foreigners, nor is it concerned
with the percentage of Haitian or foreign capital except in determining
the nationality of a company (law of February 13, 1925).
1. Forms of Mercantile concerns
Concerns recognized by Haitian law and having legal personalities
distinct from the personalities of their individual members, are the
collective partnership (societ.ennom collectif), the silent partner-
ship societye en commandite), which may have one of two forms the
simple silent partnership or the stock-issuing partnership (on commandite
participation), and the corporation (soci6te anonyme), A type of or-
ganization having no legal personality is the co-parthership (soci6t6
These several forms are described as follows:
1) A collective partnership is formed by two or more persons for
the purpose of doing business under a firm name, Only the names of
partners may be included in the firm name. The partners are and remain
jointly and severally liable with all their property for all the part-
nership debts (articles 21, 22, and 23 of the Commercial Code),
2) A silent partnership is formed by contract between one or
several associates who are jointly and fully liable, and one or more
associates known as silent partners (coraanditaires) who are more con-
tributors of funds. It operates under a firm name vich must contain
the names of one or more bf the fully liable partners (article 24 of
the Commercial Code), A silent partner is liable for the firm's losses
only to the extent of the funds he has contributed to the firm (article
3) A rDratn., does not operate under a firm name, but under a
name which indicates the purpose of the enterprise. Its members are
liable-only for the amount of their interest in the corporation (articles
30, 31, Pnd 34 of the Commercial Code). This form of business organi-
zation becomes definitely created only after at least half its capital
has been subscribed to, and payment therefore has been made by each
shareholder in currency, securities or otherwise in full, if the amount
subscribed to by him is not over $20, and at least one fourth thereof -if
it is $100 or over. Subscription and payment must be shown by a state-
ment executed before a notary which must be published in the Official
Journal along with the charter, by-laws and the approving decree issued
by the President of the Republic (article 35 of the Commercial Code).
A corporation can not exist without the aforementioned Presidential
decree (article 38 of the Commercial Code),
- 9 -
4) Aa.o-partnership is an organization formed in the manner and
under conditions agreed upon between the parties concerned, without the
knowledge of third parties (article 51 of the Commercial Code).
The two forms of organization most frequently used are the col-
lective partnership -nd the corporation. If a maximum of moral and pe-
cuniary security is desired the former is the best; the latter however
best serves the purposes of enterprises requiring a large investment
of capital contributed by a great number of subscribers each of whom
is willing to risk a limited amount in the undertaking.
The determination as to whether a concern is commercial or other-
wise is not dependent upon its form, but rather on the nature and
purpose of its business. It is regarded as commercial if it is on-
gaged in commerce and if such is its customary business (article 1 of
the Commercial Code).
The Commercial Code of March 27, 1826, amended by decree-law of
December 22, 1944, is the sole law governing commercial relations.
Foreigners may organize commercial concerns in Haiti and participate
in their operation; they may do so merely as partners or as members of
a board of directors. However, they may engage in commerce only in
the open ports of the Republic.
Haitian laws do' not take into consideration the domicile or resi-
dence of a foreigner.
There are no restrictions on the capital that may be invested by
a foreigner in commercial concerns established in Haiti.
The Departments of Labor, Commerce and National Economy and the
Director Geheral of Agriculture control the organization and operation
of commercial and industrial enterprises.
Associations, companies and corporations or individual enterprises
undertaking commercial and banking operations and performing banking
transactions involving exchange of currency, precious' metals, and se-
curities are regulated by decree-law of June 24, 1940.
Associations, enterprises, etc. having a paid up capital of one
million dollars may not engage in business without obtaining previous
authorization by the President of the Republic.
The telephone service within townsand between towns of the country
is a State service under the Department of National Economy (Decree-Law
of September 23, 1944).
* 10 .
2. Taxes on mercantile concerns
As a general rule the basis of taxation for business organizations
are the same as for individuals, discussed earlier. In summary, the
taxes to be paid are the following:
1) Communcl-taxes, in accordance with decree-law of September
23, 1935, as heretofore indicated under "Schedule of business
fees and taxes" and subsequent titles;
2) Governmental taxes, as heretofore indicated under "Schedule
of taxes on individual incomes"; Special licenses distinctt
froth licenses for foreoigners hot applicable hcre).depend
on the type of industry and because of the small amount in-
volved are little more than a statistical fee;
3) Income tax, as already indicated, the rate for individuals
ranges from 3 to 15 percent and for corporations from 12 to
15 percent articlee 7 of the decree-law of 1A1-y 2, 19J42,
amended August 13, 1942).
