Free Zones

Treasury written question – answered on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of introducing free port schemes across the UK.

Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

The Government has been clear that it is open to ideas that deliver economic advantages for the UK.

Section 100A of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA) provides the legal basis for the designation of free zones by HM Treasury and will continue to do so following UK withdrawal from the EU. Applying for designation as a free zone will be a commercial decision to be taken by private port operators.

It is worth noting that many of the customs-related benefits of free ports are already available through existing customs facilitations, for example inward processing relief.

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