Malcolm Dowden, Legal Director, offers his insights on Freeports and the economic recovery plan.
"The survey response highlights the reality, that not enough businesses currently tap into valuable incentives and that Freeports are just one part of our economic recovery plan. As businesses navigate post-Brexit rules, it’s essential that they explore the full customs, tariffs and contractual impact on their operations and supply chains. The current deferrals and transitional arrangements are welcome and give businesses some cash flow relief and breathing space, but many are not preparing for what’s soon to come.
"Taking steps now to define what the most appropriate customs and trade structure looks like will help businesses to succeed, and we’d like to see this discussed more widely in the context of regional regeneration and economic recovery. We are keen to help businesses identify the most appropriate contractual arrangements and allocation of responsibility for declarations, duties and claiming reliefs when importing and exporting goods under the new regime. It is no surprise that greater understanding of these issues tends to sit with some of the largest businesses across the survey, but we think there is a real opportunity to extend those insights to Small and Medium Enterprises to boost UK competitiveness on a global stage."