- sometimes called free zones - are government-designated areas where goods can be imported, manufactured and exported without being subject to a country's usual tariffs and export/import procedures.
City Conservative opposition leader Coun Robert Oliver called for Sunderland to be designated a 'free port
' under a proposed government policy to stimulate local economies by scrapping or slashing taxes in certain areas.
The harbour was named as a potential option for free port
status during Boris Johnson's prime ministerial leadership campaign, along with Aberdeen.
The free port
plan has already been welcomed with Aberdeen South MP ross Thomson claiming the city's harbour is "perfectly placed" to become one of the free ports
And Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham wanted free ports
The government will often offer incentives to help free ports
develop, for example offering tax breaks to firms that relocate there.
But critics say free ports
would benefit "money-launderers and taxdodgers".
Once the UK leaves the EU, seaports and airports across the UK will be invited to bid to become one of up to 10 free ports
with the aspiration of increasing trade with new markets across the world.
The modelling put forward by Mace (carried out by a former HM Treasury economist) outlined how the introduction of 'supercharged' free ports
- areas which operate independent of national taxes and tariffs, paired with local enterprise zones - would create tens of thousands of new jobs and help to re-balance the UK's economy.
The review will highlight immediate steps that can be taken to begin the introduction of free ports
as soon as possible after the UK leaves the EU on October 31.
Their local councils are required to pass ordinances making their territory or part of it extended free ports
Walker's views are included in a new report by construction group Mace called 'Supercharged Free Ports
: The ultimate boost for the UK's economy,' which argues as many as 150,000 jobs could be created in the North, including 6,000 new jobs in Greater Manchester.