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CFZ - Enclosed Customs Free Zone

The Taranto Customs Free Zone - approved by Law 160/2019 (art. 1 paragraph 316 letter B) - could be a key success factor, together with the Ionian SEZ, especially in terms of attracting international port traffic.

It was set up to give the port new potential and encourage new establishments.

The perimeter of this area has been defined by the Port System Authority of the Ionian Sea and approved by determination of the national director of the Customs and Monopolies Agency. The planned Free Zone has been created in the port area and includes areas that are not contiguous but are functional to each other, such as warehouses for storing goods and car parks, as well as customs controls to monitor incoming and outgoing goods at access points. Territories allocated to the Free Zone are not considered part of the EU customs territory.

immagine ZFD taranto

Therefore, non-European goods are not subject to the payment of VAT and customs duties because they are not considered to be imported. VAT and duties will have to be paid at a later date, if and only if they are brought into the Italian or EU customs territory. If the goods are then (whether processed or not) destined for re-export to non-EU countries (without ever re-entering the European customs territory) then their entire processing and re-export process does NOT require payment of VAT or duties. A further success factor may be that there are no time limits on the storage of goods in the Zone.

This makes it possible for companies to adopt a specific stock policy. Companies can thus be more efficient, reduce costs related to warehouse keeping and secure new spaces where they can enhance import and export by accessing all the benefits related to the Customs Free Zone such as - in addition to long-term storage - usual forms of handling and all other activities governed by Regulation (EU) No 952/2013, which would guarantee additional business and employment opportunities. This would have advantages for activities related to sectors such as food and automotive, for example (it is not by chance that the Distripark area has been annexed). For this to work, however, functional and efficient warehouse organisation must be in place.

In summary, the enclosed Free Zone will make it possible to:

  1. have areas where goods from non-EU markets can be exempt from VAT and customs duties;
  2. favour the storage of goods that can be kept by the importer for an unlimited time before being re-marketed;
  3. stimulate re-exporting by attracting companies that have this need.

The creation of the enclosed Free Zone will allow Taranto, the territories located in the Ionian SEZ and its related activities to become part of the global supply chain, guaranteeing both greater flows of imports of raw materials, semi-finished products and components and the export of finished products, especially to non-EU territories, becoming a pivot for long-distance traffic (i.e. for more distant markets).

It should be emphasised that it may have an impact on the development of the port even if it does not go hand in hand with the evolution of the SEZ.

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