3, Taxes on shares of stock
1) Rogistered shares
a) A tax: of 1 percent is collected once on all shares actually
issued, in accordance with the provisions of article 24 of the law of
August 11, 1903, which reads as follows: "Every certificate or share of-
stock in a firm, company or enterprise of any kind, financial, industrial
commercial or civil, whether for a fixed amount or for a certain quota,
whether paid in full or not, and regardless of the date of organization.
of the company, firm or enterprise, shall, upon promulgation of the
present law be subject to a tax of 1 percent of the par value of each
share. Payment shall be m-adu by the company, firm or enterprise, regard-
less of its status".
b) An annual tax-of k0.25 per $100 payable one fourth quarterly on
October 15, January 15, April 15, and July 15.
c) k-transfor tax of $0.10 per $100 on transferred shares payable
quarterly on transfers made during the preceding quarter*
Article 2 of law of August 1, 1921, stipulates that "Beginning with
the fiscal year 1921-22 the transfer tax on nominative shares as provided
in article 36 of the law of August 11, 1903, shall be ten centimes (0.10)
gold per hundred dollars. Such shares shall in addition pay a yearly tax
of 25 centimes (0.25) in gold or gourdes per hundred gourdes or dollars
under the some conditions as bearer shares".
2) Bearer shares
Bearer shares are subject to taxes indicated under j(a) and (b)
of registered shares but not being registered, are not subject to the
transfer ta: indicated under (c).
As heretofore stated, in accordance with article 38 of the Com-
mercial Code, in order to operate or exist in Haiti a corporation must
be authorized by decree of the President.
INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
In Matters Affecting Business in
Its Various Aspects and Activities
WASHINGTON, D. C.
A very limited edition of this STATEMENT OF HAITIAN LAWT IN MATTERS
AFFECTING BUSINESS IN ITS VARIOUS ASPECTS AND ACTIVITIES is being
offered now in mimeographed form in order not to delay its availa-
bility until such time as circumstances may permit its publication
in printed form.
Copies are obtainable from the Inter-Ameri'can Development Commission
2400 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. The price is $2.00
Similar Studies of the Law of Business in several of the Latin American
Republics are under preparation and will be made available from time
to time by the Inter-American Development Commission.
- 12 -
FOREIGN COMMERCIAL COMPANIES
1. Distinction between foreign and Haitian Companies
Whereas Haitian companies onjoy all rights pertaining to civil
persons in Haiti with respect to real property, foreign companies ac-
cording to the law of February 13, 1925, may become owners of real
property only in connection with their business.
A second distinction made in law between Haitian and foreign com-
panies is that foreign companies are authorized to engage in commerce
only in the open ports of the country.
2. Distinction between corporations and other business organizations
According to law of February 13, 1925, corporations formed in ac-
cordance with Haitian law and having their headquarters in Haiti are
regarded as Haitian.
2) Other business organizations
The criterion adopted for other organizations is the amount of ca-
pital invested; article 5 of the law of February 13, 1925, states that
they are not regarded as Haitian unless at least one half the capital
belongs to Haitians.
Nq distinctions are made in Haitian law among various foreign
companies or enterprises with regard to their commercial activities.
Foreign firms must meet the same requirements as Haitian firms with
the optiontin that .the: license .oe is double that imposed on a Haitian
firm, and an additional license is required. Othor-iso, foreign concerns
have the same rights as Haitian business organizations.
Special provisions contained in the decree-law of June 24, 1940,
in regard to banks are applicable to both domestic and foreign concerns.
The same is true of laws relating to maritime insurance and public trans-
- 13 -
1. Foes and taxes for business licenses and permits patentsos)
To engage in either industry or commerce a foreigner must obtain a
national license (licence) and a local permit (patente), in accordance
with which national and local taxes are paid. The law of August 11,
1903, relates to licenses, and the decree-law of September 23, 1935, to
fees for permits.
1) Procedure to be followed in obtaining licenses and permits
1) At the local Tax Office the applicant signs an application
for a permit and an application for a license, paying the
fee for the license, and the corresponding stamp tax. The
amount of the license fee depends upon the amount of the
fee for the permit;
2) He then writes to the Secretary of State for Commerce re-
questing a license, enclosing the receipts from the local
Tax Office for the license fee and the stamp tax;
3) Upon receiving his license the applicant returns with it
to the local Tax Office And pays the fee for his permit.
2) Additional licenses and permits
A foreigner who .Wishes to engage in business as a consignee mer-
chant must as a general rule obtain two liconsesand permits. In order
to sell goods consigned to him he requires authorization to engage in
wholesale as well as retail merchandising.
Permits are subject to a surcharge of 20 percent for social aid
and to a stamp tax not exceeding-$2.00. Under the provisions of article
63 of the law of August 11, 1903, amended by the law of August 16, 1913,
the license has a surtax of 25 percent in gold to be added to the amount
of the fee paid by the foreigner for the permit, but not including the
amount for social aid and the stamp tax.
