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Aruba: Offshore Business Sectors

Trade, Marketing and Distribution

Aruba has encouraged commercial activity and manufacturing, especially in high technology, taking advantage of its membership of the EU and privileged access to the US market, by creating the Free Trade Zone and the Aruban Exempt Corporation form.

Thus, a number of companies involved in the trading or distribution of FMCG and other physical goods use Aruba as a trading base for the American and European markets. Obviously the island is better located geographically for American markets, but even for Europe it is possible to locate marketing, administrative and holding activities on Aruba, and American-source goods can acquire EU origin if they undergo 'substantial transformation' in the Free Trade Zone. Licensing activities can also be carried out effectively from Aruba.

Aruba is a major distribution and transshipment center for the region. In 1986 the European Commission agreed to allow products originating in any Generalised System of Preferences country to be trans-shipped through Aruba without losing their originating status provided that the goods do not undergo any transformation other than packaging and affixing of labels etc. The consequence and intention behind this waiver is that Aruba could develop as a major trans-shipment and distribution center since its strategic location along international shipping routes already gives it a distinct advantage .

Apart from low taxation, and exemption from customs duties, companies in the Free Trade Zone have access to certain types of EU grant or assistance. For a company importing or trading in physical goods in the EU, an Aruban Exempt Corporation can be combined with a base in the Free Trade Zone to give a very effective result.

Along with other offshore jurisdictions, Aruba is a suitable place in which to base e-commerce services for retail or wholesale distribution of material or non-material goods..

See Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes for further details of taxation and fees payable by trading companies.



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