Article By Álvaro Parra Gómez and Ignacio Vélez Vergara
On August 4, 2001, Law 677 of 2001 created special legal conditions for the production of goods and services to be exported from the Special Economic Zones for Exports (hereinafter "SEZE") at Buenaventura, Cúcuta, Valledupar and Ipiales.
Legal entities (regardless of their nationality) executing "admission contracts" with the Committee established by the National Government to enter into the SEZE, may be considered as users of the corresponding Zone, with the benefits described in items e, f and g below.
The "admission contract" that is approved by the Committee will grant the other party the right to operate in the corresponding Zone.
Furthermore, the following local or foreign legal entities will be considered as users:
entities developing city planning, construction and infrastructure for basic services, technological and urban works; and
entities dedicated to prepare specialized personnel.
The term of each contract shall not be less than five years and shall not exceed twenty years. The contract may be extended as long as the provisions related to the SEZE are in force.
The minimum investment shall be of US$1'000,000 during the first two years. This amount shall be increased to US$1'500,000 during the third year. Finally, the investment shall be increased to US$2'000,000 on the fourth year.
Labour contracts executed between the workers and the companies that enter into admission contracts shall be ruled by special labour conditions including, inter alia:
working periods not exceeding nine hours per day and eighteen hours per week;
working periods not exceeding six hours per day and thirty six hours per week, not including overtime for evening work and for Sunday or holiday work, for companies having two or more working shifts;
contributions to the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare, the National Service for Learning and the Employees' Families Welfare, which shall be equal to 50% of contributions required by labour law;
integral salaries which, besides paying for the work, include all contributions, overtime and benefits provided by law as well.
With relation to the tax matters, industrial projects at the SEZE may...