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Government support of direct investments

The main objective of the foreign economic activity of the Government of the Republic of Uruguay is to stimulate direct investment inflows.

Methods of government support of direct investments:

Investment activity in the free economic zones, free from all taxes
Providing the opportunity of duty-free import and export of goods and capital, no taxation in case an investment project is approved at the regional level

List of free economic zones:

For the purposes of supporting direct investment, Uruguay has established free economic zones. The investors of free zones shall be exempt from all national taxes (existing and oncoming), including those under which the investment activity is a specific exception and should be taxable.

The investors are exempt from the following taxes:

Tax on profits from economic activity (Irae)

Wealth tax (IP)

Value added tax (VAT)

Excise (IMESI)

Customs duties on export and import

Tax control over activity of investor (ICOS)

Payroll accrual on social insurance

Tax on income of founders who receive dividends from businesses.

In contrast to the activity in free economic zones, investors who got the opportunity of duty-free import and export of goods and capital and zero tax in the case of the approval of an investment project at the regional level, are the payers of the tax on income from dividends and pay social insurance contributions.

The above methods of promoting direct investment remain if:

— several companies are created within the same investment project

— several operations on the import or export of goods or services are carried out within the same investment project

The exceptions are the markets with natural monopolies, the markets of industrial and commercial sectors, in particular. Although, there is a possibility of duty-free import and export of foreign currency, securities and precious metals in these markets.

On 28 September 2015, the new procedure of recognition of investment projects exempt from taxes was developed. It aims to speed up the process of applying for approval of temporary free imports for investment projects.

Under the new procedure, the management company must be registered in VUCE. If the procedure is performed using a customs broker, his services must be provided only under a general license.

The VUCE procedure is aimed at obtaining approval of the project and the system of transit of MEF revenue from temporary investment. As of 28 September 2015, the application process is carried out in parallel with the process of obtaining permission for investment projects.

Since October 2015, the coordinator is the Advisory Centre of Trade Policy of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (APC), the National Customs Authority (DNA) and the Single Window for Foreign Trade (VUCE).

Once the registration procedure of the investor is completed, it is necessary to log on to the website vuce.uy and get access to the “Single window of access to system resources”.

The coordinating, monitoring and licensing bodies:



Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uruguay


National Customs Control Service


General Trade Inspection


National Customs Authority


Website of Single window registration of investors