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  • Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ)/Free Ports

    Law No. 15921 of December 17, 1987 regulates the operation of FTZs within the country. The law allows storage and warehousing, manufacturing, and financial, data processing or other related activity to take place within FTZs. Nine state-owned and operated, state-owned but privately operated, and private sector-owned FTZs are located throughout the country. MERCOSUR regulations treat products manufactured in all member-state FTZs as extra-territorial and thus manufacturing in Uruguayan FTZs by a Uruguayan or foreign firm will not benefit from MERCOSUR customs union advantages and will have to pay the MERCOSUR common external tariff.

    The following advantages are granted by law to both local and foreign-owned industries operating in an FTZ:

    A. Exemption from all domestic taxes in effect or which may be created. The only tax not covered by this exemption is the employer contribution to social security for Uruguayan employees. Uruguayans must comprise 75 percent of the labor force employed by the user of the zone. The employer is free from payment of social security taxes for non-Uruguayan employees if those employees waive coverage under the Uruguayan social security.

    B. Goods, services, products or raw materials of foreign and Uruguayan origin may be entered into the zones, held there, processed, and re-exported without payment of Uruguayan customs duties and import taxes (goods of Uruguayan origin re-entering into FTZs will be treated as Uruguayan exports for all tax and other legal purposes). Goods entering into Uruguayan customs territory from FTZs are subject to customs duties and import taxes.

    C. Industrial or commercial government monopolies are not honored within FTZs.





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