Opportunities in Panama: Colón Free Trade Zone

Colón is the largest free trade zone in the Americas and the second largest free port in the World.

Colón is the largest free trade zone in the Americas and the second largest free port in the World. Let’s get to know Panama’s Colón and the opportunities a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) creates for entrepreneurs.

What is a Free Trade Zone?

Free trade zones are specific sites within a country that is outside of the customs territory. In these areas “goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and reexported without the intervention of the customs authorities”.

Free trade zones are established around seaports, airports, and national frontiers which prove to be advantageous for international trade.

What are the Advantages of Free Trade Zones?

Free Zones provide special regulatory treatment for the operating users, offering a more convenient and flexible business climate.2 Countries present different incentives according to their free zone laws and regulations.

The overall advantages of Free Zones include:

  • Quicker turnaround of vehicles used for trade
  • Elimination of certain customs examinations
  • Ability to fabricate, refinish, and store goods freely.

What does Panama’s Colón Free Zone have to offer?

Established in 1948, Colón Free Zone is the main commercial center for Latin America and the Caribbean. It is the main free zone in the Western Hemisphere and one of the main logistics center for multimodal redistribution in the world.


Panama’s Colón Free Zone is in the middle of the Americas at the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal.

Regulation & Incentives of Colón Free Zone

  • 0% tax on profits from foreign operations and 0% tax rate on imports and re-exports of merchandise.
  • It is permitted to import 1 personal vehicle and household goods up to $ 3,000.
  • Work permit for specialized and technical personnel.
  • Immigration facilities for foreign investors, executives, and their dependents.
  • Low costs are applied for renting land, buildings, and other spaces. 3

With more than 3,000 established companies and opportunities of trading with more than 165 countries in the World, Panama’s Colón Free Zone might be just what you are looking for.

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