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HISTORY OF EXPORT FREE ZONES

The Honduran government established next to its major port the first Free Zone in the city of Puerto Cortés in 1977. The first occupant was Warner's de Honduras, the Honduran plant of Warnaco, a US manufacturer of high quality ladies' undergarments. Eleven other apparel manufacturers joined Warner's that still assembles there and the Puerto Cortés Free Zone is now full. Later five more cities were designated as FTZ's (Omoa, Choloma, Tela, La Ceiba, Amapala). Today the whole country has been declared a Free Zone.

HISTORY OF THE EPZ

The Foundation for Investment and Development of Exports (FIDE), assisted by the US. Agency for International Development (USAID), has been leading the effort to establish private Export Processing Zones in Honduras for four years. It has been instrumental in promoting the idea, preparing the enabling legislation and lobbying for its passage, motivating investment groups, assisting them in preparing their projects and in financing them.
As a result the first EPZ was inaugurated in January 1990, and seven other EPZ's have been developed and began operations. Companies such as Sara Lee Knit Products Corp., Bestform, Kellwood Ind., Oshkosh B'Gosh, M. Fine & Sons, Maidenform and many more are renting more then 200 buildings. All of them profit now from the competitive labor rates and high productivity found in Honduras.

FTZ MANUFACTURING SPACE

Complexes provide rental spaces in typical units of 20,000 square feet. Costs range between US$ 3.00 and US$ 4.50 per square foot per year.

ZONE OPERATIONS

Companies are permitted to construct buildings in any part of the country, as long as the building is totally fenced, and has 24 hour security. To obtain the Free Zone Status (permit) an annual fee is due to the Honduras port authority.

FTZ FACILITIES
  • Water, power and communications.
  • Security, waste collection and cleaning services.
  • Legal services.
  • In house customs.

EPZ MANUFACTURING SPACE

Complexes provide rental spaces of 12,000 square feet or more. Costs range between US$4.50 and US$5.50 per square foot per year (depending on additional services).

EPZ FACILITIES
  • Water, power and communication.
  • Security, waste collection and cleaning services.
  • Legal services.
  • In house customs.
  • Employment agency.
  • Health clinic

ADVANTAGE TO LOCATE A PLANT IN AN EPZ
  • Private ownership and operation assures you of quick and effective responses to your needs.
  • No other industrial parks can match the ease of operation in Honduras' EPZ's. Honduran registration of your plant is not necessary. Imported materials and exported product move rapidly in and out of the EPZ's, facilitated by simplified custom's clearance, in your own plant, if you wish.
  • You pay no taxes of any kind, import, export, income, or any other, for as long as you remain in Honduras' EPZ's.
  • There are no controls or restrictions over the use of foreign exchange or the repatriation of capital or profits.
  • Production costs in Honduras' EPZ's are among the lowest in the Western Hemisphere.

FUTURE FOR EPZ'S

The new Export Processing Zone law incorporating all of the benefits of the Free Zones, has stimulated investments in privately developed and operated EPZ's.

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