3) Schedule of business fees and taxes
Except for any stipulation to the contrary of the schedule of rates
annexed to decree-law of September 23, 1935, the foe payable by a foreigner
for a permit is double that payable by a Haition.
The fee for a permit varies according to the class of the munici-
pality. The capital, Port-au-Prince, is in the first class. Cap
Haitian is in the second class. The following schedule shows what a
foreigner must pay to engage in business in Port-au-Prince, the amounts
being stated in gourdes, which is the Haitian currency, and in dollars
at the rate of five to one;
Permit of consignment merchant 350.00 70.00
Social Aid 70.00 1.00
Stamp tax -E-4 O. 00
430: 00 "866.0 "
License for consignment merchant 437.50 87.50
Stamp tax 10.00 2.00
-T47.50 89 50
Permits for wholesale and retail
merchant 120.00 24 100
Social Aid 24.00 4,80
Stamp tax 2.00 0.40
License for wholesale and retail
merchant 150,00 30.00
Stamp tax 10.00 2.00
Grant Total .1,183.50 236.70
4) Special Licensas
In addition to those paid on business permits and licenses, other
taxes are payable in certain types of commerce and industries.
Besides a foreigner's license, a special license is required to sell
alcohol or tobacco, to manufacture essential and' other oils, margarine,
soap, matches, and to engage in the lumber trade. In contrast to the
regular license fee payable by a foreigner, this special license fee is
the same for Haitians and foreigners. This foe is for statistical pur-
poses and as a rule is not high. For example the special license fee,
provided for by the law of July 7, 1935, for the manufacture of matches,
soap, margarine and vegetable oils is 25 gourdes, or $5.00.
5) Tine for payment of taxes
All taxes are payable annually. The fiscal year in Haiti begins
OctobeIr 1st and ends S-:eptcmber 30th.
There are various time limits within which taxes must be paid: the
license fee is to be paid between October 1st and 20th and the permit
fee between October 1st and J-Iu5 y;' 15th of each fiscal year. A new
tax payer'cmust make his payments before starting in business, or be subject
to a fine,
T 15 r
6) Identity card taxes
In order to pay his business permit fees, a foreigner must possess
an identity card, which is issued by the Tax Office to all foreigners
having a residence permit.
According to article 4 of the law of April 21, 1939, merchants and
industrialists pay for their identity card tax either according to their
yearly salary or their business permits, whichever tax: would be higher.
In other words, if according to the business permit the identity card
tax would be $ 2.00 and according to salary it would be $5.00, a tax of
$5.00 is collected by the Governmnent. Based on salaries,thb identity
card tax ranges from $0.20 to $25.00. On the other basis, it is figured
at 10 percent of the permit fee. Consequently, the identity tax of a
foreign consignment merchant at Port-auxPrince amounts to 35 gourdes
or .$7.00, as may be seen from the table above,
7) Different business taxes for Haitians and foreigners
To summarize, there are three kinds of business taxes which are
different for foreigners and Haitians, to wit:
1) License tax for foreigners is collected from foreigners
but not from Haitians;
2) The business permit fee for foreigners is in general double
the amount paid by-Haitians. Article 7 of the decree-law of
September 23, 1935, provides that except in specially desig-
nated cases foreigners must pay double the amount of tax
indicated in the schedule;
3) The identity card tax of a foreigner is double that of a
Haitian in most cases because the business permit fee of
the former is double that of the latter. In certain instances,
the identity card tax of a foreigner is four times that of
a Haitian because in Port-au.-rince a foreign representative
is subject to a business permit fee of 200 gourdes ($40)
whereas a Haitian representative pays but 50 gourdes ($10).
However, the identity card tax is not high, not exceeding
$20 even for the proprietor of a large business.
2. Individual income taxes
This most important tax of all wgs 'established by decree-law of May
2, 1942, and wts amended August 13,' 1942. It applies only to individual
earnings from industry and commerce. There is no general income tax in
Haiti. Persons engaged in professions, such as medicine, law, engineering,
etc., do not pay income taxes.
- 16 r
All taxes, national or local, collected by the government are based
on operations and activities within the country and not those abroad.
The income tax of a merchant doing business both in Haiti and the United
States applies only to earnings from his business in Haiti, It is ap-
plied to net income.
Article 2 of decree-law of May 2, 1942, indicates certain exemptions
They are the incomes of all individuals, industrialists and merchants who
sell quantities of less than one barrel, one dozen, five-liters, one case
or other packing unit, and who show that the inventories, including the
installations' in their establishments, do not exceed 2,000 gourdes, or
$400 in value.
