The International Trade Council has noted the UK government's plans to establish up to 10 free ports across the country following Brexit. Free ports allow firms to import goods and re-export them outside standard tax and customs regulations, fostering trade and economic growth. The last UK free ports were in operation in 2012, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes their revival could create jobs in economically disadvantaged areas.
Seaports and airports will be able to apply for free port status, with the implementation of these zones scheduled for after the UK's departure from the EU on October 31. While free ports are allowed under EU law, proponents argue that their benefits would be more significant if the UK diverges from EU rules after Brexit.
The International Trade Council believes that the establishment of free ports can foster trade, promote economic development, and create job opportunities. However, it is crucial to maintain transparency and adhere to ethical practices to prevent any unintended consequences such as money laundering or tax evasion.
The Council supports open dialogue and cooperation between the UK and other nations to ensure a smooth transition and the continued growth of global trade in a post-Brexit environment.