Tunisian olive oil is exempt from EU customs duties
Das Europäische Parlament stimmte einer Zollbefreiung für tunesisches Olivenöl, das in die EU gelangt, in Höhe von 35 000 Tonnen im Jahr 2016 und der gleichen Anzahl im Jahr 2017 zu, zusätzlich zu den 56 000 Tonnen, die bereits in einem früheren Abkommen vorgesehen waren.
This measure is part of an aid package to promote the economy of Tunisia, the only country to have successfully completed the transition to democracy after the Arab Spring (which began in Tunis in 2011).
Inevitably, this decision provoked reactions from EU oil-producing countries, which denounced the weak guarantees offered by Tunisian products compared to European products. The recalls do not take into account several elements that are mostly unknown to the general public. Olive and olive oil is a long-established sector in Tunisia, with 310,000 farmers, 1,750 mills, 15 refining units, 10 pomace processing units, and 40 companies including bottlers and processors of the oil into valuable cosmetic products such as soap. Tunisia is the world’s second largest exporter of olive oil after the European Union and exports to no less than 28 countries on all continents, including not only the European Union and Africa, but also North America and Australia. It is a member of the C.O.I. (International Olive Oil Council) and the oil produced in Tunisia, in addition to having received several prizes in competitions organised by the C.O.I. itself, meets all international quality standards. Thanks to our knowledge of the country and the sector, we are at the disposal of Italian olive oil producers and operators interested in partnerships and contacts with Tunisian producers.
Time for property shopping in Tunisia
It’s time for property shopping in Tunisia. The dramatic events of 2015 have affected daily life in exactly the same way as they have affected every other country….
It’s time for property shopping in Tunisia. The dramatic events of 2015 have affected daily life in exactly the same way as they have affected every other country in the world that has experienced or fears terrorist threats. Yes, there are more checks on the streets and more queues at ports and airports, but in people’s daily lives nothing has fundamentally changed: ask anyone who lives in the country or has been there recently, and don’t just assess the situation by surfing the Internet for news and bulletins.
However, there has been one important consequence, which benefits those who are willing to invest: property prices, after years of rising, have fallen.
The phenomenon does not so much concern the capital or the urban areas, but the properties located in the tourist areas: both the classic and consolidated ones, such as Hammamet or Sousse, as well as the niches, generally preferred by those who already have experience of the country and are oriented towards non massive solutions. In the south, both in the coastal and pre-desert areas, or in the north, in places like Raf Raf or Tabarka, or in the north-east, in Cap Bon (for example in the Kelibia area), it is now possible to buy a house even for about 35-40 thousand euros. Indeed, during the summer of 2015, which obviously saw a substantial drop in European tourism, many French and Northern Europeans became scouts in search of real estate bargains: a house bought at a knock-down price always proves to be a better way, compared to the classic deposit in a bank account, to use savings that, in Europe, would not allow to buy anything.
The same is true for businesses: acquiring a licence or the walls of a hotel can be a great deal today, for those who have a return on investment strategy that is not very short term. This is a good time for those who are able to act quickly. Contact us for more information: we will introduce you to opportunities, not necessarily on our site, that are truly remarkable.
Working in Tunisia
In Tunisia, there is still a lot to be done in various sectors which, in Europe, are mature or at least conditioned by the negative factors that we all know now.
In addition, Tunisia has other characteristics that make it interesting for those who have an entrepreneurial project or who, in any case, want to create a business: there is a more dynamic society than those that are stressed today in European countries, with a desire to do and improve, and a country that has a position as a bridge between Europe, Africa and the rich countries of the Gulf, which means that Tunisia does not depend exclusively on Europe and the euro. Not to mention that there is a much more affluent class than one might imagine.
In many ways, Tunisia resembles the Italy of three or four decades ago. There is a lot of room in various sectors that are well established in Europe, whereas over there they are nascent: for example, everything to do with ecology, energy saving, organic farming.
Speaking of mature sectors, there are many Italians who have taken over the management of restaurants, hotels, bars, but in this field, thanks to the recovery of tourism and the growth of domestic demand, there is still a lot of room, because next to wonderful structures, there are still many hotels and restaurants whose level needs to be improved (and the Italian touch is always a success factor).