In.co:e taxes are' determined by two methods as a fixed lump sum or
according to balances. Private individuals and partnerships first pay
the tax on the fixed basis. If t.n examination of their books shows that
the balance sheet basis would bring more revenue to the State, they are
sent a supplementary tax bill (article 6).
T'Tc system used for corporations is the opposite of that for other
taxpayers. They pay the tax directly in accordance with their balance
sheets articlel e 5), Onl:y as a penalty may the State collect on the lump
1) The lump sum basis
The lump sum basis has no relationship to the profits or losses of
a merchant or industrialist, hence his books are not examined to determine
the tax. The rental of the building occupied for his particular commerce
or industry is' multiplied by 5 and the figure obtained represents the
taxable income. For example, if a merchant pays $100 a month rent, that
makes -)1,200 a year. This figure mutiplied by 5 gives 'i6,000. Without
deductions for general expenses, otc., the $6,000 is taken to represent
the net income end the tax is a certain percent of that amount.
The tax levied on this basis is payable in advance, beginning on
October 1 of the Fiscal year, and is 'payable half by October 30 and half
by the following April 30 (article 4).
2) Balance sheet basis
Income tax based on the balance sheet is figured at the eod of the
financial year of the taxpayer. It is determined by an examination of
his books and other accounts.
3) Stamped account books
According to Haitian law account books before use must be stamped by
the Tax Office and approved end initialed by a Court. An unstamped, non-
- 17 -
approved and uninitialed account book is not acceptable and may not be
used for calculating income tax, nor in court litigation.
The books that must be stamped, checked and initialed are the
journal and the inventory ledger. Article 11 of the decree-law con-
cerning income tax provides penalties for improperly kept accounts and
prescribes the manner of making entries in the inventory ledger (articles
8, 9, and 10 of the Commercial Code).
Article 8 of the nbove mentioned decree-law indicates what expen-
ditures may be deducted from grossprofit to arrive at the not profit.
Such deductions must represent normal charges and expenditures. Gifts
made to charitable undertakings in the name of the firm, club expenses,
and bonuses given to employees do not constitute deductible expenses or
charges. Article 8 contains a list of certain deductible charges and
expenses, but it is not limitative.
3. Schedule of taxes in individual incomes
Article 7 of the decree-law of May 2, 1942, as amended August 13 of
that year, establishes the following tax rates on individual incomes:
All incomes equal to or below 5,000 gourdes, on the' full
amount ... .. ............ ..,.. .... ... .... ..... ,.. 3%
All incomes above 5,000 gourdes but not over 10,000:'
a) on the first 5,000 ............. ., .. ...... *.,. *'. 3%
b) on the excess.,............ ..... ...... ..... ..... 4%
All incomes above 10,000 gourdes but not over 15,000 on
the full amount ...................... ...... ........... 5%
All incomes above 15,000' gourde's but not over 30,000:
a) on the first 15,000.......... ................ .. .... 5%
b) on the excess...., ...... ............ ............. 8%
All incomes above 30,000 gourdes but not over 100,000 on
the full amount ......................................... 12%
All incomes of over 100,000 gourdes on the full amount..15%
The tax is applicable to commercial and industrial companies and
also to individual merchants and manufacturers, excepting corporations
(soci4t6s anonymes). According to the amendment of August 13, 1942,
corporations are taxed at the following rates:
All incomes equal to or below 50,000 gourdes....,......, 12%
All incomes of over 50,000 gourdes:
a) on the first 50,000 .. ................... .... ... 12%
b) on the excess..................... ..... .......... 15%
4. Tax Exemptions, Capital, Subsidies, Concessions, and Registration
1) Tax Exemptions
No exemptions from internal taxes-are provided for in Haitien fiscal
laws, except in the case of income tax, hero the value of the instal-
lations and stock of merchandise of a merchant does not exceed 2,000
gourdes ($400) (See article 2 of the decree-law of May 2, 1942).
There are no reductions in taxes, To encourage the development of
certain enterprises the Government, in some cases, by contract has given
assurance that taxes will not be increased for a stated period. Such
contracts must be approved by a law or a decree-law.
There are no restrictions on the importation of capital.
The Government has granted no subsidy to any existing company, but-
contracts with the Government may provide exemptions from certain taxes,
particularly import duties on materials and equipment.
The Government may grant concessions, which must be approved by a
law or decree-law.
5) Taxes for registration of new companies
In addition to those taxes already mentioned, it should be noted
that when a commercial or industrial company is formed it must pay a
fixed charge of $0,40 for registration of the act of organization and
$3.00 for notification to the commercial tribunal.
5. Tax Administration
In Haiti, the two organizations that deal with taxes are the Custom
Service and Internal Revenue Service. The former collects the duties as
provided in the customs tariff. The Administration Gee6rale des Contri-
butions collects the income tax and other internal revenues and the local
- 18 .
