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The Legal Structure of Special Economic Zones in Iran

Author: Abdolhossein SHIRAVI

Type: Article

ref: 22010161-172

N0:2 of 2010

Pages: 161-172

With the widespread adoption of free economic zones worldwide, Iran has also developed its own model of special economic zones (SEZs) to attract capital and technology. Although the first SEZs were established in 1990, it was not until 2006 when a relatively detailed legislation enacted by the Iranian parliament to regulate operations of SEZs that SEZs became formally established. By official announcement of its executive bylaw in 2007, the new legislation came into practical operation. This legislation is a major step towards establishing a legal framework for SEZs to provide a set of incentives and preferential treatments for manufacturers, producers, warehouse operations or those conducting other business activities in SEZs. The initial part of this paper describe the laws and regulations governing the establishment, administration and operations of SEZs and performance of economic activities in SEZs. For this purpose, the regulations governing import-exports, taxes and duties, labor and foreign investment is explained and clarified. An assessment of Iran’s SEZs legal framework is also provided and their shortcomings are discussed.