Agriculture therefore offers many opportunities, as does agro-industry: consider, for example, that Tunisians are fond of cheese and pay more for imported pecorino and parmesan than in Italy. But because there is no cheese tradition, there are hardly any cheese producers in the country.
In general, we can speak of a rapidly changing situation, which also affects unexpected areas. For example, in a country that until yesterday was zero in terms of animal culture, the first and only pet shop in Tunisia opened in 2013. After less than a year, the shops became 3 (in Hammamet, Tunis and Sousse) and in 2015 10.
For independent traders, professionals, restaurateurs and hoteliers, and in general for private Italian citizens who want to settle in Tunisia and open a business, or become partners, we are at your disposal, with all our long experience in the country. We are able to offer a targeted consultancy service, aimed at identifying the activity best suited to each person’s needs and budget, with all the necessary assistance for starting up the activity and setting up in the country (setting up companies, dealing with banks and professionals, possible authorisations and licences, applying for residence permits, etc.)
Do not hesitate to contact us by writing to email@example.com or by requesting a contact on the skype account: caseintunisia
Moving to Tunisia
Tunisia offers a good year-round climate, a moderate cost of living and close proximity to Italy. It is logical that many people are thinking of moving there, whether they are retired or individuals and families who intend to start a business.
In order to settle in Tunisia, certain prerequisites are naturally required and a number of bureaucratic steps must be taken.
First of all, for those who know little or nothing about the country, our advice is to make a first exploratory trip, to see the reality for yourself. On our site, we try to give you as much information as possible, but it is natural that you should then judge for yourself, according to your tastes and plans.
In this regard, we would like to summarise the essential information on how to move to Tunisia.
To reside in Tunisia, you must obtain a residence permit. It is obtained subject to certain conditions required by law: possession of a home (rented or owned), opening a bank account, proof that you are able to support yourself. For pensioners, the latter requirement is simply to present a document proving their pensioner status. For others, it essentially means opening a business or, obviously more rarely, having an employment contract with a local company. The residence permit gives the right to reside permanently in Tunisia: in this regard, it is important to know that under the terms of the various « non-double taxation » agreements between States (including the one between Italy and Tunisia), it is necessary to reside effectively in the country of residence for the greater part of the year (i.e. at least 6 months + 1 day, even if it is not continuous)
Once the residence permit has been obtained, the pensioner is entitled to have his or her gross pension transferred, without withholding tax, through a procedure that takes place mainly in Tunisia, as we explain in the specific article on our site where we discuss the advantages that the law grants to pensioners.
If you wish, in addition to finding a house, we can take care of all the necessary bureaucratic and logistical procedures for you, thanks to our staff and trusted professionals who are in constant contact with the relevant Tunisian institutions. Our support service consists of different stages or modular packages that can be subscribed to in full or individually.
– assistance in opening a bank account and obtaining a residence permit;
– help in applying for a pension transfer;
– assistance with customs formalities for the registration of the car (compulsory after obtaining the residence permit),
– various logistical aids for contacts with organisations, suppliers, institutions, etc.
For those who intend to move to Tunisia and are on their own, we can arrange a matchmaking service with other people in the same situation, allowing you to get to know other lonely Italians with whom you can eventually share a flat. If you are in this situation, do not hesitate to send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details, or to contact us via skype at the caseintunisia account. We will contact you. For more information on practical life in Tunisia and on Tunisia as a country that is very suitable for pensioners (even those with a low pension, let alone those with a good pension), we invite you to visit the following links, where we are also mentioned
Getting treatment in Tunisia: health care and dentists
of Italians know that the number of Europeans who go to Tunisia for treatment is constantly increasing, where there is an excellent health system, with an ancient tradition and absolutely comparable, in terms of professional skills and organisation, to those in Europe. Most of the older generation of doctors graduated in France and today some Tunisian medical faculties, such as Monastir, have become international scientific centres. But even today, many Tunisian medical graduates specialise in France, thanks to agreements between the two countries and scholarships. The country’s hospitals are very numerous and well equipped, as are the pharmacies, the majority of which are municipal. As for private health care, it has become a leading sector of the Tunisian economy, welcoming a really large number of foreigners (French in the first place, but also British and North Europeans, not forgetting patients from Arab countries) who come to Tunisia mainly for dental care or for examinations and operations which are not generally covered by the public health system (e.g. cosmetic surgery) or which require long waiting times. This is the phenomenon of so-called health tourism, which has grown rapidly in Eastern Europe and owes its fortune to the sometimes prohibitive costs of private health care in the more advanced Western countries. Regrettably, among these countries, Italy ranks first in terms of the cost of dental care and other specialised interventions.
