FREE TRADE ZONES
Lebanon has two free zones: the Beirut port and the Tripoli
port, and a duty free shop at the Beirut international airport. Two new free
zones are planned for North Lebanon: Selaata Free Zone and Qlaiaat Free Zone.
The reconstruction of a 120,000 square meter free zone at the port of Beirut
is complete and a 6,000-square meter bonded warehouse facilities is now
available. All free zones offer business and financial incentives, including
the possibility of 100 percent foreign ownership, customs exemptions for goods
entering and leaving the free zone, long-term low-cost land and building
leases, and low-cost utility rates for industries. Private sector companies
will develop and operate Selaata and Qlaiaat free zones on a BOT basis.
For temporary entry of heavy machinery and vehicles, importers can use
customs-bonded warehouses insured by the Beirut Port Authority, although this
may be quite expensive. Importers may keep their products in privately leased
or owned warehouses, against a one-year bank guarantee (refundable upon
settlement of customs duties), plus an annual non-refundable warehousing fee.