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Government of Jamaica   

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SEZ Application Process

The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status being applied for is the primary determinant of the SEZ application process and the respective timelines. Timelines for receiving your SEZ designation rely heavily on the quality and/ correctness of the documents submitted to support your SEZ application. To that end, the submission of accurate and current documents is crucial in completing the application process within the timelines provided. Please feel free to request a consultation with the Business Development Team to learn more.

Key Terms

The following are key terms to assist in understanding the application process and its respective milestones:

  1. Application Proposal: A cursory check is conducted to confirm all required documents are submitted by the applicant to perform a full review. A 30-minute consultation session is facilitated with the applicant during this process. An Application Acknowledgement/ Incomplete Letter will be provided within 1-3 business days of submission of application proposal. 
  2. Full Review: Review conducted by the Authority to confirm the sufficiency of the application. This process lasts 14 business days and the Authority will provide communication on its findings at the end of this timeline. See Regulations 13 (1) of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  3. Client Submission: Applicant is to submit corrected/ updated/ additional documents if application submission is insufficient. Applicants are allowed 21 days to provide the request information, if applicable. See Regulations 13 (2) of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  4. Board of Directors’ Review: The Authority’s Board of Directors reviews the application to confirm its fulfilment for Preapproval (applicable to Developer applications) or Authorization (applicable to Occupant or Zone User applications) under the SEZ regime. See Regulations 14 of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  5. Client Supplementary Proposal: Clarification documents to be submitted by the applicant before the application proceeds to Ministerial Review, if applicable. The applicant has 120 days to fulfil this requirement. See Regulations 16 (1) of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  6. Final Review: Review conducted by the Authority to confirm the sufficiency of the supplementary proposals submitted by the applicant, if applicable. Review of supplementary proposal continues for 10 business days 1. See Regulations 16 (3) of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  7. Ministerial Submission: The Authority compiles and prepares the Draft Ministerial Order (i.e., approved SEZ documents) within 2 business days for submission to the Ministry for review. 
  8. Ministerial Review & Publication of Gazette: The Minister responsible for SEZs signs the Ministerial Order granting SEZ approval and publication of the Ministerial Order announcing the company’s designation as an SEZ Developer1. See Regulations 16 of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  9. Licence Agreement: Contract between the Authority and the Developer detailing terms and conditions of SEZ designation. Once the Ministerial Order is published, the applicant has a maximum of ninety days to execute this Agreement. See SEZ Act (2016) and Regulations 18 of the SEZ Regulations (2017)
  10. Sub-concession Agreement: Contract between Developer and Occupant detailing terms and conditions of SEZ designation. See SEZ Act (2016) or SEZ Regulations (2017) for further details
  11. Operating Certificate: Document issued by the Authority to a Developer or an Occupant indicating the company’s SEZ status and its capacity to access SEZ fiscal incentives. See SEZ Act (2016) or SEZ Regulations 19 (4) of the SEZ Regulations (2017) for further details
  12. Schedule of Activities: Document issued by the Authority to a Developer or an Occupant outlining activities approved to be conducted within the zone by the company. 

1 Through the optimization of internal processes, the Authority may indicate shorter processing times, in comparison to the referenced legislative allowances.