The relationship between service quality and price is very favourable in Tunisia, and we have seen this for ourselves. In September 2012, we needed a series of quite complex dental procedures (extractions, sinus lift and implants). After consulting several dentists (including our regular dentist), the best quote we got in Rimini was 8,950 euros. We did these same operations in Monastir, with exactly the same materials, made in Europe, and also doing a more preliminary examination than the Italian dentists. We spent a total of 2,800 euros, going twice: once for 5 days, a second time, after 4 months, for 6 days. And to stay, at a very low cost, in a seaside hotel that had an agreement with the dental practice. We then had a private eye examination in Sousse, where we were diagnosed with a disorder, which was later confirmed by an examination in Italy, and a private examination by an ear specialist. In both cases, we were received with great kindness in comfortable and clean offices, and examined at length, using machines identical to those used in Europe. In both cases, we paid 20 euros for the visit! The anecdotes on this subject could be numerous, but we will stop here.
In Tunisia, there are currently about 80 private polyvalent clinics, located between the capital and the cities where the influx of tourists is greatest. There are also several specialised clinics and many dental practices equipped to treat foreign patients. Along with dentistry, the other leading sector is cosmetic surgery, and even here, services of equal quality cost 30-60% less than in Western Europe, including travel and accommodation costs. What is the reason for such low rates? Certainly not to the poor quality of services or materials and equipment, as those who have never seen the facilities with their own eyes might think, or as the critics claim in bad faith. There are several reasons for this. In addition to the contingent element of the favourable euro exchange rate, there are others.
that make you think. First of all, the lower economic requirements of professionals. Secondly, the lower cost of living, which is also reflected in salaries, rents or depreciation of surgeries, etc. And, again, a tax policy that rewards institutions that work with foreign patients with substantial tax breaks. In conclusion, some European countries, perhaps more far-sighted than ours, in order to contain national health expenditure, even encourage their citizens to seek treatment abroad, by granting substantial reimbursements for certain services carried out outside their borders, in countries such as Tunisia. If you would like to know more, please contact us at email@example.com or call us on 0541 157 28 08 or 393 936 54 17.
Investing in agriculture
The agricultural sector in Tunisia offers considerable opportunities for investment and the creation of new activities. Investment in agricultural (or agro-industrial) activities in Tunisia is a very attractive option.
for European professionals in the sector (in fact, there are already many foreign-owned operations). Moreover, at a time when many Europeans are looking to new countries for new opportunities and activities, investment in agriculture is a very valuable alternative to the traditionally more beaten down sectors, such as catering or hotels.
Agriculture in Tunisia still represents, together with the fisheries sector, an important part of the economy, amounting to 11% of GDP, an incidence well over three times higher than that found in more advanced countries. This figure explains the attention paid to the sector by the State, in the form of tax breaks, strong incentives granted to exporting companies, subsidised loans, and significant reimbursements of investments made in various sectors, particularly the most innovative.
But there are other decisive factors of interest: a favourable climate that lends itself to a variety of crops, the availability of skilled labour, infinitely lower wage costs, the possibility of renting state-owned land: all of these elements make production and processing very practical, especially for certain labour-intensive processes that, in Italy as in Western Europe, suffer the problem of high production costs. And, once again, the existence of still very important market spaces for activities which, in Italy and in Europe, are already quite exploited, whereas in Tunisia they are relatively or entirely new. In this respect, organic production is a striking example, but there are others: for example, composting, various greenhouse crops, aquaculture, which still has a very small share of fish production but is set to play a central role.
