Our executive director at the 50th Anniversary of the NAFTZ

Our executive director, Lic. Johnny R Fernández gathering at the 50th Anniversary of the NAFTZ with Dr. Samir Hamrounni, executive director of the World Free Zone Association (WFZO), Dr. Mohammed Alzarouni, president of the Board of Directors of the WFZO, and Atty. . Martín Ibarra, founder of the Association of Free Trade Zones of the Americas.

NAFTZ Conference in Miami

Five people represent the Southern Free Zone in the 50th. NAFTZ Annual Conference. It takes place in Miami, FL. In the photo from left to right: Lic. Johnny Fernandez, Executive Director, Mr. Carlos Velázquez, Sub Director of the ZLS, Dr. Jaime L Santiago Canet, President of the Board, Mr. Jean Paul Gonzâlez, member of the Board and Mr. Orlando Delgado , also a member of the Board of Directors.

Causa Local and Zona Libre del Sur

Get incentives for your small and medium business

Let’s talk about Causa Local and the Southern Free Zone and as business owners you can apply for business education, non-traditional access to capital, grow and connect with other business owners and mentors. To manage more information and receive the link to apply for this great opportunity, please send us your email to


On Friday, August 4 of this year, a simple and emotional ceremony took place in the Southern Free Zone. That morning, the personal and professional contributions of Mr. Jose R. (Pepe) Criado Céspedes in the development of the Southern Free Zone (ZLS) were recognized.

Pepe, from Villalbeño by birth and from Ponceño by adoption, served and contributed to various organizations in the Manor City. Among these, he was President of the ZLS Board of Directors. He actively participated in several of the annual conferences of the Association of Free Zones of Ibero-America (AFZA) and the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ).

Pepe passed away a few months ago and the Board of Directors decided to name the ZLS Conference Room in his memory. The activity was attended by his widow, Doña Josefina and his daughter Mary Jo. In addition, several current and former members of the Board, as well as some former presidents of the ZLS.

Doña Josefina unveiled a photo of Pepe and her daughter thanked her father for the recognition. To Pepe and his family, thanks for his work, advice and support from him on the ZLS Board of Directors.

May his light illuminate the paths of our organization.

Thank you,
Dr Jaime L. Santiago Canet
President, South Free Zone, FTZ 163

New solar energy system at the Ponce Fire Station

The Central Ponce Fire Station has a new system of solar panels and backup batteries, an installation that was made possible thanks to a combined investment of $150,000.00 from Solar Responders, Fundación Plaza del Caribe, Church’s Chicken and Zona Libre del Sur. The new system will ensure that the station’s firefighters and paramedics continue to operate and respond to emergencies when power is interrupted. The station serves more than 150,000 people in 10 municipalities.

PORTA SHIP signs contract with CODEZOL, C.D.- FTZ #163

PORTA SHIP signs contract with CODEZOL, C.D.- FTZ #163, La Zona Libre del Sur. Lic. Johnny R. Fernández, Director, Codezol, C.D. * Mr. Juan Rivera, President Porta Ship, * Mr. Angel Loyola, Vice President of Operations, * Mr. Carlos J. Velázquez Germain, Vice Principal, Codezol, C.D.

Ponce has the first shipyard in Puerto Rico

Recently, the ZLS signed an agreement with PORTA Ship Maintenance & Repair, so that this company operates a shipyard in the Port of Ponce, under the Free Zone Program. This would be the first shipyard in operation in Puerto Rico, and would allow the owners of boats that have to be repaired, not to be forced to take them to distant places, meaning considerable savings. In fact, they have already received the first boat to be repaired at their facilities.

This company is managed by its two owners, Angel Loyola and Juan Rivera, two young men from the South, from Yauco and Ponce, respectively. The fact of operating under the Free Zone Program will allow them to bring foreign vessels to their premises, without having to pay the taxes that Customs collects on foreign merchandise that enters American jurisdiction, meaning savings for their clients.

We wish and predict the greatest success for these young entrepreneurs.

Codezol, C.D. celebrates its 30th anniversary


Last Friday, October 18, 2019, the 30th anniversary of CODEZOL, C.D. was celebrated, at the Fusion Restaurant in Ponce. In the activity, the history of the Southern Free Zone was reviewed, as well as its achievements, challenges and the next projects were announced. The attorney Johnny Fernández was the host of this activity. We thank all Codezol employees, customers, partners and friends who came together to share in such an important historical moment.