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Where is Curaçao?
What are the advantages to investing in Curaçao?
What are the opportunities for Access to the EU (European Union) for my goods?
What special tax advantages are available to investors?

Where is Curaçao?
Strategically situated at the crossroads of all the international sea lanes between North and South-America, the continents of Europe, Africa and the Americas, well away from the devastating paths of the seasonal hurricanes, blessed with deep waters and well protected inland harbors, Curaçao has always been a prized possession.

Curaçao is the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles group, and is one of the three 'ABC sister' islands which include Aruba to the west and Bonaire to the east. It's long, arid, and generally flat, but makes up for it with a spectacular coastal variety. The south is peppered with small bays and inlets, beautiful bays and beaches. At the east end you'll find the historic capital and major port of Willemstad, where most of the 170,000 residents live.

What are the advantages to investing in Curaçao?
Investing in Curaçao is "good business." The business and telecommunications infrastructure is more sophisticated than any other country in the region.

There are no government restrictions on foreign-owned businesses, and the government encourages investment. The strongest commercial links are with the Netherlands and the United States, and this is reflected in the available selection of local professional services and skilled workforce. There is also a sophisticated financial structure in place which is based on a Netherlands model.

What are the opportunities for Access to the EU (European Union) for my goods?
Products originating in Curaçao can be imported into the European Union free of customs duties and charges. In addition, these products are not subject to any quantitative restriction or measure having equivalent effect.

Goods will be considered originating if they have been either wholly obtained or sufficiently worked or processed. A movement certificate EUR 1 issued will give evidence of originating status of products by the local Customs Authority. Examples of product opportunities that can be exported free of duties and/or levies into the EU if produced or sufficiently processed in Curaçao are:

Instant coffee (this process has to start at green beans).
Leather coats (this process has to start at fashioned leather).
Agricultural products produced in Curaçao (i.e. locally cultivated).
Sea products if caught in Netherlands Antilles, or caught by ships with NA flags outside of NA territorial waters.
Petroleum products with a maximum of 2 million tons, and refined petroleum products.
Recycled copper waste.
Assembling silk flowers so as to create a shift in the tariff category.
Fruit juices which are encased in such a manner that indicates that they are not for immediate sale.

Products from third countries, which have been imported into Curaçao and subsequently re-exported to the EU market without any working or processing, will be free of customs duties/levies, provided that at least an equal customs duty/levy valid in the EU be paid in Curaçao.

What special tax advantages are available to investors?
Tax advantages for investors are based upon the new tax breaks that the government has implemented. These new policies have a long-term goal of establishing and maintaining market and private sector confidence. In 2001 tax incentives were introduced especially for companies that conduct their business over the Internet and establish themselves in the economic zones located on Curaçao. For e-Commerce companies who establish themselves in these e-Zones a 0% turnover tax and 2% profit tax is applicable.

Individual investors and business owners have the opportunity to take advantage of excellent tax shelters and rates called "Penshonado Regulations" (these form part of the Kingdom Tax Regulations), that on certain conditions offer an interesting tax rate.

On March 1, 2001 the government of the Netherlands Antilles passed the 'National Ordinance on e-zones'. This legislation provides for special tax incentives for companies establishing their businessin the e-zones on one of the islands of the Netherlands Antilles, for example the Island of Curaçao. The activities of an e-Zone company must be focused on trading with or providing services to consumers and companies outside the Netherlands Antilles. An e-zone company pays 2% profit tax and is exempted from import duties, turnover tax on imported goods.

Foreign employees assigned to an E-business enterprise on Curaçao could apply for the current expatriate legislation. This legislation provides wage tax incentives for employees as well as employers.

With the introduction of the e-Zone legislation Curaçao can provide important tax incentives for global e-commerce enterprises.