Under Tunisian law, a foreign national may invest in agricultural and agro-industrial activities in partnership with a natural or legal person of Tunisian nationality. The foreigner cannot own the land, but he can be a partner or even a majority shareholder (up to 2/3 of the capital) in the company that exploits the land, processes and markets the products. The foreign-owned company thus created benefits from a number of incentives, the most important of which are the following
– Repayments of 7-40% of the investment, depending on the area and type of investment. In particular, 30% is reimbursed for investments in organic farming, 25% for investments in fisheries in the Nordic areas and 40% for investments in water saving.
– If at least 70% of the company’s turnover comes from exports, the very strong incentives provided for fully exporting companies are triggered, i.e. total exemption from corporate income tax for the first 10 years and a 50% rebate in the following years, a total and permanent rebate for reinvested profits, and a total and permanent exemption from the payment of many charges.
On this site you will find investment proposals in the agri-food sector, including innovative projects. But we have more, and more we can make available to you according to your needs. Part of our organisation is specifically dedicated to agribusiness and our Sousse office is in permanent contact with APIA, the Tunisian public body responsible for developing investment in agriculture. By relying also on qualified professionals of our trust, we are able to provide Italian agricultural entrepreneurs with all the services necessary for the realisation of investment projects in agriculture in Tunisia.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information.
Retirees: great tax advantages for those who settle in Tunisia
For Italian retirees who move to Tunisia, the law grants significant tax benefits, resulting in a
increase in the net pension received. This is an opportunity to be seriously considered, not least because the increase in the net pension is accompanied by a much lower cost of living, so that the retiree who moves to Tunisia will see a substantial increase in income.
The Tunisian law n° 2006-85 of 25 December 2006 sanctioned, as of 2007, a tax reduction regime of 80% on pensions received by citizens of various countries, including Italy, with which Tunisia has a tax convention known as « non double taxation ». In summary, the mechanism is as follows: the pensioner who is an Italian citizen must apply for a residence permit, effectively living in Tunisia for most of the year (i.e. for at least 6 months + 1 day per year). He/she must also have a bank account, to which the pension received from Italy will be credited. Under these conditions, the pension will be paid by the Italian institution on a gross basis, i.e. without withholding tax, since, by virtue of the tax treaty, it will no longer be taxed by the Italian State but by the Tunisian one. On this raw material, the State
Tunisia grants the 80% deduction, thus taxing only the remaining 20%.
Let’s take a practical example, based on a gross pension of €1,000 per month:
– GROSS monthly pension: 1,000 euros
– 80% deduction: 800 euros
– Taxable income: 200 euros
– Tax to be paid: 75 euros
800 were originally deducted by the Tunisian state, while the remaining 200 euros, constituting the taxable amount, become 125 after taxation (if the pensioner is then the head of a family, there is an additional deduction).
It is clear that the higher the pension, the more interesting the benefits become, but it is also true that for a small pension, the tax differential becomes even more valuable, especially if we consider, we repeat, that the cost of living in Tunisia is about half that of Italy.
As mentioned, in order to obtain and keep a residence permit in Tunisia, it is necessary to reside there for a minimum total of 6 months + 1 day per year, even if not continuously. For more information, please contact us. On behalf of our clients, we also take care of practices related to residence permits and pension transfers, providing Italians who wish to make this choice with professional experts who can help them with all the bureaucratic and administrative aspects of their new life in Tunisia.
CONSTRUCTION IN TUNISIA
Our team is specialised in assisting Italian promoters who wish to cross borders by developing the market in Tunisia and North Africa. In Tunisia, domestic demand remains strong, thanks to the fact that the middle class, which is shrinking in Western Europe, is growing, and foreign demand has found a new impetus: the most promising trend is that of retirees, to whom the Tunisian state grants very interesting tax benefits if they establish their residence in Tunisia. The number of European pensioners who choose to live in a neighbouring country with a good climate and a low cost of living is constantly increasing (especially from France, but now also from Italy) and, together with the tax advantages that we explain in another section of our site, thanks to this choice they double or multiply their purchasing power several times. In this respect, there is a shortage of specialised residential developments for the elderly, which could easily be planned by converting hotel complexes to residential use. But important opportunities also exist in the commercial/office sector (thanks to the redevelopment of the service sector) and in the emerging tourist areas.
