ABOUT THE KINGSTON FREE ZONE
For several decades Jamaica has utilized the regime of the Jamaica Export Free Zone Act 1982 (amended 1996), now repealed by the Special Economic Zone Act (SEZ) which became effective on August 01, 2016. This in an effort to accommodate international investments seeking to locate operations to a pro-business destination. One of the primary medium through which this takes place is the Kingston Free Zone (KFZ), an extra territorial facility located adjacent to the Port of Kingston.
KFZ operates within the policy framework of the Government of Jamaica. Its functions are therefore in harmony with Government policies and programs in the areas of investments, Commerce and Information Communication Technology/Business Process Outsourcing (ICT/BPO), as articulated by the Government’s medium term Policy Framework document – VISION 2030.
Initially this regime has had a positive impact on the economic development of Jamaica, creating employment opportunities, generating foreign currency inflows as well as enhancing trade. However, with the passage of time, the regime has served to limit the country’s ability to adapt to changes in the global production and market conditions that are opening opportunities for the country to actively participate in the global value and supply chains. To address this issue, the country implemented the SEZ regime. This is geared to stimulate wide scale economic activities, especially in new and emerging sectors. It also brings the country in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
Investors are invited to grasp the opportunity to pursue a more flexible and integrated development of their business activities and enjoy the incentives being offered under the SEZ regime. The KFZ provides physical facilities and services for manufacturing and production, warehousing and distribution.
In Portmore St. Catherine where our Business Processing Centre is located, 157,000 sq. ft. of additional state of the art space is being constructed to accommodate a minimum of 3,000 new jobs. Included at this facility are:
- Managed Services
- ICT Solutions
- Property Maintenance
- Managed Building Maintenance
- Food Services Technology Enabled System
- Employee Health and Wellness Services
- Training Solutions
- Sports Club and more….
ADVANTAGES OF DOING BUSINESS IN JAMAICA
- Free movement of Capital, Profit and Dividends
- Well-developed infrastructure with world class highways and seaports
- Third largest English-speaking country in the Western Hemisphere
- Excellent international telecommunication and internet linkages
- Relief of tax burdens via double taxation agreement with countries such as Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, Sweden etc.
- Ranked has having the number 1 trans-shipment Port in the Region
- Located within 4 hours flight radius of 500 million people with two international airports
JAMAICA’S RANK ON EASE OF DOING BUSINESS INDEX
Globally Jamaica has scored positively on the ease of doing business with a ranking of 58 from a total of 189 countries. Regionally (a total of 33 countries) Jamaica has scored significantly well on a number of criteria, ranking as follows:
- 1st on the ease of starting a business
- 5th on the ease of resolving insolvency
- 6th on the ease of doing business within Latin America & the Caribbean
- 7th on the strength of investor protection
- 7th of the ease of getting credit
- 10th on the ease of dealing with construction permits
JAMAICA’S REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
Companies planning to set up business in Jamaica should get familiar with:
- The Income Tax, National Insurance Scheme (NIS), and General Consumption Tax (GCT) systems
- The legal system, laws and regulations that may affect your business
- Health and safety regulations
- Environmental considerations
- Employment procedures – (accessed from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security)
- Intellectual property, including patents, copyright and trademark
INCENTIVES OFFERED AT KINGSTON FREE ZONE
The Kingston Free Zone operates as a Special Economic Zone under the Special Economic Zones Act 2015. Incentives available under this regime:
- Occupants of the Zone are exempt from tax under the Asset Tax (specific bodies) Act
- Goods imported into the Zone by an occupant shall be exempt from Customs Duties under the Jamaica Customs Act
- The rate of tax on chargeable income of an occupant that is derived from activities within the Zone is 12.5%
- An occupant shall be exempt from the payment of income tax on profit derived from rental of property in the Zone
- A promotional tax credit is applicable for expenditure on Research and Development and Training up to a maximum of 10% of the tax on chargeable income derived from activities within the Zone
- An occupant is exempt from additional Stamp Duty on items imported into the Zone
- No restriction on the percentage of SEZ manufactured, produced or warehoused goods that can enter the domestic market