Freeports – an opportunity for the UK to turbocharge growth and post-Brexit trade opportunities as we build a Coastal Powerhouse
The Government have announced that the first new Freeports will be established after the UK leaves the EU, with an advisory panel of senior figures being set up to assist with this exciting opportunity. Freeports are areas inside the geographic boundary of a country but which are legally considered outside the country for customs purposes with goods brought into the Freeport not facing import tariffs. Typically, when goods enter a country, they have to follow the import regulations of that country, which usually involves a tariff – a tax on those imports.
Commenting, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime said:
“Rather than focus on the potential negative aspects of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, business as a whole, and the maritime industry in particular, has a real opportunity to grasp. For the first time in 45 years we will be able to operate an independent trade policy, setting our own regulations and developing our own policies to meet the specific and individual needs of local economies around the country. Now isn’t the time to shy away from taking full advantage of post-Brexit opportunities to drive jobs and growth as they emerge.
“Locally, here in the Liverpool City Region, the Peel Ports Group have welcomed the announcement that Freeports are to be reintroduced to the UK. With the view from industry that Freeports have the potential to drive economic growth and help create a dynamic Coastal Powerhouse, the Mersey Maritime organisation adds its clear voice of support to this news.
“Until 2012, the Port of Liverpool was the largest Freeport in the UK and I hope local partners will be first in the line to bid to become one of the ten new Freeports. The potential to cut costs for businesses to help them become more globally competitive and the scope for less regulation, helping businesses to cut down on paperwork and bureaucracy, will offer many the greater flexibility they need on when, where and how they trade.
“Let’s grasp this opportunity as quickly as possible and further cement our region’s reputation as being open for investment and the creation of global hubs for enterprise and innovation.”