Belize: Offshore Business Sectors
Export Processing Zones (EPZ)
Three locations have been designated as EPZs under the Export Processing Zone Act. The San Andres EPZ occupies 28.5 acres of land in the northern section of the country, only 8 miles away from the Mexican border, right next door to NAFTA. The other two Zones are both located approximately 9 miles from Belize City, the country's commercial capital. The EPZ adjacent to the Philip Goldson International Airport covers 4 acres, while the Price Barracks EPZ covers 14 acres.
In the EPZ, facilities are provided for activities in manufacturing, processing, packaging, warehousing and the distribution of goods and services. In fact, amendments made to the legislation in 1994, provide investors with the added option of constructing their own facilities and developing infrastructure within an EPZ, including independent utility installations. This option enables an EPZ to enhance its economic development, since it does not necessarily have to use the electricity or telephone facilities provided by the two local monopolies, The Belize Electricity Limited and The Belize Telecommunications Limited respectively.
Other benefits of locating in the EPZs include full import and export duty exemptions; exemptions from capital gains tax, property and land taxes, excise, sales and consumption taxes, taxes on trade turnover, on foreign exchange and transfer tax; tax holidays of 20 years with an option to extend and deduct loses from profits following the tax holiday period and; dividend tax exemption in perpetuity. As of April 2010, a social fee of 5% is charged on all goods and services imported into an EPZ.