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Free Trade Zone Disappointment

The President of the board of the IBC-Services of the Commercial and Industrial Association of Funchal-Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Madeira (ACIF-CCIM), Tânia Castro, commented today in the Económico newspaper, that the “majority” of the companies of the International Business Centre (IBC), or Free Trade Zone, which were notified by the Tax Authority (AT) to return the illegal support, resulting from the investigation carried out by the European Commission, in 2020, are either “insolvent” or “unable” to pay.

Five days after the rejection, by the European Court of Justice, of the appeal filed by the Portuguese State, regarding the European Commission’s conclusions on support granted to companies in the Free Trade Zone, under Regime III, Tânia Castro says that there was a stampede of companies leaving the zone after the European Commission investigation.

Also according to the official, official data point to 1,599 companies linked to services, a number that remained constant between 2021 and 2024, that is, in the period after the European Commission’s conclusions on the third regime of the International Business Centre of Madeira. Data confirmed by the IBC and according to Tânia Castro, 322 notifications from the Tax Authority have been sent since June 2022, totalling around 800 million euros involving between 200 – 220 companies.

Samantha Gannon

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