Freight association remains lukewarm on freeports concept

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Robert Keen, the voice of British freight
Robert Keen, the voice of British freight


Commenting on today’s publication of the International Trade Committee’s report on UK freeports, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) says that the findings will do little to change the indifference to the freeports concept felt by the majority of its members.

“From a purely Customs viewpoint, the benefits of freeports are marginal and provide very few new advantages compared to the existing Customs Special Procedures, which since 1 January 2021 have no longer needed a guarantee to operate,” said Robert Keen, director general of BIFA.

“The report also acknowledges the security risks that accompany freeports and any BIFA member that is considering setting up in one of the eight freeports that has been announced to date, should bear in mind that long term storage is prohibited, and there is also a lack of clarity regarding customs regimes.

“Clearly if the freeports scheme succeeds in increasing international trade and investment , it will be of benefit to BIFA members that handle a large percentage of the UK’s visible international trade, but that remains to be seen.”