Amendments to the Law of Industrial Free Trade Zones and Commercialization in El Salvador

By: William Escobar

We hereby bring to your attention:

On November 30, 2022, the Legislative Assembly approved Decree number 586, which contains reforms to the Law of Industrial and Commercialization Free Zones, the mentioned Decree was published in the Official Gazette number 239, Volume 437, dated December 19, 2022 and as established in its Art. 7, the same entered into effect 08 days after its publication.

The aforementioned amendments to the Law of Industrial and Commercialization Free Zones, have the purpose of updating the regime of Free Zones and Deposits for Active Improvement; to have efficient regulations and simple procedures, which provide greater legal certainty to the beneficiaries of the aforementioned law.

By means of the referred decree, the Consultative Committee of Free Zones is eliminated and it is established that the Ministry of Economy will promote the creation of spaces for the exchange of opinions among the workers, beneficiaries of said Law and Government institutions; in order to promote economic measures and actions that are necessary or convenient to facilitate the establishment, operation and growth of Free Zones and Deposits for Active Improvement.

On the other hand, by means of the referred decree, the definition of “Developer”, contained in Article 2 literal j) of the Law, was expanded and new definitions such as “Start of operations for Users and DPA” and “Start of operations for Free Zone Developers” were incorporated.

Another point to be highlighted is the amendment to the fourth paragraph of Art. 3 of said Law, by means of which it was established that the goods that are introduced (sold) in the national market, the customs procedures of any definitive import from abroad will be applicable to them; thus discarding the proportional taxation on the non-national components established in the aforementioned article.

Another important reform to be mentioned is that the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare is empowered to develop the corresponding labor regulations to facilitate the relations between the beneficiaries of the Law and their employees, being able to provide solutions related to schedules, working hours, among others related to the matter.

Likewise, the judicial process related to the declaration of abandonment of activities or definitive cessation of operations of the companies qualified as Free Zone Users or Deposit for Active Improvement was reformed, incorporating the presumption of abandonment if after ten working days counted from the date on which the company has ceased operations without just cause, without having proceeded to request the Ministry of Economy the revocation of benefits and in the case of having requested it, if it has not paid the salaries and other benefits to its workers.

For further information, please visit the website of the Official Gazette of El Salvador, by accessing the following link:

For additional information, please contact Dr. Diego Martín ( and/or Mr. William Escobar (; or e-mail