Colon Free Zone. Recent Changes Made To Its Regulations

By José Antonio Sierra

Law No. 8 of 2016, which regulates the Colon Free Zone, empowers its Board of Directors to issue and amend operating regulations for the operation of the free zone.

In this regard, with the aim of informing you of some recent changes that have been approved by the board of directors of this autonomous state institution, which are issued periodically, and may affect the daily activities of their users who are our customers, we list the following:

Resolution JD No. 005-2020 of 8 April 2020, “Whereby the Colon Free Zone Pass Regulations are amended”

All classifications of permanent personal passes (executive, labor, visitor and courtesy passes) that allow users, visitors and employees of the Colon Free Zone to transit in said free zone are regulated by Resolution JD No. 0001-13 of April 24, 2013.

Recently this 2013 Resolution was amended in its Section a.4, Chapter IV, specifically for the category of permanent courtesy passes.

Until the enactment of this new resolution by means of Official Gazette No. 29050 of June 18, 2020, there were no formalities, nor previous registrations for the granting by the administration and the sub-administration of the Colon Free Zone for the issuance of permanent personal courtesy passes.

From now on, the following requirements must be met:

  • Request letter to the Administration, and;
  • Personal identification card.

Likewise, from the date of promulgation of Resolution JD No. 005-2020 this pass category will have a cost of five dollars (US $5.00)

The issuance of occasional vehicle passes is also modified, with the proviso that in the case of official vehicles with a specific mission inherent to their curricular activities and which do not require continuous entry to the area, as well as public servants in the exercise of their duties who require a courtesy pass, they will be issued at no cost.

In the case of a courtesy vehicle pass, the following must also be added to the application to the Administration: the vehicle’s current insurance policy, its Vehicle Registration document and the receipt of the vehicle’s license plate.

This vehicle pass costs ten dollars (US $ 10.00).

Finally, this Resolution also modifies the table of costs of the passes, according to the classification of the pass, either: permanent personal, permanent vehicle, permanent food vending and occasional.

Resolution No. JD 006-2020 of 8 April 2020, ” By which Resolution JD-008-2019 of 3 April 2019 is amended”.

Through Resolution No. JD-008-2019 of April 3, 2019, a series of requirements were established that companies using the Colon Free Zone must meet, adopting an electronic commercial movement declaration system.

For this, it was necessary to implement forms for commercial movement, through a “one-stop window” approach for the procedures, and create an office within the Colon Free Zone in charge of receiving these documents.

However, also as a result of the authorities deeming necessary to strengthen some procedures for controlling the commercial movement of goods entering and leaving the Colon Free Zone, especially those whose activities are related to the marketing of tobacco products, pharmaceutical products and in general products related to the health of human beings, which by their nature its marketing is more sensitive, requirements were established for the issuance of special permits for cigarettes, tobacco products and pharmaceuticals. A deadline was given until July 31, 2020, for these companies to adapt and comply with these requirements.

Taking into consideration the current situation of the sanitary quarantine, established because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Administration of the Colon Free Zone has considered the possibility that the companies that use this type of products, need a longer period of time to comply with what is indicated in the Resolution JD-008-2019; and it is through this new Resolution JD 006-2020 of April 8, 2020 published in the Official Gazette 29050 of June 18, 2020, that a period of up to one hundred and twenty (120) calendar days is granted to apply for the Special Permit, as of the date of promulgation of the new Resolution JD 006-2020, that is, the period is extended until Friday, October 16, 2020.   

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