As from 21st July 2019, Decision No. 33/15 issued by the Council (CMC) of the MERCOSUR will enter into force.

The Decision in question establishes that all goods originating in a member State of the MERCOSUR—or a third country with the same origin rules (on the basis of an agreement with the MERCOSUR)—shall not lose their originating nature when they pass through a special customs zone, an export processing zone or a free trade zone provided such zones are under customs control.

In order to enjoy the benefits of the originating goods, neither the tariff classification of the goods nor their originating nature verified by means of the Certificate with which they enter such zones shall be altered. It should be borne in mind that if the originating nature wants to be maintained, there shall be carried out only operations to ensure the trade, conservation, division into lots or volumes and operations bearing similar ends.

The free trade zone regime in Uruguay stands out as one of the main tools to attract investments into the country as it ensures their users—provided certain conditions of substance and economic reality are met—the exemption of existing or future taxes.

At same time, the free zone regime in Uruguay counts with an additional key element when evaluating potential investments: the benefits that may arise from the network of trade agreements signed by Uruguay as a member to the MERCOSUR. Among them is the application of reduced or zero tariffs to the trade of goods with such business partners.

As of the implementation of the provisions introduced by Decision No. 33/15, both benefit tools shall be compatible and may grant greater benefits to both companies that are already settled in our country and potential investors who consider Uruguay as part of their international business.