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Entry of goods without having to pay import customs duties

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Streamlines management and improves the speed of operational response Unlimited permanence of goods

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Free destination of goods. If they are re-exported, they will not pay in any case Community customs duties

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Guarded perimeter access control, GC port police, CCTV, alarm



All the advantages are applicable to the companies located in these areas. It should be mentioned that certain FTZs have areas (industrial estates, business centers, entrepreneurial workshops, etc.) without the customs consideration of FTZs, in which these advantages would not be applicable, and which have been created to promote the economic development of their areas of influence, which is another objective set for this type of entities.

It should be pointed out that the entry of goods into FTZs is not an irreversible fact.

The advantages or benefits that can be obtained by the introduction of goods into FTZs can be summarized according to their origin:

1. Non-community goods. They will not be subject to import duties, internal taxes (VAT) or commercial policy measures during their stay in the FTZ.

Ex. 1 An importer brings in a quantity of import goods and then clears them through customs as he needs them (this is when he settles). Financial savings.

Ex. 2 An importer brings a quantity of merchandise (does not pay duties or VAT) and finally exports it to a third country. He has paid neither duties nor VAT, which otherwise he would have to pay and wait for the export to be refunded. Quite substantial financial savings.

2. Community agricultural goods. They can benefit from the anticipated collection of the refunds fixed for such goods.

3. Community goods. Deliveries of goods intended to be introduced into the FTZ, as well as services directly related to such deliveries, shall be exempt from VAT. Art. 23 VAT Law.

E.g., A company located in ZF, can buy in the national market its raw materials without VAT (0 quota), its supplier will reflect in invoice exemption by art. 23 VAT Law. It will also be able to receive without VAT the services that it uses for its production, read for example the invoice of works of an ETT, the invoice of operations realized by others in its facilities, only the goods that are consumed in ZF are not subject to exemption, for example office material or consumptions not used in the production directly. There is a substantial financial saving.

The final product can be sold to your customer in ZF, without VAT by the same art. 23, and the latter to remove it from ZF makes a VAT assimilated to the import, mod.380, which reflects the VAT and its compensation at the same time, with a result of zero quota to pay. In other words, your customer does not advance the VAT on his purchase, so he also has a financial saving. The ZF producer offers his customer an additional advantage, which he already has.

4. The EU products subject to U.S. VAT would be suspended from these taxes. They would be suspended of these special taxes, when they do not remain more than 6 months and they are destined to export, and when the ZF is simultaneously authorized as Fiscal Warehouse.

Independently of these benefits described above, let us see other or more important benefits derived from the operations and/or destinations that can be given to the goods in the FTZ.

1. Dispatch for free circulation. As explained in the first point above, i.e., no tariffs or internal taxes are paid until customs clearance to the Community, and this can be done according to their use or consumption.

2. Goods that are subject to usual manipulations. Goods located in FTZs may, during their stay, without any essential modification, and in order to ensure their preservation, improve their presentation or commercial quality, or prepare their distribution or resale, be subject to a multitude of manipulations, without the need for express authorization, unless they modify the eight-digit CN code or the customs authority sees a risk of fraud. There are 18 types of classified manipulations. These include changing containers and packaging, mixing goods of the same type with different quality without changing the nature of the goods, placing and/or removing markings, seals, etc., packing, unpacking, etc.

In determining the Customs value. In determining the Customs value, the usual manipulations are not taken into consideration. It should be noted that, in general, the practice of authorized operations can mean significant economic savings for operators, for example for bulk products; cleaning, waste, losses, breakage, evaporation, and possible packaging, wrapping and/or bagging are not taxed.

3. Goods under the inward processing regime. The most important regime in the FTZs, in terms of advantages, for any other handling not included in the previous ones. This regime is aimed at stimulating exports, by allowing imports of goods from a third country, with total exemption from import duties and/or commercial policy measures, provided that the products obtained in the processing of these goods are re-exported out of the customs territory of the Community, in the form of compensating products.

This procedure is subject to prior authorization with the following conditions:

  • that it is possible to identify the import goods in the compensating products, or equivalent goods where appropriate.
  • that the procedure can contribute to creating the most favorable conditions for export.

The prior examination basically considers the following:

  • the non-availability of goods produced in the Community, having the same quality and technical characteristics as the goods to be imported for the operations envisaged.
  • Price difference between the goods produced in the Community and the imported goods.

E.g., Harinera Villafranquina in Cádiz, buys wheat from Russia, does not pay tariffs or VAT when introducing them in ZF under inward processing regime. It transforms it into packaged flour, for which it buys paper bags in the Community market but without VAT, as it can avail itself of Article 23 of the VAT Law exemption in ZF. It uses external personnel who invoice its work, also without VAT, for the same article and finally exports the product.

As a final point, it should be pointed out that the ZFs in operation can be used by any individual or legal entity interested in obtaining the tariff and tax benefits provided for in the regulations that govern them, as well as the commercial and logistical advantages that the Consortiums offer for these areas. In a ZF, any type of industrial, commercial, or service rendering activity can be carried out in a general way, with the only requirement of keeping stock accounting with prior approved system.

Additional important example:

A company that wants to set up with the need for heavy investment in foreign machinery.

  • It is from a third country. It is exempt from paying duties and VAT, as long as the machine remains for use in ZF. At the end of its life, it will pay duties for the residual value of the asset. In other words, it does not advance the customs duties and pays them only for the final value of use, and it does not advance the VAT, which in these cases is important because of its amount and because its refund is usually delayed. A VAT refund usually takes 7 or 8 months.
  • It is communal. VAT.

According to everything described above, a national company that sets up in ZF, with foreign machinery, for national production, independently of the tariffs, pays all without VAT, and can sell its product within ZF without VAT. Thus, it is not only companies working in the foreign market that are interested in setting up in the ZF, although these are even more so.