The Colon free trade zone, Panama Republic of Panama

In 1948 the Republic of Panama began a project to solve two basic needs at both the national and international levels. One, the modernization of the economic service sector, and the other, a mechanism without precedent to streamline regional commerce on a large scale. The Colon Free Trade Zone has been in operation since then; one of the pillars of the Panamanian economy.

The "Zona libre" of Colon is a commercial showcase par excellence for the whole continent. Imports and Exports registered in the Colon Free Trade Zone surpass 5 billion dollars annually, directed towards a market of more than 525 million consumers.

There are many elements that support the commerical activities from transport to comercial operations, 6 airports, 5 ocean ports equiped with up-to-date cargo handling facilities, spacious container terminals, the Pan-American highway originating in Alaska, the trans-isthmus highway which extends from the Caribbean to the Pacific, a trans-isthmus railway, the Panama Canal through which pass annually 12,000 merchant vessels from 75 different countries, who also are supplied by the providers that operate from the Colon Free Trade Zone.

Additionally, of the more than 120 banks from diverse countries throughout the world that make up the International Financial District of Panama, more than 20 participate in the financial activity of the Colon Free Trade Zone from their offices and branches located within the Free Trade Zone commercial center.

How to establish a company in the Colon Free trade zone

All enterprises or persons that desire to establish themselves in the Colon Free Zone, can do so under one of more of the following operational plans:

  • Subscribing with the Administration a Lot Rental Contract
  • Subscribing with the Adminstration, a Locale Rental Contract
  • Subscribing with the Administration, an Operations Permit Contract
  • Utilizing the services of the Public Warehouse established in the Colon Free Zone

Operational costs

A. Operations Permit (Annual Payment): US$ 2,400.00 B. Operations PIN (Annual payment):
  • B1. Users US$ 3,000.00
  • B2. Represented US$ 2,500.00
  • B3. Storage Contract of Public Warehouse US$ 2,500.00
C. Rental Tariff (Monthly payment)
  • Edifice and Locales per square meter
  • Colon Commercial Area US$ 4.00 m2
  • France Field Commercial Area US$ 2.75 m2
  • Jose Dominador Bazan” Commercial Area US$ 1.75 m2
  • Lots and Terrain per square meter
  • Colon Commercial Area US$ 1.00 m2
  • France Field Commercial Area US$ 0.60 m2
  • Jose Dominador Bazan” Commercial Area US$ 0.60 m2
  • Coco Solito” Commercial Area US$ 0.40 m2
  • Mar Manglar” Construction Area US$ 0.40 m2
D. Garbage Collection (monthly payment):
  • Minimum US$ 30.00
  • Maximum US$ 120.00
E. Security Rate (Monthly payment):
  • Minimum US$ 50.00
  • Maximum US$ 150.00
F. Initial Expenses (only one payment)
  • F1. Guarantee Deposit of Operation Permit US$ 5,560.00
  • F2. Guarantee Deposit for lot and locales equivalent to three months rent
  • F3. Notary Services and Fiscal Stamps.

Other expenditures

A. Printouts and forms US$ 12.50 B. Entry procedures
  • Aerial entrance without commercial value, entrance by re-entrance US$ 10.00 charge proceeding from local ports and entrance because of annulment of exits transacted, but not carried out, meaning those that did not get to leave the perimeter of the Colon Free Zone.
  • Land entrance with articles that will be used for the US$ 10.00 internal operations of the enterprise (if the articles were bought in the national territory they will be exempted of this cost) and aerial entries.
  • Maritime and land entries. US$ 50.00 Authentication of document US$ 5.00