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  • Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports

    The operation of foreign trade zones (FTZ) in Poland is regulated by the 1997 Customs Law and FTZ regulations updated in March 2001. Business activities within FTZs are based on the same principles as those applied in EU member countries. Foreign-owned firms have the same investment opportunities as do Polish firms to benefit from foreign trade zones, free ports, and special economic zones.

    In 2000 there were six free customs areas: Gliwice (southern border), Malaszewicze/Terespol (eastern border), Warszawa-Okecie International Airport (duty-free retail trade within the airport), Szczecin, Swinoujscie, and Gdansk (all Baltic ports). In May 2001, a new FTZ opened in Mszczonow near Warsaw (central Poland). There are also 5 bonded warehouses: Gdynia (sea port), Krakow (airport), Wroclaw (airport), Katowice (airport) and Gdansk (airport).

    Most activity in the free trade zones involves storage, packaging and repackaging. Bonded warehouses and customs and storage facilities are available, although it can be difficult for a company to obtain permission to build or buy its own facilities.

    In November 2000, GOP amended the October 1994 Law on Special Economic Zones (SEZ). These regulations are consistent with those in force in the EU and with the new Law on Public Assistance. Under the new rules investors can receive exemption from income tax and/or other incentives totaling no more than 50% of the outlays spent on investments or creating new work places. The ceiling for small- and medium-sized companies is 65%. These limits are lower (40% and 55%) for investors in the Krakow SEZ, located in a relatively prosperous area. Investors that had received approval of incentives prior to January 2001 will continue to benefit from these provisions. Investors may also negotiate with local authorities to receive property tax exemptions.

    Since 1994, seventeen SEZs have been established in Poland (fourteen are operating, two have been closed, and two--Zarnow and Tczew--merged in July 2001 to form the Pomorska SEZ). In response to EU concerns about unfair competition stemming from the SEZs the Polish government has agreed to stop opening new zones or expanding existing ones.

    The Polish government has been working on an alternative set of financial instruments to support regional development. Local governments are being encouraged to create their own instruments to attract investors, e.g. public-private partnership. The government is also trying to decentralize the implementation of regional development assistance, giving provincial and local authorities greater flexibility to implement programs.




  Copyright By :  Kish Trade Promotion Center  2002