Unique SEZ investment tax credit


Object of the measure 

The South Decree of September 19, 2023, No. 124, turned into law by the Senate on November 9, 2023, establishes the Special Economic Zone of Southern Italy. The SEZ zone, also known as SEZ UNICA (ZES UNICA in Italian), will be established from 2024 to 2026. It aims to provide incentives for the growth and economic consolidation of southern Italy's areas. This will make them more suitable for the development and growth of the production system. 


The State grants credit to all companies established in Italy, including permanent establishments, except for those operating in the following sectors: steel, coal, and lignite; transportation and related infrastructure; energy production, storage, transmission and distribution, as well as energy infrastructure; broadband; credit, finance, and insurance. Companies liable to insolvency proceedings, bankrupcy and companies in difficulty are also excluded. 

Object of facilitation

In general, the tax credit is available for the purchase of new capital goods (including through leasing), which are defined in Article 2, points 49, 50 and 51 of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 of June 17, 2014. Specifically, eligible assets for relief include: 

  • Machinery, Plant, Equipment classifiable as Assets in the Balance Sheet under items B.II.2 and B.II.3 of the Balance Sheet Schedule required by Article 2424 of the Civil Code.
  • Land and buildings (up to 50% of the investment's total value) must adhere to the novelty requirement, meaning they cannot have been used in any capacity before purchase 

Facilities provided 

Administrative simplifications 

- Reduced timeframes for: 

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
  • Integrated Environmental Authorisation (AIA)
  • Single Environmental Authorisation (AUA) 
  • Landscape Authorisation 
  • Construction Permits And ports

- Issue of a single authorization that replaces all the various authorizations, licenses, and acts required to carry out the investment project.

- One-stop Digital Centre (S.U.D. SEZ) for the submission of the application and supporting documentation related to investment projects.

- The SEZ Mission Structure, body in charge of approving investment projects directly regulated by the Ministry of Cooperation and Development. 

Customs benefits 

Interlocking Customs Free Zones (ZFDs) can be set up within the SEZ Region after approval and demarcation by the Customs Agency (CA). These zones have controls for entry and exit, allowing the storage of third-party goods under the conditions of suspended payment of import duties and VAT. Additionally, usual handling and processing of temporarily imported goods are permitted, which can later be imported, re-exported, or placed under another customs regime. 

Tax benefits (tax credit) 

The credit is calculated as a percentage of eligible costs at the following rates, depending on the investment area and the size of the company. 

Temporal scope

The measure applies to investments made in the SEZ Region from January 1, 2024, until the end of 2026. 

Eligible Costs 

The subsidized investment ranges from €200,000 to €100 million, subject to a maximum overall spending limit of €1.8 billion in 2024 as stipulated by Art. 52 of the Budget Law 2024. The distribution of total project expenditure will be specified by a decree from the Minister for European Affairs, the South, Cohesion Policies and the NRRP, (National Recovery and Resilience Plan), in agreement with the Minister of Economy and Finance by December 30th, 2023. 

Modalities of use 

The tax credit can be combined with “de minimis” aid and other state aid for the same eligible expenses, as long as the combination does not exceed the highest allowed aid intensity or amount under European regulations. The tax credit can only be used for offsetting in accordance with Article 17 of Legislative Decree No. 241/1997. 

The limit of 250,000 euros per year, in accordance with Article 1, Paragraph 53 of Law No. 244/2007, is not applicable. 

The tax credit may require recalculating when: 

  • Subsidized goods purchased or completed do not come into operation by the second tax period following that event.
  • The assets shall be disposed of, transferred to third parties, utilized for purposes unrelated to the undertaking, or allocated to production facilities other than those that resulted in entitlement to the relief by the end of the fifth tax period after becoming operational. 

Revocation of the benefit 

Benefits will be revoked if companies fail to comply with the obligation to maintain their activities in the establishment areas located in the assisted areas where the subsidized investment was made for at least five years after the completion of the investment. 

Documentary requirements 

The Ministry of European Affairs and Cohesion Policies has not yet prepared the guidelines for the submission of applications and the necessary documents to support the planned investment project, as well as the implementation of the digital one-stop shop.