Why Cuba? > ZED Mariel

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In September, 2013, the Mariel Special Development Zone (MSDZ or ZED Mariel) was created; it is located to the west of Havana city, at a distance of 45 km and has an area of 465,4 km².

The Zone has very favorable location and logistic conditions, especially after the investment made in the Mariel Port. It constitutes a space in the national territory that is not delimited within the customs boundaries, and in which special policies and regimes are applied, with the goal of promoting sustainable economic development by attracting foreign investment, technological innovation and industrial concentration, with a view to increasing exports, effectively replacing imports, and generating new sources of employment, in constant articulation with the domestic economy.

Activities and sectors prioritized in the MSDZ:

  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry
  • Renewable energy
  • Agro-food industry
  • Tourism and real estate development
  • Canning and packaging industry
  • Agriculture.
  • Telecommunications and informatics
  • Investment in infrastructure


The foreign investment established in the Zone will be regulated by Decree Law No. 313 “Of the Mariel Special Development Zone,s, and its supplementary rules. Law No. 118 “Foreign Investment Act,s and its supplementary rules, are also applicable by extension to the foreign investment established in the MSDZ.

Without detriment to the above said, the special regimes stipulated in this Law shall be applied to investments when they prove to be of advantage.


Any foreign investor established in the Zone shall pay the taxes stipulated in Law No. 113 “Of the Tax Systems dated July 23, 2012, with the adjustments contained in its applicable legislation:

  • Profit Tax: There is a 10-year exemption from this tax. The Minister of Finance and Prices may extend that period in the cases that could be of interest for the country. Thereafter, a 12 % tax rate shall be applied. Investors shall also be exempt from the tax on re-invested profits.
  • Tax on the use of Labor Force: All investors are exempt from this tax.
  • Tax on sales and services: All investors shall be exempt during the first year of operations; thereafter, a 1% tax rate shall be applied. The international economic association agreements for hotel, production or services management and the rendering of professional services shall be exempt from this tax.
  • Customs tax: There is an exemption for the means, equipment and goods imported for the investment process in the Zone. The General Customs of the Republic of Cuba may grant facilities with regards to the customs formalities required before and during the entrance of goods in the Zone from abroad.
  • Contribution to social security: A 14 % tax rate shall be applied to the legal entities that use paid labor force.
  • Territorial contribution to local development: All investors are exempt from this tax.
  • Income tax: Foreign investors that are natural persons shall be exempt.
  • Environmental tax: It shall be paid with a 50% bonus during the investment recovery
*Terms and Conditions