Britain’s free port is hit, exporters face tariffs imposed on 23 countries

The government admits that if companies in Freeport export to certain countries, including Canada, Norway, Switzerland and Singapore, they will not be able to enjoy all the benefits of tax-saving zones.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced, Eight new English free ports It was announced in the budget that this would be a “transformative” benefit from Brexit.

But officials revealed on Sunday that the latest trade agreements between the UK and 23 different countries after Brexit include clauses that explicitly prohibit manufacturers in free port-type areas from benefiting from the deal.

Shadow Trade Minister Emily Thornberry (Emily Thornberry) said that these terms could easily be deleted during trade discussions. She said: “On the surface, it looks like a catastrophic mistake by a minister trapped in her silo.”

“As a result, I am worried that manufacturers in our cities, cities and regions across the country that successfully bid for free port status may lose access to key markets.”

Generally, a free port is established so that companies can receive components and ingredients from abroad through a procedure called “tariff rebate” without paying any customs duties (including duties, value-added tax or consumption tax).

But companies in the freeport that enjoy these advantages will Obligation to pay customs duties When exporting finished products to any of the 23 countries in question, it is different from companies in other parts of the country.

The trade department said there was no “error”, but admitted that the so-called “tax exemption ban” would apply to these countries.

The Ministry of International Trade stated: “It is not uncommon for free trade agreements to have these provisions.” “Under these conditions, companies can choose the most suitable option for tax exemption or enjoy preferential tax rates under free trade agreements (provided that Comply with the origin testing standards under the agreement).”

Sam Lowe, a senior researcher at the European Reform Center, said these provisions have been passed Anti-political “narrative” The new free port will bring about economic changes.

He said: “I always thought they were basically meaningless.” “The absolute situation is that if you produce certain products in a free port, you will not be able to take advantage of many free trade agreements.”

The Labor Party’s research shows that the total value of UK merchandise exports to 23 countries in 2019 was 35.56 billion pounds, accounting for almost 10% of the UK’s total global merchandise exports that year.

Thornberry said that when the Minister of Trade Liz Truss (Liz Truss) and including Canada, Singapore and Mexico.

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She said: “It takes an hour of discussion and a pen to explain Britain’s free port policy to negotiators from these countries and remove the prohibition clause from these agreements. I don’t understand why Liz Truss did not do this. One point,”.

“I have written to Liz Truss, asking her to clarify the situation. If it needs to be resolved, I urge her to return to the negotiating table with these 23 countries immediately and delete these clauses after the opening of the British Freeport .this year.”

The free ports outlined in the spring budget are located at Teesside, London Gateway, Downtown Liverpool, Humber, Felixstowe, Southampton, Plymouth and East Midlands airports.

problem not applicable The trade agreement between the UK and the EU is by far the EU’s largest export market.

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