Brazil inaugurates its first Export Processing Zone (EPZ)05.09.2013
On August 30th, the first Brazilian Export Processing Zone (EPZ) was inaugurated at the harbor complex of Pecém. The EPZ is located in São Gonçalo do Amarante, a municipality 60km from the northeastern city of Fortaleza.
An EPZ is a type of free trade zone where companies can benefit from incentives offered by the government, such as tax relief, reduction of bureaucratic procedures and exemptions of certain licenses.
The EPZ of Pecém is the second zone to be authorized by the government but the first one to start operating in the country. The area has 4,271 hectares and offers a modern infra-structure and high level logistics. Companies interested in establishing their business in those areas should meet some requirements:
- The company should operate in the industrial sector;
- A minimum of 80% of the production in those zones should be exported. The remaining production, if sold in the domestic market, is subject to the general legislation;
- Factories that already operate in the country are not allowed to transfer their activities to an EPZ.
According to the Ministry of Development, another twenty four EPZ´s spread across twenty Brazilian states are in ongoing process. Five of them in advanced stage.
By implementing Export Processing Zones around the country the government aims to attract foreign investments and to create added-value for the exporters, increasing their competitiveness in the foreign markets.