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The Law of the Free Zones Corporation

No. (32) for 1984 and its Amendments

Article (1)

This Law shall be named : The Free Zones Corporation Law No. (32) for 1984 and shall come into effect on the date of publication in the Official Gazette (1).

Article (2)

The following terms and expressions wherever mentioned in this Law shall  have the meanings assigned to them hereunder, unless the context indicates otherwise.

The Minister : The Minister of Finance.
The Free Zones :

A part of the territories of the Kingdom demarcated and fenced by a partition, wherein goods are placed for storage and manufacturing purposes and whereby all taxes and fees payable thereon are suspended, as if these goods were outside the Kingdom.

The Director General : The Director General of the Free Zones Corporation.
The Manager : The Manager of the Free Zone.
The Corporation :

The Free Zones Corporation as established in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

The Board : The Board of Directors of the Corporation.
The Goods : All merchandises and materials of whatever kind.
The Invested Capital :

The foreign currencies transferred into and from the free zone in accordance with the instructions of the Central Bank as well as machineries, tools, materials, goods and equipment necessary for setting up, operating or expanding any project inside the free zone.

The Public Free Zone : A zone wherein investment is administered by the Corporation (2).
The Private Free Zone : A zone which is administered by any party from the private sector under the supervision of the Corporation (3).
Joint Free Zone : A zone established jointly between the Kingdom and other countries, or between parties of the public and private sectors in any of them, with due observance of the provisions of agreements signed for this purpose (4).
Economic Activity : Any commercial, industrial, agricultural or service activity which is carried out by a registered person at the free zones (5).
Registered Person : Natural person or legal person who is registered with the Corporation to exercise economic activity in accordance with the provisions of this Law, regulations and instructions issued pursuant thereof (6).

(1) Published in the official gazette Issue No (3280) of 16/12/1984.

(2, 3, 4, 5, 6) Amended so pursuant to Temporary Law No. (19) of 2004 published in the official gazette Issue No. (4662) of 1/6/2004.

 

Article (3)

A.

A Corporation named (the Free Zones Corporation) shall be established in the Kingdom affiliated to the  Minister, and will enjoy a legal personality with independent financial and administrative status, and accordingly shall have the right to conduct all legal acts and procedures and to delegate public prosecutor or appoint any other person for this purpose.

B.

Its registered office shall be in Amman and it may establish offices in any part of the Kingdom.

 

Article (4)

The Corporation shall be entrusted to carry out the following tasks and duties:

A. To establish the free zones and cancel them.
B. To establish warehouses, stores and any other establishments necessary for managing and developing the free zones in such a manner that ensures their growth and booming including the joint free zones.
C. To manage, invest and develop free zones and gearing them to serve the national economy, promote the international trade exchange, transit trade and export oriented industries.
D. To implement the conditions and provisions relating to customs control, foreign exchange control and set up any establishments necessary for this purpose.
E. Registering establishments and companies at any free zone (1).
F. Issuance of licenses and approvals related to exercising economic activities at the free zones in accordance with the provisions of this law, regulations and instructions issued pursuant thereof (2).
G. Protecting and preserving environment in the free zones and ensuring continuous development in accordance with the provisions of the enforce Protection of Environment Law and Regulations issued therewith. For this purpose, the Minister shall exercise the authorities of the Minister of Environment, and the Corporation shall exercise the power of Ministry of Environment provided in such legislations through coordination of the two sides (3).

 

(1, 2) Amended so pursuant to Temporary Law No. (19) of 2004 published in the Official Gazette Issue No. (4662) of 1/6/2004.

(3) Amended so pursuant to Temporary Law No. (9) of 2007 published in the Official Gazette Issue No. (4817) of 1/4/2007.

Article (5)

It shall not be permitted to store any transit goods passing through the Kingdom except in the free zones.

Article (6)

A.

The  Board  of  Directors  of  the  Corporation  shall  be composed of the Minister of Finance as  the Chairman,  the Director General  of the Corporation as  Vice  Chairman and membership of a representative of each of the following:

1. Ministry of Industry and Trade

Member
2. Ministry of Finance / Customs Member Member
3. Ministry of Transport Member Member
4. The Central Bank Member Member
B.

The Board members shall be appointed through a decision issued by the Council of Ministers following a recommendation of the Minister.

