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ftz requirements
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Free Trade Zone Requirements

Free Trade Zone Requirements

All businesses must fulfill the minimum requirements, as established by Law 7210 and Law 8794, in order to receive the benefits and exemptions of a Free Trade Zone.

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FTZR Main Requirements:

Manufacturing Firms Under Law 7210

Main Requirements Under Law 7120
Minimum export level 75%
Belong to a strategic sector Not required
Minimum employment level Not required
Minimum required investment $150,000 in fixed assets within FZ Park or $2,000,000 outside FZ Park

Manufacturing Firms Under Law 8794

Main Requirements Small/Mid-scale Projects Large-scale Projects
Minimum export level Not required Not required
Belong to a strategic sector Yes Yes
Minimum employment level Not required Not required
Minimum required investment $150,000 in fixed assets within FZ Park or $2,000,000 outside FZ Park

$10,000,000 investment in fixed assets (land is not included) to be completed in 8 years

Investment:

All companies within FTZ are required to have a minimum investment amount of $150,000, which can be invested in new machinery, new buildings or new equipment. A new business may associate itself with another business, in which case the sum of each business investment must equal $150,000.

Companies that are located outside set FTZ, but wish to enjoy free trade benefits, are required to have a minimum investment amount of $2,000,000.

Industry:

To apply for inclusion in the Free Trade Zone Regime, a company must be part of one of the following industries:

1. Export or re-export products worldwide, including:

  • The manufacturing, processing, operating, producing, repairing, maintaining, or assembly of a product to be exported; or
  • The handling, wrapping, or redistributing of a non-traditional Costa Rican product.

    Or

     2.   Act as "Solutions Partners" to Export or Re-export companies in Free Trade Zones in Costa Rica or worldwide:

    • Assessing the manufacturing process of products to be exported for customers based on Free Trade Zones in Costa Rica or outside of Costa Rica(1)
    • Managing prospective FTZ developments(2) 
    • Managing of operations of dockyards, shipyards, and floating or dry docks 
    • Researching for inventions that enhance the FTZ, the Costa Rican industry, foreign trade in Costa Rica, and/or biotechnology and high-tech worldwide industries.

      (1) Banks, finance and insurance companies may set up their business facilities within a Free Trade Zone, but they will not be granted the associated benefits. Banks doing business in Free Trade Zones must abide by the regulations of the Costa Rican national banking system.

      (2) Companies will lose their benefits if a company that was not granted the FTZ benefits rents or buys a facility inside that new Free Trade Zone.

      Legal:

      Companies doing business within an FTZ are required to be registered and incorporated under Costa Rican law either as a subsidiary of a foreign company or as a local Costa Rican company.

      Export/re-export companies are required to submit an import/export report to their appropriate Free Trade Zone four months after the fiscal year. If they submit an incomplete report, they will have ten business days to furnish the complete information. If they fail to submit the report, they will be fined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, their FTZ benefits will be revoked, and they will not be able to export/import any products. 

      Source: CINDE and PROCOMER

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