Law of Agroparks - Panama


Agropark Operators and Developers

Law 196 of February 8, 2021, enacts a Special Regime for the Establishment of Operators and Developers of Agroparks (the “Law of Agroparks” or the “Law”).

What are Agroparks?

The Law defines Agroparks as “physical spaces where different agri-food or related activities are clustered, in order to minimize production costs and maximize the value creation for national production through investments in technology, increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the Panamanian agri-food sector".

Main objectives of the new Agroparks special regime:

  1. Encourage investments and the establishment of Agroparks in Panama;

  2. Promote agri-food production, agroindustry, forestry industries, sea products and raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry;

  3. Promote the development of value chains for agribusiness;

  4. Coordinate, advise, guide and supervise the execution of agribusiness and export programs;

  5. Develop and promote new businesses between Panamanian producers and national and international buyers;

  6. Develop strategies, plans and programs relating to the operation and enhancement of Agroparks and production areas in the national territory.


In order to achieve the objectives set out, a new National Agribusiness Directorate will be created within the Ministry of Agricultural Development, which will be in charge of processing applications by companies interested in operating and developing Agroparks. The approval of the Licenses for Agroparks Operators and Developers will correspond to the Commission for the Chain of Production for Agribusiness, a multisectoral entity with members from the public and private sectors

Authorization and Licensing

The Licenses for Agroparks Operators and Developers will be granted for an indefinite period, except for those to be developed in areas belonging to the State, whose duration will be equal to the concession granted. Companies that obtain a License will automatically be entitled to the legal stability of their investment, for which they must present an investment plan of more than US$2,000,000.00, which must be completed within three years from the issuance of the license.

Incentives and Benefits

Companies holding a license, and those authorized to establish themselves within an Agropark will be entitled to the following incentives and benefits:

  1. Tax exemption on construction materials, equipment, machinery, vehicles and furniture for its activities for a period of five years from the issuance of the license;

  2. Fixed import tax at 3% for raw materials, semi-finished or intermediate products and other inputs that enter into the composition or the process of making the products;

  3. Property tax exemption on new commercial and industrial improvements for a term of twenty years, from the issuance of the occupancy permit;

  4. Right to deduct, at a rate of 20% per year, losses suffered during the first two fiscal periods from the start of activities, deductible in the following five fiscal periods;

  5. Income tax rate reductions, corresponding to 50% of that established in the Tax Code, during the first five years;

  6. Dividends and complementary tax rate reductions, corresponding to 50% of that established in the Tax Code, during the first five years;

  7. Special customs tariff regime.

The agricultural producers who join an Agropark will be entitled to the same benefits and incentives granted to the Operators and Developers.

Validity

The Agroparks Law entered in force on February 8, 2021, and regulations will be issued by the Executive Branch.


For advice, please contact our specialists in Special Economic Zones: info@pmalawyers.com