LawyersGermany.com: Free Trade Zones in Germany
Where are the free trade zones in Germany?
These free trade zones are opened to both domestic and foreign activities. The duty-free zones placed in maritime areas also permit value-added processing and manufacturing for EU external markets. The enlargement of the European Union and the falling tariffs has diminished the effectiveness and utility of the free trade zones in Germany. As a result, Kiel and Emden lost the free trade zone status in 2010 and were joined by Hamburg in 2013.
What are the special provisions in the free trade zones?
The Community Customs Code includes the definition, rationale and the main policies around the free trade zones. Irrespective of their definition, these areas are credited for attracting foreign investment. These special designated zones are categorized in four groups:
- • Free trade zones – with pure re-export of traded goods;
- • Export processing zones – where goods with value-added are exported;
- • Special economic zones – the economic activity of the zone is approached from a multi-sectoral point of view;
- • Industrial zones – specific economic activities are hosted within this zone.
- • unlimited storage: there is no limit to the storage period in the free zones or the customs warehouses.
- • non-restricted activities: the zones allow for all commercial and industrial activities and services.
- • lighter requirements: in most cases, there is no need to register seagoing vessels if they enter from the sea into the free zone.
- • large number of companies: businesses from various fields can operate in the Freeport zone and the area can accommodate numerous companies.