- 19 -
or communal taxes. The only local tax directly affecting commerce or
industry is the fee for business permit. There are no departmental
taxes, no excess profits tax, nor tax on capital or property.
There is however a rental tax collected annually, equivalent to 3,
3 1/4, or 3 1/2, percent of the yearly rental value of buildings lo-
cated in cities and towns. It is covered by decree-law of September
23, 1935 (article 1),
- 20 -
1. The law applicable to agricultural activities
Agricultural activities of enterprises and individuals are governed
by civil law just as are those by which they dispose of the products of
their lands and animals, whether in original or converted form. In
purchasing produce from others for re-sale along with their own produce,
whether in original or converted form, they become subject to the terms
of commercial law relating to purchased goodsJ Likewise, the purchase
of fertilizers and seed by a former in quantities greater than needed for
his own farming operations, with an idea of re-selling the surplus, also
subjects him to the terms of commercial law. However, these transactions
are not necessarily to be subject to the commercial law unless custom-
arily or repeatedly carried on.
2. Equal rights for foreigners and Haitians
Foreigners are free to develop agricultural property or enterprises
in Haiti, enjoying in such activities the same rights as nationals of
There are no legal provisions which require that a certain percent-
age of the employees or workers in agricultural activities or enterprises
be of Haitian nationality. Likewise, there are no restrictions on the
amount of foreign capital that may be invested in such activities.
Individual agricultural activities are exempt from payment of any
business permit (patente) or license (licence) fees. Corporations *
engaged in agriculture pay the same fees as commercial corporations.
The local business permit fees payable by foreign corporations
amount to 300 gourdes ($60) plus 60 gourdes ('12) for social security
and 1.35 gourdes ($0.27) for stamp tax, a total of 361.35 gourdes
($72.27). The national license fee amounts to 375 gourdes ($75) plus
10 gourdes ($2) for the stamp tax, a total of 385 gourdes ($77).
Other taxes (income tax, etc.) are the same as for other companies.
Here again, a guarantee against any future increase in taxes is
obtainable only in a contract with the Government. Since this concerns
- 21 -
both agriculture and finances, the two interested Government Depart-
ments must participate in drawing up such a contract.
r 22 -
Operation of mines, pits and quarries are governed by decree-
law of December 1943, and are regarded as commercial activities.
This decree-law is a coordination of previous provisions relating to
mines and is the only mining legislation now in force. Mines, pits
and quarries are defined in articles 4, 6, and 7 of the decree-law:
1. State and private ownership
By law, all mines and quarries which can be exploited ,only by
underground passages are the private property of the Statei
Pits and quarries which can be exploited by means of opei cuts
belong to the surface owner.
The following summary concerns only mines and quarries which are
the private property of the State.
2. RgTle.concorning rrraccting
The rules concerning prospecting are found in articles 16 to 30
inclusive of the decree-law of December 1943.
With the exception of a surface owner who has the right to make
excavations on his property, a prospector may not undertake preliminary
work of excavation, prospecting and drilling except by a permit granted
by the Secretary of State for Public Works, after approval by the
The law provides for two types of permits:
l) Sirplo prospoctin.4 m.criit
Upon payment of the fee prescribed, a simple prospecting permit,
valid for one year, is granted. It may be renewed free of charge, for
another year. It gives the right to undertake any prospecting and
drilling in any part of the country. It may not be transferred except
upon authorization by the Cabinet.
The holder of a permit who makes excavations for the discovery
and conservation of deposits must reimburse the surface owner for
damages. In certain cases (article 28) he may carry on Work only upon
authorization of the Secretary of State for Public Works.
All holders of permits enjoy the same rights (article 29).
Substances extracted by a permit holder may not be sold or
utilized without authorization by the Secretary of State for Public
2) Exclusive permit
For prospecting for one or more specific substance an exclusive
permit is granted upon payment of a fee of 1,000 gourdes. It is valid
for a maximum of three years. It accords an exclusive right to prospect
in a definitely determined area.
3. Rules Coverning exploitation of mines and quarries
The following may exploit mines and quarries:
1) The holder of a temporary exploitation permit;
2) The holder o:f a concession;
3) State intervention.
1) Temporary exploitation permit
This permit, according to articles 31 to 42, constitutes a temporary
authorization to exploit a mine. It is issued by the Secretary of State
for Public Works only to holders of prospecting permits who'intend-to
engage in preliminary mine work, upon payment of a fee of 1,000 gourdes.
It is valid for one year, renewable by payment of a fee of 500 gourds
Each application for a temporary exploitation permit must be ac-
compani- by a sketch of the terrain in which the exploitation is to' take
place. A permit shall list the rights and obligations of the holder.
