Panama: New Law for Colon Free Zone

MEPs have given the green light to legislation that modernizes the legal framework of the free trade zone, including the consolidation of business operations under other schemes.

Monday, March 28, 2016

From a statement issued by the National Assembly of Panama:

67 years after the creation of the commercial emporium, the plenary of the National Assembly approved on its third reading Bill No. 223, which modernizes the legislation relating to the Colon Free Zone.

Members agreed that the bill will not definitely solve the problems afflicting the province of Colon; however, they said that they will give respite to the economic problem of the Colon Free Zone.

See also: "Panama: Improvements to the Colon Free Zone"

"The Free Zone should provide more to Colon" was one of the arguments put forward by Deputy Maria Delgado, while Deputy Jorge Alberto Rosas said that "the law is appropriate for the country and for the province of Colon."

Present in the adoption in the third debate were the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Augusto Arosemena, general manager of the Colon Free Zone, Surse Pierpoint, and Jose De La Rosa Lam, from the Chamber of Commerce of the Atlantic.

See also: "How to Reinvigorate the Colon Free Zone"

The bill will modernize the legal framework of the Colon Free Zone, incorporating concepts of the procurement law and will allow for the consolidation of businesses operating under other schemes.

The general manager of the Colon Free Zone, Surse Pierpoint said that approval of Bill No. 223, was a good democratic exercise which involved all sectors of the trading activity in the Atlantic province.

More on this topic

Panama: Incentives for Investment in Colón

March 2016

Companies in the Colon Free Zone will be able to open retail sales branches in the 16 streets of the 'Casco Antiguo' area.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Panama:

The full National Assembly approved on its third reading Bill No. 222, which amends and adds articles to Law 29 of December 30, 1992, for the effective implementation and operation of a Special System for the province Puerto Libre of Colon.

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The bill that was discussed in Congress and which seeks to increase the competitiveness of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), (already approved in the first debate) is not enough for entrepreneurs.

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El Salvador: Free Zones Law Generates Controversy

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Although the purpose of the law reform is to modernize the free zones scheme and meet the requirements established by the World Trade Organization, companies currently operating under the scheme would be affected.