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Venezuela Enacts Special Economic Zones Law — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

One 20 July 2022, Venezuela's Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Foreign Trade announced that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro signed the Organic Law of Special Economic Zones, which was approved by the Venezuelan National Assembly and the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court earlier in the month. The law provides for the introduction of three general types of Special Economic Zones (SEZs):

  • SEZs for the Promotion of Exports;
  • SEZs for the Selective Substitution of Imports (i.e., goods/products predominantly imported and not produced in Venezuela); and
  • SEZs for Technological Development.

Among other things, the law provides for tax, financial, and other incentives through a set of guarantees and benefits offered by the Venezuelan government to public, private, and mixed investors in SEZs. The guarantees and benefits are provided for both national and foreign investors, which are required to sign an investment agreement with the International Center for Productive Investment that specifies the incentives available for a specific project. Incentives may include:

  • A total or partial refund of import tax for up to 10 years on the import of goods, equipment, tools, and materials for the development of a project;
  • A total or partial refund of income tax for legal entities established in an SEZ for up to 10 years;
  • A total or partial refund of VAT for legal entities established in an SEZ for up to 10 years;
  • An exemption for certain legal regimes for imports and exports in relation to all supplies, raw materials. and capital goods intended for the production of goods and services for export or re-export by legal entities authorized to operate in SEZs; and
  • Other facilities or additional incentives for SEZs that may be approved by the president of Venezuela.

Under the law, SEZs are established via presential decree. Such a decree was signed by the president on the same day as the law, establishing five new SEZs. This includes new SEZs in Paraguaná (Falcón state), Puerto Cabello-Morón (Carabobo state), La Guaira (La Guaira state), Margarita (Nueva Esparta state), and La Tortuga Island (Francisco de Miranda Island Territory).