Tunisian Republic
Ministry of Economy and Planning

Legal framework

Private investment is the mainspring to economic growth in Tunisia. It isa fundamental cornerstone in the development strategy that would help thecountry respond to its major challenges, mainly in wealth creation,unemployment reduction and inland regions development.

In 2016, Tunisia implemented a set of regulatory reforms aiming at theimprovement of the business climate and at boosting investment, creating morejobs and promoting economic growth.


  • Private investment is the mainspring to economic growth in Tunisia. It isa fundamental cornerstone in the development strategy that would help thecountry   respond   to   its   major   challenges,   mainly   in   wealth   creation,unemployment reduction and inland regions development.
    Law n°2016-71 repealed the 1993 Investments code and enabled the abolitionof the requirement for the higher investment commission approval, when theforeign equityexceeds 50% of the capital for 46 activities et services otherthan fully exporting among the 49 activities listed in Decree n° 492-1994.



  • In May 2018, the Implementation of Government Decree n° 2018-417 of 11May 2018, on the publication of the exclusive list of economic activitiessubject to authorisation and the list of administrative authorisations forthe implementation of projects, the relating provisions and theirsimplification.

    This Decree provided four appendices :

    • Appendix n°1 sets out an exclusive and detailed list of 100economic activities subject to authorisation.
    • Appendix n°2 sets out a list of 27 economic activities for theexercise which the authorisations required were either repealed orreplaced by specifications.
    • Appendix n°3 sets out a list of 143 administrative authorisationsfor the implementation of a project.
    • Appendix n°4 sets out a list of authorisations for which theadministration’s kept silence/lack of reply is not deemed anauthorisation approval.


  • A Law on the improvement of the investment climate was adopted in May2019 (Law n° 2019-47 of 29 May 2019).

    Article 2 of this Law requires public bodies to abide, in their relations withinvestors, by the principles of transparency, of procedures simplification, ofdeadlines reduction and of use of modern communication means. These Publicbodies should not require the investors to provide documents that they aresupposed to deliver or that they already have.



  • Article 15 (bis) of Law n° 2019-47 of 29 May 2019 created within theTunisian Investment Authority, a new commission which is the Commissionfor authorisations and approvals, composed by representatives of theministries and the relevant public bodies.

    This commission is in charge of facilitating the implementation of investmentsby the Tunisian Investment Authority according to the laws in force, with theaim of :

    • To rule on all applications for approvals and authorisations required forthe realisation of the investment.
    • To rule on applications to change the use of agricultural land,notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary, and in particular Law n°83-87 of 11 November 1983 on the protection of agricultural land.
  • The composition, modalities and modes of operation of the Commission for authorisations and approvals and the deadlines for granting authorisations as well as the list of activities within that scope are set out in the Order of the Minister for Development, Investment and International Cooperation of 8November 2019.


  • The implementation of these principles by the public bodies was furtherdetailed in Government Decree n° 2020-310 of 15 May 2020, on thedefinition of the conditions, modalities and deadlines of administrativeprocedures simplification, deadlines reduction, the use moderncommunication means and the conformity to transparency in therelations of public structures with the investors and the economicbusinesses.
  • The Investor

    • Selection of the economic activity to be pursued
      • Economic activity subject to authorisation
        • Prior control: the implementation of the project takes place only after obtaining the agreement of the relevant administrative structure through the granting of an authorisation for the exercise of the activity. Decree n°2018-417 established the exhaustive list of economic activities subject to authorisation as well as the procedure for granting the authorisation.
          • Submission by the investor of the application for authorisation with all required documents.
            • The administrative authority must check, upon receipt of the application for authorisation, that it is accompanied by all legally required documents.
              • If the application is incomplete
                • The administrative authority must, within ten (10) working days, invite the applicant by any written means to complete his file. The processing time of the application will be suspended until the completion of the missing documents against a receipt.
              • If the application is complete
                • The administrative authority may not impose conditions or procedures, extend deadlines or require documents not provided for in Decree n° 2018-417 or the specific laws and regulations.
                  • Response of the administrative authority within the legal time limits specific to each authorisation, either by granting the authorisation or by a reasoned refusal.
                  • If the applicant is confronted with the silence of the administrative authority after the expiry of the deadlines for response for an activity not excluded from the scope of the principle of silence
                    • The applicant may submit directly to the TIA an application for the grant of the authorisation
                        The TIA shall request clarification from the administrative authority within five (5) working days from the date of receipt of the application in order to establish the administration's silence or non-silence
                        • Within ten (10) working days
                          • The administrative authority must provide the TIA with the evidence of non-silence, the entire application file and all documents relating to the technical opinions before the expiry of the aforementioned deadline.
                            • Within twenty (20) working days
                              • If the TIA finds that the administrative authority kept silent, it grants the authorisation itself, on the basis of the data communicated by the administrative authority and the applicant, after verifying that all the substantive and formal conditions legally required are met.
                                • Within five (5) working days
                                  • The TIA informs the applicant and the administrative authority of its decision.
      • Economic activity subject to specifications
        • Post-control: get and sign the specifications and hand over two copies to the relevant administrative structure and proceed with the project in accordance with the conditions set out in the specifications.
      • Free economic activity

        • Declaration of the project to the relevant administrative structures (Tunisian Investment Authority, Industry and Innovation Promotion Agency, Agricultural Investment Promotion Agency, Tunisian National Tourist Office, etc.) and then carrying out the activity directly.