The Lebanese Government has set as priority the improvement of the investment climate in Lebanon. For this purpose, serious efforts have been deployed to modernize the regulatory framework of investment in order to facilitate the establishment of new businesses and ensure their protection, viable growth and expansion. Lebanon signed numerous trade agreements and investment treaties to further improve the investment climate, accelerating its integration into regional and global economies.
The Lebanese legal framework complies with international standards, offering protection and equal treatment for local and foreign investors.
LAWS FOR INVESTMENT
Investment Law No.360, enacted in 2001, provides a framework for regulating investment activities in Lebanon, and offers local and foreign investors alike a range of incentives and business support services.
The General Privatization Law No.228, dated 31/5/2000, sets up the general privatization framework by regulating its operations and defining its terms and fields of implementation.
The Code of Obligations and Contracts is considered the general law that governs relations between individuals in all civil and commercial matters, for which no special private laws have been set forth by legislators.
Law 318 established the Special Investigation Commission for fighting money laundering as an independent legal entity with judicial status at the Central Bank.
This law is relevant to the acquisition of real estate rights by foreigners in Lebanon.
The Ministry of the Environment has drafted an Environmental Framework Law for Protected Areas.
This decree aims to determine the mandatory guidelines to be followed in order to assess the potential environmental effects of any proposal, draft policy, plan, program, study, investment or regulation.
PROTECTION OF RIGHTS
This law protects Copyright and Related Rights (Neighboring Rights), and ensures the enforcement of Intellectual Property and Related Laws.
The Consumer Protection Law ensures the highest quality service for consumers in Lebanon.
This document provides a brief description of the three taxes imposed under the Income Tax Act:
The VAT rate in Lebanon is 10% although there are many goods and services exempted from the tax.
Laws and Regulations on general provisions and principles, import & export restrictions, as well as duty deferral statuses and other similar statuses.
Lebanon has signed numerous bilateral and multiple trade and investment agreements with different countries around the world, to ensure the promotion and protection of investments.
Since 2003, Lebanon’s industrial and most agricultural products which fall within the limits of tariff quotas enjoy free access to the EU market. As part of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership initiative, an Association Agreement with the EU was signed in 2006, which stipulates the progressive elimination of tariffs on imported goods manufactured by European countries by 2014.http://www.eeas.europa.eu/lebanon/docs/euro_mediterranean_agreement_en.pdf
Signed in June 2004, the Free Trade Agreement grants Lebanese industrial exports (including fish and other marine products, and processed agricultural products) free access to the following EU markets: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland. http://www.efta.int/free-trade/free-trade-agreements/lebanon
Lebanon has been a member of GAFTA since January 2005, and receives full exemption of tariffs on all agricultural and industrial goods traded between the (17) Arab member countries.
BILATERAL INVESTMENT TREATIES
Lebanon has signed more than 53 bilateral agreements for the promotion and protection of investments, thus providing foreign investors with a legal framework whereby the most favorable setting is established between Lebanon and the 53 contracting partners. The treaties provide a fair and equitable treatment on a non-discriminatory basis, and full protection and security for foreign investments.
DOUBLE TAXATION TREATIES
To facilitate trading across borders and foster international business, Lebanon has signed tax conventions with (32) countries. These conventions promote the exchange of goods and services, the inflow of capital, and technology, by avoiding double taxation and preventing fiscal evasion through administrative assistance between the contracting parties.