Electronic business has become one of the biggest opportunities or threats to many businesses, as it changes the way most businesses are conducted. Any company that is involved in the production, distribution or sale of electronic products and services (including the sale of digital material such as computer software and electronic banking) or physical merchandise is facing changes that cannot be ignored.
As of April 1, 2001 the E-zone legislation has entered into force. The Ezone legislation should be seen as an incentive for e-commerce companies to (re)locate their activities to Curaçao . The E-zone legislation provides (e-commerce) investors a variety of (tax saving) opportunities. This brochure contains general information regarding the E-zone legislation and highlights the tax facilities for e-commerce companies that are located in one of the appointed E-zone areas.
What is an E-zone?
An E-zone is an area within Curaçao in which, amongst others, international trade and trade supportive services may be performed supported by ways of electronic communication and information equipment (e-commerce).
Who may perform activities in an E-zone?
Only legal entities with a capital divided into shares may perform activities in an E-zone. The activities of these companies must in principle be focused on trading or providing services to companies located outside Curaçao . However, conducting business with other companies also located in an Ezone is also allowed. If business is conducted with companies located in Curaçao the company has to file a request with the competent authorities. Any turnover generated through local business may not exceed 25% of the total turnover in order to safeguard the E-zone status.
Procedures to enter into the E-zone
Admission to the E-zone will only be granted if activities are performed as described above (under “What is an e-zone”). A request should be filed with the local authorities in order to be admitted. The local authorities are entitled to impose special conditions and restrictions to the entrance permit.
The profit of an E-zone company will be taxed at a flat tax rate of 2% (surtax included) until January 1, 2026. This 2% rate is not applicable on that part of the profit of an E-zone company, which is generated through the sale of goods or services to companies located in Curaçao or generated through rendering of services to affiliated companies located in Curaçao .
Import duties and turnover tax
No import duties and turnover tax is due on goods entering the E-zone and services rendered by a Curaçao company to an E-zone company. Furthermore, no import duties and turnover tax is due on products delivered to or services rendered to other companies located in the E-zone or outside Curaçao .
The local authorities will see to it that E-zone companies meet the conditions as stated in the E-zone legislation. If it appears that a company is located in the E-zone, whilst not fulfilling the conditions, penalties can be imposed on the respective company or the entrance permit can be withdrawn.