This procedure applies to organizations that wish to develop a newly identified site as a Special Economic Zone. Applications for Zone designation may come from either private, public or public-private institutions and are submitted to SEZAR-RDB for review and recommendation to the Cabinet.
Special Economic Zones in Rwanda are established through a Prime Minister’s order that converts the subject area into a legally-designated Zone.
Any applicant, whether from the private or public sector, wishing to develop, operate, maintain, or promote a Special Economic Zone should submit an application to SEZAR. The Head of SEZAR issues Zone Developer / Operator Licenses after obtaining the approval of the board of SEZAR.
When a Zone is to be developed and operated on private state property by a private domestic or foreign investor even when it is through a Public Private Partnership, SEZAR calls for expression of interest to select one or several Developers and / or Operators.
A Special Economic Zone user is a private entity engaged in commercial activities in the SEZ and is compliant with the prevailing rules and regulations regarding SEZ. SEZAR shall either grant or reject the granting of the Zone user license within 3 working days from the date of submission of a complete application. The SEZ user must be holder of the SEZ status in form of the license provided by the Authority.
According to the "East African Customs Act", an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is a customs area where one is allowed to import plant, machinery, equipment and material for the manufacture of export goods under security, without payment of duty. The imported goods are subject to customs control at importation, through the manufacturing process, to the time of sale/export, or duty payment for home consumption.
Other benefits of operating such enterprises include; free trade conditions, streamlined Government red tape allowing for one stop registration and licensing and also a facility of long term tax concession.