Home >> Events >> WEBINAR: Freeports in the UK: Securing the Benefits, Preventing Crime

WEBINAR: Freeports in the UK: Securing the Benefits, Preventing Crime

WEBINAR: Freeports in the UK: Securing the Benefits, Preventing Crime

Friday, March 27, 2020 - 16:00 to 17:15


In February 2020, the UK government launched a consultation on its plans to establish up to 10 freeports in the UK.

The consultation paper envisions freeports as ‘humming hubs of high-quality manufacturing’ and ‘titans of transhipment’, which will stimulate trade, investment and job creation. This will be achieved by exempting goods in freeports from otherwise applicable customs duties as well as, in all likelihood, providing tax and planning incentives. 

Yet the experience of other countries shows that, for all their potential economic advantages, freeports also have a darker side to them. Many regard freeports as hotbeds that enable illicit trade and money laundering to flourish in an environment where customs controls are relaxed. Some freeports around the world pose serious reputational risks to their hosts. 

So, how can the UK reap the benefits of new freeports while mitigating criminal risks? 


  • Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive at British Ports Association
  • Clay Fuller, Principal at Fuller Solutions LLC and adjunct professor of political science at Western Carolina University
  • Irene Mia, Global Editorial Director at the Economist Intelligence Unit

The discussion will be chaired by Alexandria Reid, Research Analyst and SHOC Project Officer, RUSI.

This webinar will be on the record.

Register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Fnmg3thnR6-aKAh2ZkuMkg

RUSI undertakes to process your data fairly and lawfully. The data on your registration form may be shared with a third party for purposes of participant review and recordkeeping, and not for any other purposes.

RUSI is currently undertaking a two-year study on assessing the integrity of free-trade zones, seeking to understand the factors that can render them vulnerable to criminal exploitation. If you would like to discuss this project with RUSI’s research team, please contact AntonM@rusi.org.