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Curaçao: Country and Foreign Investment

Free Trade Zones

Free trade zones are located at the harbour at Willemstad, the Hato-Curaçao international airport and the Industrial Park. The free zones are secure and permanently maintained; they are fully serviced, and have telecommunications connections.

The free trade zones are an effective distribution centre for export to the Caribbean, Americas and the EU. There are no customs duties imposed for imports, trans-shipment and/or export of goods; foreign exchange transactions in respect of free zone goods are exempt from commission. Twenty five percent of total sales may be made to the local market.

Profits on export sales from the free zones are taxed at 2%.

As of April 1, 2001, special tax legislation for international Internet companies on Curaçao came into force to act as an incentive to persuade e-commerce companies to relocate their activities to the Island. The new law replaced the old Free Zone law and governs 'E-Zones'. Only companies with a capital divided into shares may perform activities in the e-zones including trading or providing services to companies located outside Curaçao.

A company may be allowed to conduct business with other firms located in an e-zone but the company has to apply to the local authority before doing so. If given the go ahead the company must meet certain criteria relating to price setting, quality of the goods and services on offer and the distribution of goods. The turnover generated through local business may not exceed 25% of the total turnover.

In terms of profit tax, the profit of companies within the e-zones is taxed at 2% - including surtax - until January 1, 2026. This rate is not applicable on the profit of an e-zone company if it is generated by the sale of goods or services to companies located in the former Netherlands Antilles or generated through the rendering of services to affiliated companies located in the country. In addition there is no import duty or turnover tax charged on goods entering the e-zones.



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