The House of Commons Library has produced a paper that provides a brief overview of the subject, recent parliamentary material, press articles and further reading in advance of a debate on the establishment of free ports in the UK to be held in Westminster hall on 11th October.  It notes that –

  • Free ports (known as “free zones” under EU law) are generally understood to be designated areas inside a country geographically, but outside of that country’s established customs area, allowing manufacturing, warehousing and trade outside of the host country’s standard tariffs and export/import procedures;
  • There are estimated to be 3,500 free ports in the world, employing 66 million people;
  • There are no free ports in the UK, though there is one on the Isle of Man (though, like former UK free ports, whilst legally capable of being a “proper” free port, currently operates more like a gloried industrial estate); and
  • 7 free ports operated in the UK at various points between 1984 and 2012; the remaining 5 closed in 2012.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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