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Free zones

 

Nowadays, free zones are working as tools for industrial development and are aimed at exporting industrial goods, expanding international trade and commerce. In Iran, free and special economic zones were established in line with the objectives of social, economic and cultural plans and as means for connecting to target regional and international markets. Then, by changing trade strategies from import to production, export and re-export, these regions were given high priority by government.

The parliament approved the free zones act in September 1993. According to this act, Kish Island, Qeshm Island in Persian Gulf and the port of Chabahar in south Iran, Arvand in west of Persian Gulf ,Arvand river side and in Khuzestan province and northwestern Indian Ocean also Aras and Anzali in north of Iran and the shore of Caspian sea  were declared as Iran's free zones. The council of ministers later adapted bylaws of the free zones; these bylaws have defined and set out all regulations pertaining to import, export, investment, insurance, banking, labor and employment in these zones.

 

Main legal advantages in free trade-industrial zones

1. 15 years of exemption from paying property tax and income tax for all economic

    activities from the time of exploitation(this expiry date will be subject to tax regulations

    that will be offered by council  of ministers and approved by parliament);    

2. Possibility of joint ventures as well as domestic and foreign investment in economic

    activities of free zones at any proportion;

3. Special regulations for work and special security in workshops, also regulations for

    employment and  traffic in free zones;  

4. Possibility of employing foreign labor force to 10% of the whole work force in free

    zones;

5. Complete freedom of investment tariff and its resulted benefit;

6. Possibility of establishing foreign companies with any portion of shares;

7. Possibility of establishing insurance institutes by internal of foreign capitals and their

    branch offices and agencies with due observance of related regulations;

8. Exit of net profit and the sums acquired from economic activities of foreign capital or

    exchange capital of Iranians and sums acquired from purchase or grant permissible;

9. Full guarantee of foreign capital and its resulted benefits according to the law of

    attracting and supporting foreign capital in free zones;

10. Guarantee and support of the legal rights of foreign investors and fair compensation

      of the damages in cases ownership is cancelled by government of free zone

      organization;

11. Freedom of traffic for foreigners via entering points of free zones without a need for

      visa and with due observance of related regulations;

12. Possibility of establishing banks and Iranian financial institutes with domestic or

      foreign capitals in the zones;

13. Possibility of registering companies and institutes for legal and natural entities with

      due observance of related regulations;

14. Purchase and sell of all foreign exchanges for Iranian Rials or other exchanges;

15. Transaction of all foreign exchanges by legal and natural entities;

16. Pricing exchanges rate based on supply and demand system in free market;

17. Freedom of transferring all exchanges in and out of free zones with no need for

      permission and in and out of the country due to observance of related regulations;

18. Possibility of any banking operations due to observance of related regulations;

19. Freedom of transferring any goods except the ones against the Islamic law with the

      least official formalities and due observance of related regulations;

20. Exemption from paying customs duties for goods produced in the free zone to the

      level of the added value and the used materials;

21. Freedom of importing and unloading goods for transit and trans-shipment;

22. Possibility of wholesale for foreigners and local people;

23. Exporting goods from free zones in the simplest way and with the least formalities.

24. Issue of destination certificate for goods exported from free zones.

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