A temporary exploitation permit may be transferred only to a holder of a
A permit may be revoked by the Secretary of State for Public Works:
1) If it has expired and has not been renewed;
2) If the work authorized is not duly carried out.
2) Mining concessions
According to articles 43 to 77, the holder of a concession has the
exclusive right of exploitation and is the owner of the products obtained.
Articles 51 to 52 indicate how a concession must be obtained.
All concession holders must deposit with the Banque Nationale de la
Republique d'Haiti a guarantee of not less'than 25,000 gourdes for mining
concessions, or 5,000 gourds for quarries.
If exploitation of a mine or quarry is not begun within the time
limit determined in a concession, it is revoked and the guarantee re-
verts to the State; otherwise it will be returned to the concessionaire.
4. Rules governing concessions
The following is a summary of the rules relating to concessions
for mines and quarries.
1) The Government is entirely free in the choice of concessionaires,
be they surface owners, discoverers or others having no previous rights.
2) A concession is temporary, with a maximum of 60 years for mines
and 40 years for quarries.
3) A mine bestowed by concession becomes a new property which may
be mortgaged. However it may not be divided or sold in lots without
prior authorization by the Government.
4) The exploitation of a mine is subject to control by the Bureau
of Mines of the Department of Public Works.
5) A concession gives the right to occupy and utilize any portion
of the surface necessary for the exploitation (articles 59 and 66) aid
also the right of expropriation (article 62). It also gives the right to
establish means of communication or to construct docks and wharves if
needed in exploitation.
6) Free customs entry is granted to concessionaires for articles
needed for the installations and operation of the enterprise, However,
spare parts and accessories and replacements are 'subject to import duties,
although free entry is extended for instruments, materials and medicines
required for hospitals or dispensaries which concessionaires must in-
7) A concessionaire must pay:
1) To the State
a) A fixed royalty of a minimum of one gourdo per year per
hectare (articles 65 and 69).
(However, the contract of concession may stipulate repayment
to the concessionaire of the amount of the surface tax on
any portion of the concession actually exploited, beginning
at the tine such exploitation ic commenced);
r 25 r
b) A royalty proportional to the gross value of ore removed
(articles 66,67, and 68);
2) To the surface owners
A royalty for use of the surface of not less than 5 percent
nor more than 10 percent of proportional royalty paid to
the State (articles 78 to 82);
3) To the discoverer
a) A royalty of not less than 10 percent of the proportional
royalty paid to the State (article 50);
b) Reimbursement of expenses involved in making the discovery
Haitian law contains no restriction or prohibition against a foreign-
er engaging in either the prospecting or exploitation of mines and
The law does not require that a given percentage of the labor
employed be of Haitian nationality, nor is there any restriction in regard
to capital invested in mining enterprises.
However, employment by a concessionaire of foreigners as technicians
or skilled workers must be authorized by the Secretary of State for
Public Works, such authorization is for a period of two years, renewable
indefinitely (article 71).
In practice, a concession contract fixes a percentage of Haitians
to be employed in such enterprises.
Although, as previously-stated, the law of December 20, 1943, is
the sole law governing mines, pits and quarries actually now in force,
article 5 of this law provides that the exploitation of hydrocarbons,
coal and other mincr-d substances used for fuel shall be governed by
a special law. However to date the Government has not presented a
project for such a law to the Legislative Body.
In regard to taxes, there is the decree-law of November 14, 1940,
which imposes an internal tax of 0.78 gourdes ($0.156) per gallon
(3.7853 liters) of gasoline obtained from crude petroleum refined in
Haiti. This tax is equal to the customs duty on imported gasoline.
In addition to the taxes referred to above, mining operations are
subject to the license taxes if the enterprise is foreign, and to the
income tax in accordance with the principles described elsewhere.
- 26 ~
1. Validity recognized by the Constitution
The validity of monopolies is recognized in the Constitution of
Haiti and they are not forbidden by law. It should be noted, however,
that the Government grants a monopoly only in extremely rare cases,
when the public interest so demands and when, without such monopoly,
an organization could not operate; as for example a monopoly 'granted
a company to supply electricity to the city of Port-au-Prince,
2. Procedure for obtaining a monopoly
To obtain a monopoly, application must be made to the appropriate
Ministerial Department and if the applicant can show the necessity
for a monopoly the terms of a contract are agreed upon. It is then
submitted to the Conseil des Secretaires d'Etat (the Cabinet) for
approval. If the Cabinet approves, a special authorization for signa-
ture of the contract is issued by the appropriate Secretary of State.
