A foreign enterprise must first obtain certification from the IPA before it:
(i) Establishes or uses a share transfer office or a share registration office in the country.
(ii) Administers, rents, manages, or otherwise deals with property in the country as an owner, agent, legal personal representative, or trustee, whether by a servant or agent or otherwise; or
(iii) Maintains an agent, employee, or officer for the purpose of soliciting or procuring or entering into orders, arrangements, agreements, or contracts (whether conditional or not), whether or not the agent, employee, or officer is continuously resident in the country.
(iv) Maintains an office, agency, or branch (however described), whether or not the office, agency, or branch is also used for one of those purposes by another enterprise; or
(v) Makes an application for, or is issued, any permit, license, lease or authority issued for commercial purposes by the State or by the National Government or Provincial Government or any other level of government or a unit, department, agency or instrumentality of the State or of a Provincial Government or anybody, authority or instrumentality established by the State or under an Act.
Unincorporated Joint Venture
In the case of an unincorporated joint venture each foreign participant must seek certification. Before the IPA will grant certification, the foreign enterprise must complete a formal application, provide specified information and pay the required fee.
Provided the foreign enterprise has properly completed its application, the IPA will respond within 35 days. Certification enables the foreign enterprise to carry on business in a particular activity at a specific location within the country set out in the certificate.
A foreign enterprise need not seek certification if its only activities in PNG are:
(i) Being a party to a legal proceeding or settling a legal proceeding or a claim or dispute.
(ii) Holding meetings of its directors or shareholders or carrying on other activities concerning its internal affairs.
(iii) Maintaining a bank account.
(iv) Effecting a sale of property through an independent contractor.
(v) Soliciting or procuring an order that becomes a binding contract only if the order is accepted outside the country.
(vi) Creating evidence of a debt or creating a charge on property.
(vii) Securing or collecting any of its debts or enforces its rights in relation to securities relating to those debts.
(viii) Conducting an isolated transaction that is completed within a period of one month, not being one of a number of similar transactions repeated from time to time.
(ix) Investing its funds or holding property.
The IPA may grant certification subject to any terms and conditions it considers appropriate. However, provided a proposed investment does not fall within a list of investment activities restricted to citizens of PNG, certification is usually not conditional on maintaining a minimum level of local equity.
Foreign enterprises are restricted from going into restricted activities regardless of local equity.