The Port of Trieste has always enjoyed special privileges in organisational and legal terms, which have enhanced its status as a place of international trade.

The International Free Port of Trieste offers a number of favourable conditions in the Free Zone at the international level, with numerous advantages, first of all the Customs clearance exemption entails and tax incentives. Goods imported from Free Zone into EU can pay Custom clearance and VAT within up to 6 months period. This is an unique feature in the Italian and EU legal systems to the advantage of the economic activities of the area as a whole.

By virtue of the so-called safeguard clause in art. 307 of the EU Treaty, the Free Port of Trieste, meaning the sum of all its “Free Zones”, is the only free zone in the European Union that enjoys a more favourable special regime than the more restrictive one laid down by the Community Customs Code for the single market’s free zones and free warehouses.


Non-discriminatory right of entry of ALL ships and cargo with possibility of staying for an indefinite period, free of duty, taxes or other charges other than those levied for services rendered.

No need for authorisation for loading, unloading, transhipment, movement and storage, and with no obligation to identify a customs destination for such cargo, which can be decided by the operator at a later date.

Prohibition on customs intervention (and thus customs control of goods entering and leaving the Free Zone, which takes place only at the free-zone crossing points) when loading and unloading goods.

Community goods are treated as leaving customs territory when they cross into the Free Zone, with the entry of EU goods into the Trieste Free Zone representing an export transaction not subject to VAT.

Special regime of the Free Zone enables the freedoms relating to Customs duties and operations that cannot be restricted by any EU or Italian laws.

There are several advantages by using services of the Free Zone:



Goods arriving from non-EU countries can be loaded/unloaded with lower harbour duties and stored at the concession operator without paying Customs duties or any other tax until such goods cross the borders of the Free Port to be imported into EU country.

A computer system Black Box follows goods at any time from entering the Free Zone, their movement between the various concession operators until their departure in compliance with EU security regulations, while nonetheless respecting the customs clearance exemption.

The legal status of the Free Zone is essentially embodied in two regimes:


  1. Unrestricted access;
  • free movement of goods and services
  • harbour duties lower than in other Italian ports
  • freedom of access and of transit without any discrimination and without customs duties or charges other than those levied for services rendered.
  1. Transit and customs clearance exemption;
  • customs clearance exemption involves a whole series of beneficial operating conditions
  • simplified transit for commercial vehicles directed abroad
  • vehicle tax exemption for international vehicles



There are several advantages in the Free Zone itself;

  • all kinds of goods (both EU and non EU) may be stored
  • no limit of time on the storage of goods
  • non EU goods while stored in the Free Zone are free of import duties, VAT and other import charges
  • no bank guarantee is due as long as the goods are in the Free Port
  • the customs origin of goods can be retained
  • the Free Zone can be home to any kind of industry, trade or ancillary activities
  • manipulation of goods permitted (eg. packaging, repackaging, labelling, sampling, eliminating brands, etc.) as well as their industrial transformation, completely free from any customs bond
  • no customs formalities to be completed as long as the goods stay in Free Zone
  • no customs duties to pay or to guarantee as long as the goods are in Free Zone
  • prohibition on customs intervention and thus customs control
  • simplified transit for commercial vehicles directed abroad that are in transit to/from the Port of Trieste
  • simplified customs system for the transit of goods by rail


Since goods are imported from the Free Port into EU, import companies can pay Customs clearance and VAT within 6 months period.

  • application of the customs deferred payment scheme, whereby duties and taxes on goods imported into the EU market through the Free Zone can be paid up to six months after the date of customs clearance at a particularly low annual interest rate (50% of 6M Euribor).
  • customs status of goods (foreign country, EU free circulation without payment of VAT, import, export, transit) can be changed without the need to physically move the goods.
  • operators can access other alternative treatments permitted by EU and/or national legislation (eg. tax deposits, VAT deposits), if more favourable, with consequent compliance with the requirements of such rules.
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