UK freeports fall as exporters face tariffs in 23 countries

Companies Freeports The government has admitted that it will not be able to enjoy the full benefits of the new tax-efficient zones if it exports to several countries, including Canada, Norway, Switzerland and Singapore.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson And Chancellor Ishii Sunak has announced that the eight new English freeports announced in the budget will be a “transformer” for Braxit.

However, officials said on Sunday that the recent Brexit trade agreement with 23 different countries contained clauses that barred manufacturers in the freeport-type region from benefiting from the agreement.

Shadow Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry said the clauses could have been easily removed during trade negotiations. “It simply came to our notice then.

“As a result, I fear that manufacturers in our country’s cities, towns and regions who have managed to bid for Freeport’s status will not lose access to key markets.”

Typically, freeports are set up to allow acceptance of components and components from abroad without paying any duty – including duty, VAT or excise duty – through a process known as “tariff failure”.

However, those who enjoy the business benefits of freeports will have to pay duty when exporting their manufactured products to any of the 23 countries as compared to companies elsewhere in the country.

The Commerce Department said there were no “errors” but acknowledged that the so-called “duty-free sanctions” would apply to those countries.

The Department of Commerce and Industry said, “It is not uncommon to have this provision in free trade agreements. “Where these provisions apply, businesses may benefit from imperfections of tariffs or preferential rates under a free trade agreement – but they adhere to the basic testing rules under this agreement – depending on what best suits them.”

Sam Lowe, a senior research fellow at the Center for European Reform, said the clauses were anti-political “narrative”. Eight new freeports have been announced in the spring budget Will be economically transformed.

“I’ve always thought they were basically meaningless anyway,” he said. “It’s absolutely the case that if you produce certain products in freeports, you won’t be able to take advantage of many free trade agreements.”

According to a Labor Party study, the UK’s exports to 23 countries in 2012 amounted to 35.56 billion, accounting for about 10 percent of the UK’s total global exports.

Thornberry said Commerce Secretary Liz Truss should have been aware of these points when signing recent agreements with countries including Canada, Singapore and Mexico.

“It would take an hour of discussion and a stroke of the pen for negotiators in these countries to explain the UK’s freeport policy and remove the clause of prohibition from these agreements, and I don’t understand why Liz Truss failed to do so,” he said. .

“I have asked Liz Truss to clarify the situation, and if it needs to be resolved, I urge her to return to the negotiating table with these 23 countries immediately and to remove these clauses before the UK Freeports come into force.” This year. “

The new freeports on the budget are TCID, London Gateway, Liverpool City Area, Humber, Felixto, Southampton, Plymouth and East Midlands Airports.

The issue does not apply to the UK’s trade agreement with the EU, which is by far its largest market for exports.

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