 

Article (7)

The Board shall administer and supervise the affairs and activities of the Corporation, and shall be entitled to achieve this purpose the full authorities and tasks including the following :

A. Laying  down the general policy of the Corporation.
B. Preparing plans and programs necessary for developing and qualifying the free zones to attract investments and create developed investment atmosphere, which contributes in activating industry, trade, tourism and services in the zone (1). The Board upon the recommendation of the Director General may form a consultative committee comprises specialized persons for specified purposes.
C. Studying free zones investment applications for establishing industrial commercial and storage projects.
D. Providing all necessary insurance arrangements to the free zones.
E. Fixing service fees payable to the free zones with the approval of the Council of Ministers.
F. Signing agreements and contracts concerning loans with the approval of the Council of Ministers.
G. Approving the draft general budget of the Corporation and submitting it to the Council of Ministers for approval.
H. Preparing draft of laws and regulations.

 

(1)  Amended so pursuant to Temporary Law No. (19) of 2004 published in the Official Gazette Issue No.(4662) of 1/6/2004.

 

Article (8)

A. The Board shall hold its meetings at the invitation of the Chairman or, in his absence, the Vice Chairman whenever need arises for such a meeting. A meeting of the Board shall be deemed to be legal if at least four members including the Chairman or the Vice Chairman are present. Resolutions shall be taken by consensus of opinion or by majority of votes, and in the event of a tie, the Chairman will have a casting vote.
B. The remunerations of the members of the Board will be determined by a resolution of the Council of Ministers upon the recommendation from Minister.

 

Article (9)

The Chairman shall represent the Corporation vis-ŗ-vis other parties.

Article (10)

The Director General shall be appointed and his services  shall be terminated, by a decision issued by the Council of Ministers provided that such a decision be endorsed by Royal decree.

Article (11)

The Director General shall undertake the following tasks and authorities:

A. To execute the Corporationís general policy as laid down by the Board and execute the resolutions issued by it.
B. To manage the executive system of the Corporation and supervise the work of officials and employees therein.
C. To prepare and submit to the Board the draft general budget.
D. To exercise any powers which may be delegated to him by the Board or provided for in any regulations issued in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

 

Article (12)

The Corporationís financial revenues shall be consisted of the following:

A. Rent charges and temporary occupation of lands and properties owned by the Corporation.
B. Revenues of the services furnished by the Corporation as prescribed in the investment regulation.
C. The funds allocated in the general budget.
D. Loans obtained by the Corporation.
E. Any other revenues approved by the Council of Ministers.

 

Article (13)

A. The Corporation shall enjoy all exemptions and privileges offered to ministries and government departments.
B. It shall be permissible to exercise manufacturing enterprises and establish factories in the free zones with the approval of the Board of Directors, provided that one or more of the following characteristics are fulfilled:
 
1. Industries that are new and not existed locally and which depend on advanced modern technological processes.
2. Industries for which primary materials, are locally available or which use locally manufactured parts and also industries complementing domestic ones.
3. Industries which raise the level of labor skills and contribute to its technical advancement.
4. Industries which meet consumer needs and assist in reducing dependence on imports from outside the Kingdom.
C. The categories of industries which may be established in the free zone in accordance with the provisions of this Law shall be determined by a resolution of the Council of Ministers upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors.
D. The registered person who exercises an economic activity in the free zone will enjoy the following exemptions (1):
 
1. Exemption projectís profits from both income taxes for goods exported outside the Kingdom as well as transit trade in addition to profits accruing from selling or transferring of goods inside the borders of the free zones (2). Profits accruing goods when placed for domestic market shall be excluded from such exemption (3).
2. Exempting salaries and allowances of non-Jordanian employees in projects established in the free zone from income and social service taxes.
3. Exempting imported goods or exported therefrom to parties other than domestic market from import fees, custom duties and all taxes and fees accrued thereon except services and rent charges.
4. Exempting buildings and real estate constructions built in the free zones from the licensing fees as well as from buildings and land taxes.
5. Permitting the transfer of the capital invested in the free zone and the profits generated therefrom outside the Kingdom in accordance with the regulations in force therein.
6. Exempting the products of the industrial projects established in the free zone, upon placing them for consumption in the domestic market from customs duties within the extent of the value of materials, costs and local expenditures included in their manufacturing provided that the value is estimated by a committee chaired by the Director General or his Deputy, and a representative of each of the Ministry of Industry & Trade and the Ministry of Finance / Customs, appointed by the competent Minister.
E. With due observance of the previsions of this Law, Regulations and Instructions issued pursuant thereof (4) the exemptions provided in this Article and the licensing for the establishment of investment projects in the free zone shall be subject to the conditions and guarantees laid down by the Board of Directors.
F.

