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Europe

Assuming EU will not budge, Britain ramps up preparations for no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson, who took over as British prime minister with a promise to deliver Brexit by the end of October “no ifs or buts”, plans to seek a new exit deal with the EU. The EU has said repeatedly that the deal cannot be reopened.

Leading Brexit supporter Michael Gove, who Johnson has put in charge of ‘no deal’ preparations, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper that the government would undertake “intensive efforts” to secure a better deal from the EU.

“We still hope they will change their minds, but we must operate on the assumption that they will not … No deal is now a very real prospect and we must make sure that we are ready,” Gove wrote.

[Euractiv]

From ‘Blade Runner’ to Brexit in England’s industrial north

Boris Johnson has a plan to turn the U.K.’s old industrial port towns into freewheeling outposts of “global Britain.”

The plan means setting up so-called free economic zones offering lower import taxes and looser regulation to lure investment in up to 10 ports. It chimes with the swashbuckling Brexiteer vision of an outward-facing British economy restored to its glory days, and also spins a positive view of the country’s future outside the EU.

A U.S. Congress report estimated there were more than 3,000 free economic zones worldwide in 2013. Britain closed its last free port in 2012, although there’s one on the Isle of Man, a U.K. crown dependency outside the EU. There are more than 80 across the EU offering various kinds of relief from taxes and tariffs to spur growth.

[Politico]

 

Middle East

Saudi Customs clears the first sea container via airport

Saudi Customs has announced the completion of the first clearance procedure of its kind in an unprecedented timely manner, where a shipment arriving from Moldova via LogiPoint’s bonded zone at Jeddah Islamic Port was cleared, transported by land transit, then re-exported by air cargo to its final destination through the Eastern province bonded zone at King Fahd International Airport.

This accomplishment highlights the important role of the Saudi Logistics hub and the positive benefits its infrastructure provides.

The bonded zones and bonded warehouses rules and regulations provide numerous benefits for foreign companies to invest in the Kingdom, most prominently, the ability to utilize bonded zone services without the need for a trade license in the Kingdom. The new regulations will allow the transport of goods between customs bonded zones in GCC countries without requiring any customs fees at the starting point.

[Saudi Gazette]

Abu Dhabi waives 1% fee for refunding re-export security deposits

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council has issued a resolution to waive the 1 per cent fee collection when refunding the security deposit paid for the value of temporarily imported goods, reducing operating costs for companies in and trading with the UAE.

The fee was previously levied when refunding security deposits paid for re-exporting goods that have been imported to the UAE on a temporary basis, such as imports for exhibitions and projects, or goods brought in for manufacturing or repair.

Waiving the fee will promote re-exporting in Abu Dhabi and will further contribute to the emirate’s economic development and diversification.

[Khaleej Times]

Saudi Ports Authority in new international shipping deal

Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, President of the Saudi Ports Authority, (Mawani) commented that “We have issued a license to Maersk (Saudi Arabia) to operate in all 9 Saudi ports. This reflects our mutual confidence as container volume increases and KSA expands as regional logistics hub.”

This new Maersk shipping license is the fourth of its kind to be issued to foreign investors in the Kingdom. Maersk joins other major lines of Barwil, Hapag-Lloyd and the Mediterranean Shipping Company, already operating.

Maersk (Saudi Arabia) is the local division of one of the world’s largest and best-known logistics & shipping companies.

Saudi Arabian ports supervised by Mawani witnessed remarkable growth in tonnage handled during the first half of 2019, up by 133 million tonnes, an increase of 4.32 percent on the previous year, with the number of containers handled up by 3.4 million, an increase of 9.22 percent compared to the same period last year.

[Zawya]