Finally, it should not be forgotten that Tunisia is the gateway to other markets with enormous prospects, such as Libya, which will have strong reconstruction needs, and Algeria.
For Italian companies that want to go further and operate in a large international market, we offer a complete service:
- the identification and acquisition of land, also with the possibility of exchange, in particular land classified as tourist-residential, which allows a foreign entrepreneur to benefit from the greatest fiscal and social advantages;
the identification of accommodation facilities with the possibility of changing their use from tourist to residential;
- technical, financial and commercial feasibility studies;
- creation of companies to operate locally; full legal, tax, financial and technical assistance;
- find local suppliers, businesses and professionals;
- the marketing of properties on the Italian and European market.
To support our professional clients, we are organised with a network of local correspondents and have agreements with the best law firms and accountants in Tunisia.
For entrepreneurs who would like to know more about these opportunities, we are of course available to provide additional information and for in-depth meetings.
To see some proposals for building plots and real estate projects, click here.
Why a house in Tunisia?
No other non-European country has all the characteristics of Tunisia: proximity to Europe (1 hour from Rome), low cost of living, good quality of services, sunshine 300 days a year, rich natural and artistic heritage. In Tunisia, it is still possible to find the house of your dreams, which would cost a fortune in Italy or which you simply would not find. Or, if you have a limited amount of money with which you would buy very little in Italy, you can find a flat near the sea, to use all year round or to rent when not in use. Of course, there are countries on the other side of the world, or in Africa itself, where houses cost even less. But Tunisia offers the incomparable advantages of being close to Italy, and therefore not expensive to travel to, of having a much higher quality of construction and of having a cultural proximity to Europe, so that the European, and the Italian in particular, is in a context that is both exotic and familiar.
No country today offers such a wide range of real estate opportunities to suit all tastes: from flats in apartment blocks with all amenities, to the
villas with swimming pools, residential complexes in marinas or near golf courses, houses in typical Arab-Moorish style. At a lower cost than Italy, with an excellent quality/price ratio and with real prospects of revaluation even in the short term, thanks to the demand from European investors that accelerated after the January 2011 revolution.
Therefore, buying a house in Tunisia is also a smart way to invest in bricks and mortar and protect your savings. If you are interested in the idea, this site is for you… We know Tunisia very well and are in constant contact with the best property developers in the country. With the help of our experienced local staff, we also solve all practical and bureaucratic problems, assisting you every step of the way, from selection to purchase, and, if you wish, also taking care of the maintenance and management of your property. If you are not familiar with Tunisia, but are intrigued by the opportunities it offers, we invite you to spend a few more minutes on our site and consult not only the pages dedicated to real estate offers, but also the general pages below. You will discover a country you never imagined. The ideal country to buy a house.
