As of March 1, 2001 the e-zone legislation entered into force. The main purpose of the e-zone legislation is to expand and strengthen the economic position of the Netherlands Antilles. The e-zone legislation provides potential (e-commerce) investors a variety of (tax saving) opportunities. The e-zone legislation is not only aimed at e-commerce, it is also a continuation of the former free zone legislation.
There are currently two active free zones, one in the harbor, and one at the airport. One of the best characteristics of Curaçao’s Free Zones happens to be the quality of the infrastructure. Curaçao’s infrastructure is one of the best in the entire Caribbean region. The extensive road networks are well designed and maintained. Modern telecommunication facilities provide direct and reliable contact with every country in the world. The processing of all types of freight as well as the air and sea logistic connections is very well organized. Furthermore, the special incentives make it very appealing for businesses to operate in any of the Curaçao Free Trade Zones of their choice. On goods imported into the free trade zone no import duties are required. Annually at least 75% of total sales has to be exported, while up to 25% of total sales may be sold on the domestic market after obtaining a permit from the Government. Routine customs formalities related to import and export are free of charge during regular office hours, while other administrative matters are reduced to a minimum.
The characteristics of the Harbor Free Zone are:
- Multi purpose buildings with showrooms.
- Permanent maintenance crews.
- Telecommunication connections.
- Fully serviced area.
- Customs clearance at the main gate.
- 24 hours, 7 days a week security.
The types of businesses, which are currently operating in this area, are:
- Wholesalers of consumer products targeting the Caribbean. The product types include garments, apparel, textiles, cosmetics, perfumes, and shoes.
- Foreign manufacturers and trading companies that target regional distribution and service centers for the southern Caribbean Basin and South and Central America.
The Airport Free Zone distinguishes itself from other free zones by its unique location and outstanding telecommunication facilities. The new free zone borders onto the International Airport Hato, lies within the customs area and has a connecting roadway that leads directly to the airport runway. High quality voice and data communication is guaranteed as the entire zone is provided with fiber-optic cables.
The three main types of activities that are attracted to the Airport Free Zone are:
- Logistics Service Providers: service firms that provide logistical services, such as order taking, invoicing, inventory management, storage, repackaging and shipping.
- Vendor Trade Mart: wholesalers/distributors of brand name goods to retailers and wholesalers in the region.
- Regional Distribution Centers: Curacao’s strategic location in the southern Caribbean, its excellent infrastructure, its secure and stable political and economic environment, and its well developed international financial services make it a profitable location for companies to locate a regional distribution center where they can deliver goods quickly and safely to their customers in the region, provide sales, marketing and technical support to their customers, customize their products for the Latin American market, and train regional staff and sales agents.