The contract is then submitted to the Legislature for ratification
if it is in session, and if not, to the Permanent Committee of the
National Assembly. A contract becomes effective only after such
3. State Monopolies
Trade in gold is a State monopoly. Gold purchases may not be
made except by the Banque Nationale'de la R4publique d'Haiti, a State
bank (Decree-law of August 9, 1941). The lottery is also a State
4. Special Concessions
Mines may be exploited only under a special concession from the
Haitian Government (Decree-law of December 20, 1943). Banks may
operate only after obtaining authorization from the President of the
Republic (Decree-law of Tune 24, 1940). In these matters the State
thus exercises direct control over the operation of such enterprises.
A concession is granted by the State to permit a concessionaire'
to have exclusive rights to operate in an area determined by contract.
It is granted only when the public interest so requires and if the
State believes that the applicant is in a position to operate the con-
Social legislation in Haiti is still in an embryonic state since
it is only within the last few years that the subject has received
serious consideration, Certain regulations, however, have been adopted.
1. Legislation for the protection of labor
The law of April 21, 1939, requires that every person should possess
an identity card.
1) Hours of labor
Article 12 of Decree-law of August 16, 1934, on labor,provides
that the working day shall be eight hours, although the parties concerned
may agree between themselves on overtime by day or night.
Article 13 provides for 24 hours rest per week which should be
Sunday unless the public interest or the successful operation of an
establishment require that it be some other day.
2) Holidays and vacations
Workers and employees generally, regardless of whether hired by
the day, by the hour, by the job or on piece work must be givensuch
holidays and days' of rest as are authorized by Presidential decree, with-
out loss of wages. They must be given 15 days vacation per year, at one
3) Minors and p regnant women
An employer is prohibited from hiring minors under 15 years of
age (article 16). A pregnant woman must be giv-en leave with pay amount-
ing to three weeks prior to childbirth and three weeks thereafter
4) Minimum wages
The minimum wage for all manual workers, employed by the-job or
in piece work is two gourdes per day (decree-law of December 24, 1945).
5) Medical ;are
Article 19 of the decree-law of August 16, 1934, requires that
Haitian or foreign employers hiring more than 100 persons must provide
a dispensary in charge of a Haitian physician and equipped to give
first aid in case of accident.
Other than the above, there is as yet no legislation covering
6) Social Security Fund
Decree-Law of May 15, 1943, created a social security fund; this
fund is obtained through the compulsory contribution of $0.20 per fort-
night by all workers employed in agricultural ortcrprisos 'onployinc: ovcr
fifty laborers... The fund is useC to pay supplementary compensation in
case of accidents, for the creation of an almshouse, etc.
There are no laws providing for tensions except for employees
and officials of the Government.
7) Percentage of Haitian employees
In general, in contracts made between the Government and indi-
viduals or firms, the Government fixes the percentage of Haitians to be
employed in an enterprise; otherwise there is no special legislation.
The Departments of Labor and National Ecoromy and the Direction
General of Agriculture are the agencies handling labor matters.
8) Trade unions, strikes and disputes
No legislation exists concerning trade unions or workers'
organizations There is likewise no legislation in regard to strikes or
the settlement of disputes between employers and workers.
Haiti has never exercised control of exchange. The value of the
gourde has been pegged at five gourdes to the U.S. dollar since 1915-16,
Although banknotes issued by U.S. Federal Reserve Bahks are not
legal tender, they are readily accepted in Haitian cities.
- 30 -
REAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
1. Agricultural and forest lands
Article 7 of the Constitution provides that the right to own
property is guaranteed to citizens. Expropriation of real property for
reasons of public necessity or utility may not be resorted to except by
payment to the owner or registration of his right to prompt and fair
compensation. But ownership of property likewise involves obligations.
The use that is made of it must be in accord with the general interest.
A landowner has a duty to his community to cultivate and develop the
soil. Punishment for ignoring this obligation is provided by law. The
principal agrarian laws are:
1) The law on property (Civil Code) which defines the right of
ownership and governs the right of accession, that is, a right to the
natural or industrial products or movable or real property, and to
natural or artificial improvements,. constructions, plantings, alluvial
or other accretions, etc.
2) The law on usufructs, usage and occupation (Civil Code).
3) The law on property administration dealing with encumbrances
affecting the interests to other persons due to natural conditions and
circumstances such as water rights, boundary lines, or fences, either
by reason of obligations imposed by law or understandings between property
4) The law concerning the different ways by which property is ac-
quirod (Civil Code), that is: inheritance, gift by will or between
living persons, result of obligations (sale, assignment, accession or
incorporation and prescription; and Law No. 21 on sales (Civil Code).
5) Law No. 23 on rental contracts (Civil Code): lease of rural
and urban property, lease of livestock.