The house with the bunk
Tunisia offers excellent investment opportunities, at costs much more affordable than in
Europe, in properties placed within a Marina. To a
This is a sector that is not in crisis, as the European coasts already have a high density of marinas, heavily urbanised, with a rather scarce supply of accommodation and prices that, despite the economic crisis, remain high, not only for flats (and the rare villas) for sale, but also for the rental of moorings. Tunisia, on the other hand, concentrates on marinas, thanks to several factors: a still abundant space for new constructions; a favourable climate and temperatures that allow for much longer seasons than in Mediterranean Europe; and a geographical position that, especially for an Italian, is strategic, as it is very close and barycentric to our country, so that the yachtsman, starting from Tunisia, can easily choose to sail towards the Tyrrhenian or the Adriatic Seas
Tunisia’s 1,200 kilometres of coastline currently offer 28 ports and anchorages, attracting a growing number of boaters thanks to the availability of berths and the affordability of rates, accompanied by an excellent level of services. The more than 5,000 berths currently available in the country are set to increase: on the northern coast, two projects, near Tunis and in Bizerte, are under construction but have been blocked in order to « cleanse » the social structure of the promoters of the presence of people linked to the former regime. Sooner or later these projects will be completed. A new marina is being built in Madhia (a town not far from Sousse and Monastir) and, in Sousse, plans have been announced for a new marina to be built next to the legendary Port El Kantaoui. The new Sousse marina will be built on the site of the current commercial port, which will be moved from the city to the north. The project includes a marina, an internationally renowned five-star hotel, two modern buildings with high-end flats and a shopping centre. In the medium term, the most striking new development promises to be the Marina Ksour, in Hergla (between Sousse and Hammamet), a mega tourist resort to be developed by a group from the Arab Emirates and which will include, in addition to the marina, housing, a heliport, and 5-star hotels with more than 1000 rooms. Buying a property in a Tunisian marina is ideal not only for the yachtsman or the water sports enthusiast, but also for the simple bather. Marinas are indeed places of great vitality and charm. Complexes,
Generally made up of small buildings and villas, they are spread over very large areas, crossed by gardens, small squares, courtyards and flowery avenues. The buildings, although based on the criteria of modern comfort, are generally decorated with architectural elements in the traditional Arab style. Separate from the housing, but inspired by the same architectural criteria, is the commercial area, where there are bars, restaurants and shops of all kinds, as well as supermarkets, health centres, playgrounds and, in some cases, hotels. Pedestrian avenues lead directly to the beach. In short, living in a marina is like living in a city within a city, in a kind of exotic village by the sea, where you have everything at your disposal, but at the same time enjoy privacy, peace and security.
The most recent marinas are those of Djerba and Yasmine Hammamet. The latter, located only 60 miles from Sicily and 60 km by motorway from Tunis, is currently the most popular of the large developments and covers an area of 278 hectares. Its marina has 720 berths, a modern harbour master’s office, a 127-tonne capacity travel lift, over 2 km of quays and a full range of facilities and services. It can accommodate boats from 6 to 110 metres. Its residential complex of villas and flats is surrounded and crossed by a canal. The villas overlook the canal and each has a mooring, which can be accessed directly from the garden. Flats and villas in Marina Yasmine are in high demand, but there are always a few owners selling, so please contact us if you are interested in looking for accommodation in Marina Yasmine or in other Tunisian marinas. Ideally situated along the coast from north to south, here is a brief description of the other main marinas
- Tunis and its surroundings
- Port El Kantaoui / Sousse
Tabarka :au pied d’un rocher, la marina offre 170 postes d’amarrage avec tous les services, dans un site dominé par une montagne de pins et de mimosas et réputé pour son corail et la plongée. The city is located in the northwest, on the border with Algeria.
Bizerte: offers accommodation for 170 boats and is undergoing a radical transformation and extension. From Bizerte (but also from Tabarka), you can reach the legendary island of La Galite, an oasis of Mediterranean fauna where you can find the rare Pharaoh’s bream. The city is located 50 km north of Tunis.
Tunis and its surroundings: in Sidi Bou Said, the old fishing port has been transformed into a marina, with a harbour that can accommodate 420 boats and is equipped with all services. Still in the Gulf of Tunis, another base, less fashionable than Sidi Bou Said, is the port of La Goulette, which offers 150 places for pleasure boats with a yacht club.
Port El Kantaoui: the country’s first modern marina, 5 minutes drive from Sousse, with a Moorish-andalusian layout and nicknamed the Garden Port, is one of the most sheltered ports of call in the Mediterranean. It offers 340 berths with all amenities. Behind the marina is the Kantaoui golf course, one of the most famous 27-hole golf courses in the southern Mediterranean, and just a few kilometres away is the city of Sousse.The residential complex of Port El Kantaoui consists of flats in charming two-storey houses. It is located 140 km south of Tunis.
Monastir : Its port, Marina Cap Monastir, has 400 berths with all facilities, can accommodate boats up to 45 meters and is surrounded by an Arab-Moorish residential complex with a large number of restaurants of all kinds overlooking the berths. For more information on the features and services of all marinas and moorings in Tunisia: http://www.portbooker.com/it/porti/tunisia