The British Ports Association has called for a new debate on a free ports policy following a report from trade specialists Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP. Commenting on the ‘Free Trade Zones: Part of the UK’s post Brexit international trade strategy’ report, British Ports Association Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne said:
“Free ports and free trade areas at ports is an interesting concept which many UK ports are looking at. Brexit could mean that new customs and trade opportunities arise and any proposals which make the UK ports and logistics industry more competitive and improves the flow of goods at ports should be welcomed. Of course, free zone status could be more beneficial for certain ports and it is important to ensure any future proposals properly reflect the diversity of the UK ports industry, whilst balancing competition. We look forward to discussing these and other ideas with the UK Government to ensure that Brexit retains a strong focus on trade.”
A free port is an area within a state, region or country with a special status for customs purposes, specially designed to help trade and economic development.
In such areas goods and products can be imported, manufactured, processed and exported in the zone without triggering trade and customs requires such as tariffs and customs duties and some sites can be designed to incorporate competitive tax and business rules.