The investors shall be directed to establish industries in the public, private and joint free zones so that their industrial production be exported outside the Kingdom, and the Board may allow entry of a percentage of such products to domestic market (5) whenever it deems necessary.

G. Notwithstanding the provisions of this Law or any other legislations, Sales Tax shall be imposed on sold commodities and services provided in the private free zones (6) which are mainly specified for tourist activities (7) as follows:
 
1. (8%) tax of the value of commodities and services upon selling for consumption in the zone and such commodities and services shall be determined in accordance with a regulation which includes provisions and procedures related to collecting and refunding tax (8).
2. Tax on sales of local commodities of free zones origin if sold from these zones to the remaining zones in the Kingdome in accordance with the provisions of enforce Tax on Sales Law provided that (9) the provisions of the enforced customs law be applied on subjects related to customs duties and procedures (10).
3. Tax on Services sales which are executed from the free zones to the remaining zones in the Kingdom or outside the Kingdom in accordance with the provisions of the enforced Public Tax on Sales Law (11).
4. Special tax on sales of tobacco and its manufacturing, alcoholic beverages , intoxicants and beer upon selling them for consumption in the free zones, and they shall be determined in accordance with instructions issued by the Council of Ministers for this purpose (12).
H. Determining the process of collecting taxes provided for in Items (2), (3) and (4) of paragraph (G) of this Article shall be in accordance with a regulation to issued for this purpose.
I. The Corporation shall keep an operating reserve that does not exceed at any time general expenses estimated in the Corporation's budget; surplus funds shall be transferred for Treasury of the State.

 

(1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) Amended so pursuant to Temporary Law No. (19) of 2004 published in the official gazette issue No. (4662) of 1/6/2004.

 

Article (14)

It shall be permissible for any registered person to exercise economic activity, except what is prohibited or restricted in the free zone, in accordance with a regulation issued by the Council of Ministers for this purpose; where it shall include the terms and conditions necessary for exercising restricted activities and revenues which may accrue thereof for the General Treasury (1).

 

Article (15)

The Audit Bureau shall audit the accounts of the Corporation. The Council of Ministers may if necessary appoint for this purpose, a special Chartered Accountant who will make a report on this subject and submit it to the Audit Bureau.

 

Article (16)

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law or regulation, the Corporation shall have the right to increase the charges of the rent of its leased installations or real estates not more than once every three years at most in such a way  not to exceed the inflation rate or the rates of increase of prices announced by the Central Bank from time to time, taking into consideration the terms of contract in other matters.

 

Article (17)

As from the effective date of the provisions of this Law, all installations, real estates, rights and privileges belonging to Aqaba Free Zone will accrue to the Corporation, which will assume all obligations consequent thereon. All employees and workers of the Aqaba Free Zone shall be considered of the cadre of the Corporation, together with all the rights and privileges due to them.

 

Article (18)

The Corporation may issue bonds with categories mentioned in the Public Debt Law. The pertinent terms and conditions shall be determined pursuant to a special regulation to be issued for this purpose and the interests accruing from investment in such bonds will be exempted from income and social service taxes as well as from any other taxes and fees.

 

Article (19)

A. The Council of Ministers may, upon the recommendation of the Board issue the necessary regulations for the implementation of the provisions of this Law, including the regulations pertaining to the financial and administrative affairs, supplies, work contracts, personnel, employees and their saving funds, the  rules pertaining  to  running  and conditions of investment of the free zones, customs and public security procedures. Pending the  issue of such regulations, the regulations of the Aqaba Free Zone shall remain in force and shall be applied on the Corporation  to  the  extent  that  they  do  not contradict with the provisions of this Law.
B. The regulations provided for in paragraph (A) of this Article may cover the imposition of penalties against the violations committed against the provisions of this Law or any regulation issued in accordance therewith, and also the compensations and financial fines payable in respect of making compromise or settlement thereon, as well as the wages and bonuses payable to detectors of such violations.
C. Fees to be received by the Corporation for registration and licensing of persons at the free zones shall be determined in accordance with regulations issued pursuant to this Law (2).

 

Article (20)

With due observance to the provisions of paragraph (A) of Article (19) (3) of this Law , any law or legislation will be cancelled to the extent of its contradiction with the provisions of this Law.

 

Article (21)

The Prime Minister and Ministers, each within the scope of his competency, are charged with implementation of the provisions of this Law.

(1,2, 3 ) Amended so pursuant to Law No. (19) of 2004 published in the official gazette issue No. (4662) of 1/6/2004

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