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Factsheet for measure PL-1995-41/2584 – measures in Poland

Special economic zones (SEZ)

Specjalne strefy ekonomiczne (SSE)

Country Poland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 09 October 1995
Context COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial) or damage compensation
Author Jan Czarzasty (Warsaw School of Economics)
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 25 November 2022)

Background information

Special Economic Zones (Specjalne Strefy Ekonomiczne) were introduced to boost investment, employment, and production in certain areas of the country and nationwide. The areas with high unemployment and low investment were selected for the Zones. For the first time the policy was introduced by the parliament in 1994. The Special Economic Zones were introduced with the Special Economic Zones Act of 20 October 1994. They can be created by the Council of Ministers through, upon request of the Economy Minister.

Legal references: 1. Special Economic Zones Act of 20 October 1994. 2. Act on Supporting New Investments of May 10th, 2018 (Dz.U. 2018 poz. 1162).

Content of measure

Special Economic Zone (Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna) is an area where companies can get preferential business conditions, including public funding and tax exemptions. Each SSE consists of several sub-zones which are located in different places, not necessarily next to each other.

Sectors excluded from eligibility are: the production of explosives, tobacco products and alcohol, running gambling centres, commerce, hotels, catering, film production, broadcasting and financial services. Moreover, the company has to meet other eligibility criteria including investment size, co-financed share, and intended employment size and period.

Companies which obtained an SSE permit are eligible for a Corporate Income Tax (CIT) exemption. Additionally, state aid for investment is available. To receive aid, a company needs to be operational for no less than five years; in case of SMEs for three years; and maintain the same structure of the ownership of the company's assets as the one to which investment spendings were related for the previous five years (in case of SME for three years).

The maximum income tax exemption is related to the value of state aid available to an individual investor for an investment project carried out in the zone. This value depends on the investment location, the size of the enterprise and the amount of investment expenditure. For large enterprises, it consists of 30-50% of eligible costs. For medium-sized enterprises, it ranges between 40-60% of eligible costs. The value for small enterprises is between 50-70% of eligible costs.

Use of measure

In 2019, the cumulative value of investments in all SSE exceeded PLN 132 billion (€30 billion) which means an increase by 10.74% compared to 2018 (Ministry of Development, 2020). According to the Report of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) published in May 2020, public aid was not targeted at entrepreneurs operating in preferred sectors of the economy in a given region (NIK, 2020). No other information on the effectiveness and spending was found.

In 2022, there were 14 Special Economic Zones in Poland.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions



  • 20 October 1994: Special Economic Zones Act of 20 October 1994 (
  • 01 January 2009: KPMG in Poland (2009), A guide to Special Economic Zones in Poland in 2008, Warsaw (
  • 01 May 2009: Deloitte’s team for Special Economic Zones (2009), Report on 'Growth zones? Special Economic Zones - entrepreneur’s view', Warsaw (
  • 01 January 2012: Ernst&Young (2012), Special Economic Zones after 2020 - report (
  • 01 January 2012: Maciejewska, M. (2012), Tired bodies and priceless products. Working conditions of women in the special economic zone of the electronics industry, Feminist Think Thank, Warsaw (
  • 01 January 2014: KPMG in Poland (2014), 20 Years of Special Economic Zones in Poland, Warsaw (
  • 01 January 2014: Pastusiak, R. and Keller, J. (2014), The impact of Special Economic Zones on the Polish economy (
  • 28 February 2014: Łódź SSE (2014), Our Investrors (
  • 01 January 2015: Franczak, I. (2015), Special Economic Zones as a factor for activating regional economies, Research Papers of Wroclaw University of Economics, 392 (
  • 03 February 2016: Ministry of Development (n.d.), List of Special Economic Zones (
  • 10 May 2018: Act on Supporting New Investments of 10 May 2018 (
  • 30 May 2018: Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology (2018), Information on the implementation of the Act on Special Economic Zones (
  • 31 May 2019: Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology (2019), Information on the implementation of the Act on Special Economic Zones (
  • 01 January 2020: fDi Magazine (2020), fDi’s Global Free Zones of the Year 2019 – the winners (
  • 01 January 2020: Katowice SSE (2020), Investors in the zone (
  • 28 May 2020: NIK (2020), Strefy niespecjalnie ekonomiczne, [Zones not particularly economic] (
  • 29 May 2020: Ministry of Development (2020), Information on the implementation of the Act on Special Economic Zones (
  • 02 June 2020: Deloitte (2020), Nowelizacja przepisów dot. Polskiej Strefy Inwestycji oraz Specjalnych Stref Ekonomicznych [Amendment to regulations regarding the Polish Investment Zone and Special Economic Zones] (
  • 03 August 2022: Special Economic Zones 2022 (


Eurofound (2022), Special economic zones (SEZ), measure PL-1995-41/2584 (measures in Poland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.