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SEZ governance

Besides investments, Italy's National Recovery and Resilience Plan provides for a reform to simplify Special Economic Zones (SEZs) governance, foster rapid implementation of actions, and encourage the establishment of new enterprises.

As follows, the main changes introduced by the reform.

  • The Extraordinary Commissioner of each SEZ is appointed via President of the Council of Ministers decree, upon proposal by the Minister for Southern Italy and Territorial Cohesion, in agreement with the President of the Region concerned. If the agreement is not reached within 60 days of the proposal date, the Council of Ministers adopts a reasoned decision.
  • The Commissioner is endowed with his/her own structure and can also rely on the support provided by the Territorial Cohesion Agency through an adequate number of technical and administrative staff. The Agency is also in charge of coordinating the actions carried out by the Commissioners and the national planning of interventions within the SEZs.
  • Each Extraordinary Commissioner may act as contracting body and operate with extraordinary powers in derogation of legal provisions on public contracts, aiming to more effective and timely implementation of National Recovery and Resilience Plan interventions.
  • The new "single authorisation" procedure has been introduced, replacing all previous permits, concessions, and opinions, while maintaining compliance with environmental impact regulations, and allowing for implementation of all the works, services and activities envisaged in the project. Whereby necessary, the new procedure may also provide amendments to urban and territorial planning instruments, with the exception of the Regional Landscape Plan.
  • A Digital One-Stop Shop has been set up to enable those interested in starting a new activity subject to the single authorisation procedure to submit their projects. The One-Stop Shop is also available in English language and operates in line with best technological standards. If the One-Stop Shop is not yet operational, applications for single authorisations may be submitted to the One-Stop Shop for Productive Activities (SUAP – Sportello Unico Autorità Produttive) relevant for the territory of the SEZ concerned.
  • The "single procedure" is issued by the Commissioner following an ad-hoc "conference of services", involving all the administrations concerned. Compared to the procedures currently in force, the timing for adoption of the "single procedure" has been peremptorily halved – i.e., once the deadline has expired, the deeds are deemed to have been approved.
  • The tax credit ceiling for each investment within SEZs has increased from €50 million to €100 million. Furthermore, the tax benefit is extended to the purchase of real estate property instrumental to investments, including through leasing contracts.
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