Colon Free Zone is the premiere free trade zone located in the Province of Colon, Republic of Panama. With more than 70 years of experience is the largest free trade zone in American Continent, one of the world’s leading multimodal distribution center and the second largest franchise in the world, after Hong Kong.
The main objective of Colon Free Zone is to promote international trade under a tax exempted work frame, in which most of the commercial activities are wholesale oriented, import distribution centers, logistics, products from all around the world and banking activities support them.
The Colon free zone is strategically located to serve the regional market, by connecting the major suppliers from Asia, Europe and North America, the Colon Free Zone stores and redistributes tax exempted merchandise to the rest of the continent.
Benefits and Advantages
It offers tax exemptions benefits and immigration advantages to those companies that want to establish in this special economic area.
Fiscal Benefits of the Colon Free Zone
- Exemption from ALL taxes or levies and other fiscal, national, provincial contributions or any other order on the merchandise, or other goods that are marketed within the zone.
- Exemption from taxes on imports and exports
- Tax exemption on profit from operations abroad
- Exemption from taxes on earnings from re exports
- Municipal taxes are not applicable to the companies established in Colon Free Zone
- Tax exemption on capital investment
- Tax exemption over invoice
- Dollar as circulating currency
- Exemption from ALL taxes and import charges for the transfer of raw materials or semi-finished products to companies that are outside of Colon Free Zone and in national territory, for value-added processes for 6 months.
Immigration benefits of the Colon Free Zone
- Foreign executives and dependents can be granted special immigration rights (such as visas up to a maximum of 6 years)
- Foreign investors and dependents can be granted permanent residence.
- Flexibility to exceed the 10% limit of foreign workers as a percentage of a company’s total workforce
- Short stay permits to buyers
- Work permits within 10% of ordinary employees
- Work Permits to specialized personnel if they don’t exceed the 15% of regular employees
- The work permit is also granted to small companies with at least 10 employees or less
How to operate in the Colon Free Zone
All natural or juridical entities can operate in the Colon Free Zone, without the need to obtain a commercial license, nor a minimum of investment capital. The law establish that companies shall require an Operation Key.
According to the legislation that creates the Colon Free Zone, the operation key is a numbering that identifies a company and allows them to establish their business operation and realize their commercial activities inside this Zone.
Activities permitted within the Colon Free Zone
Within this zone, various commercial, storage, service and industrial activities can be carried out. These aim to maintain a connection between the national and international economy. In general, companies can operate and handle all kinds of merchandise, products, raw materials, containers, and other commercial effects, with the sole exception of articles that are prohibited or restricted importation, in accordance with the laws of the Republic.
¿Do you need help to establish your business in the Colon Free Zone?
Our expert team in Aleman, Caballero & Candanedo, will guide and assist those companies that want to settle in this specific area; from constitution of corporations, revision of commercial contracts, to the acquisition of the necessary permits so that businesses can operate in Colon Free Zone.
In addition, we will assist in all immigration matters, helping investors, employees, and their dependents obtain their residency and work permit, without any unnecessary setbacks. Moreover, our team is fully qualified to provide labor counseling which is vital to the course of your operations.