6) The law of December 11, 1922, concerning land survey com-
missions and investigating commissions charged with investigating the
depredations, thefts and frauds of which rural inhabitants and the State
may be victims with respect to their property rights.
7) The law of December 21, 1922, concerning long-term leases of
State-owned lands for periods varying from 9 to 30 years. Such leases
may not be made except for agricultural purposes and in accordance with
the provisions set forth in the law.
8) -The law of February 3, 1926, concerning national forest
reserves, declares that they are inalienable.
9) The laws of July 26, 1927,-and May 28, 1928 concern State
domains, to wit: the public domain, ihich is inalienable and impres-
criptible, and its private domain, which is imprescriptible but is
alienable. The first of these laws fixes the conditions by which lands
of the State's private domain may be leased, and the second governs claims
to vacant lands occupied and leased by the State to private indi-
viduals. Under the terms of this law the State may prescribe the title
of individuals after 10 years, whereas the usual prescription period in
regard to real property is 20 years.
10) The law of January 12, 1934, concerning rural family property,
grants a maximum of 5 hectares to Haitian farmers. Such property is
unattachable and that status is extended to buildings and other improve-
ments constructed on the property, as well as any installations, im-
plements, farm tools and animals connected with the undertaking.
11) The supplementary law of September 4, 1934, provides for ex-
emption from the required period of residence in the granting of rural
family property, Haitian farmers who have themselves occupied and
developed the land for ten years.
12) The law of June 3, 1936, protecting from eviction by third
parties, all farmers having 50 or more hectares under authorized
registered lease, and who work the land for agricultural purposes.
13) The law of March 5, 1937, requires that the Ministire Public be
notified of all judgments by default which involve expropriation,
removal or expulsion of an inhabitant from rural areas.
14) The law of April 18, 1939, concerns undeveloped lands, provides
for an annual tax of 5 to 10 percent of their estimated value, accord-
ing to area, and stipulates that in case of non-payment of this tax with-
in ten months the land will be sold at auction. This law has never been
2. Acquisition of public lands
Public lands-may be acquired through sale, which must be'authorized
by a specific law, as indicated in article-18, law of July 26, 1927; and
the same article, as amended June 17, 1941, prohibits transfers.
Under laws of January 12 and September 4, 1934, concerning family
rural property, grants for at least five hectares may be made only to
- 32 -
Acquisition of state lands by prescription is prohibited (article
4 of the law of October 28, 1864, and article 3 of the law of July 26,
3. Fees and taxes collected on land purchases, possession or rental
Taxes on sales of real estate (law of July 4, 1933) are:
Registration ................. 2%
Transcription ................ 1%
Certificate of transcription G 2.50
Notarial fees, 50 lines ...... 4.00
Stamp tax per G 100 .......... 0.10
*On leases for over 9 y3ars or less if paid in 3 year periods or
over, the fees are:
Registration ................. 1%
Transcription ................ 1%o
Notarial fees, 50 lines ...... G 4.00
Certificate ........ ....... G 2.50
Stamp tax, per G 100 ......... G 0.10
Other leases pay merely the registration fee and stamp tax.
4. Rights of foreigners to purchase or use land
In brief, article 8 of the Constitution and the law of February 13,
1925,provide that a foreigner may own real property only for his own needs
as residence or for agricultural, commercial, industrial or educational
pursuits. Hence a foreigner does not have the right to rent real estate
Regulations regarding trademarks is provided, by the law of December
18, 1922, and by the Inter-American Convention of February 20, 1929.
The assignment or transfer of trademarks is governed by the law
of March 1, 1937.
Legislation on patents for inventions is covered by the law of
December 14, 1922,
The"maximum validity of registration of trade marks and patents is
20 years, although if registration was already made elsewhere, the
number of years of protection accorded in that country shall be the basis
for the duration of such protection in Haiti.
The registration fee for trademarks is set at $15 regardless of the
period of validity. The registration fee for patents varies in accord-
ance with the period of validity. It is $25 for registration for five
years; 050 for ten years and $100 for a period of twenty years.
In addition to the fee, an applicant must convey special power to
his representative charged with obtaining registration, and this is to
be accompanied by throe facsimiles of the patent or trade mark.
- 34 -
With the exception of the provisions covering maritime insurance,
in articles 375 to 431 of the Commercial Code, there are no regulations
governing insurance in Haiti. However, the use of both life and fire,
as well as other forms of insurance under the terms of American, English,
and other policies, have become fairly widespread.
There is a registration fee of 2 percent on all payments made to
Article 39 of the law of July 4, 1933, provides a special fee of
two percent to be collected on all payments made to insurance companies
for redemption of policies or premium installments, regardless of type,
conditions or agreements. -To assure payment of this fee all such trans-
actions must be registered, under penalty of a fine of double the fee.