The Colon Free Zone

The Colon Free Zone

The Colon Free Zone (Zolicol or ZLC) is a first generation free zone located on the Caribbean coast of Panama in the province of Colon, within the city of Colon although outside its municipal jurisdiction that functions as an autonomous entity of Panama.  It is located in the southeast corner of the City of
Colon and occupies 1,064.58 hectares, is the largest free zone in the Americas and the second in the world, as well as the first platform of logistics distribution of Latin America.

Captures services and centers for the import, storage, assembly, packing and re-export of products from all over the world, especially appliances electrical, pharmaceutical products, liquors, tobacco, domestic and office furniture, textiles, footwear, jewelry and toys. The main imports come from China, Singapore and the United States and to countries of South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

It was created by Decree Law No. 18 of June 17, 1948 as an autonomous institution of the Panamanian State, as an area to develop the advantages competitive in the country to be at the entrance of the Panama Canal by the Atlantic Ocean.  Recently, the legislation of the Colon Free Zone was
modernized by Decree Law No. 8 of April 4, 2016 to make way for new business models within this special economic area such as electronic commerce, construction and operation of ports among other commercial activities.

This free zone, which is about to turn 70 years old as the leader of the region, opened its doors in 1948 with the first company to install and operate in ZLC, Motta International leading company. Today ZLC has more than 2,600 user companies, and receives the visit of investors, tourists and nationals who wish to Invest and buy items wholesale and free of import and export taxes.

Colon Free Zone is made up of 9 segregated areas.  The first one is known as the Casco Viejo of the ZLC and in it are the showcases and business showrooms.  The second best known is the France Field area, where the merchandise storage center operates due to its proximity to few minutes from the ports Manzanillo International Terminal and Colon Container Terminal.  The other 7 segregated areas of the free zone are Coco Solo, Coco Solito, December 20, Logistics Park, Enrique Jiménez Airport, Margarita Island and Davis, where multinational distribution centers operate like HP, Huawei, Koyo, Payless Shoesource; and that offer areas for the development of companies and businesses.