Afreeperimeter is similar to a free port, but usually is confined to a remote or un- developed region of a country. Free perimeters function primarily to serve local consumption. Tariffs are likely to be reduced, not exempted, and free perimeters often handle only specific imports, such as foodstuffs or pharmaceuticals. Special customns privileges are available in certain industrialized nations that do not operate bona fide free trade zones. Customs duty exemption and minimal customs formalities are characteristic of these privileges. The special customs-privileged facility is usually de- signed to permit temporary entry of foreign goods for re-export or prior to dispatch of goods into a local market. However, processing, assembly or manufacturing operations may be pos- sible. Arica in northern Chile is a good example. A few industrial countries permit private companies to operate their own customs- free zones under specific government laws. For instance, in Belgium and the Netherlands, it is a relatively simple matter for a company to fence off a piece of property adjacent to its manu- "5 See U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Order No. 4 (Amended), An Order Relative to the Handling of Gold in Foreign-Trade Zones (Feb. 6, 1939), available it http:Hia.ita.doc.govfLzpage/frigeneral/o4.html. 33 Tiefenbrun: U.S. Foreign Trade Zones of the United States, Free-Trade Zones o Published by Scholarly Commons at Hofstra Law, 2014
THE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS & LAW facturing. processing or trading operation and to have it declared a free zone. Customs agents generally inspect the enclosed area once a month or once a quarter and check inventories for entry or exit of goods. Although the Netherlands does not have any free trade zones per se as officially des- ignated by the government, it does permit customs-bonded warehouses adjacent to or near existing plant operations. Schiphol, Amsterdam's international airport, has 15,130 square meters of forner warehouse space converted into bonded facilities at the east end of the air- port. However, these are strictly transshipment facilities for imports and exports, and they are nothing more than Customs-bonded warehouses. V. FREE TRADE ZONES AND THE EUROPEAN UNION After many years of controversy concerning the establishment and use of free trade zones in the European Union, the EC Council finally in July, 1988 issued Council Regulation (EEC) 2503/88 on Customs warehouses. EC Council Regulation (EEC) 2504/88 on free zones and free warehouses was also issued in 1988. At that time, the approval of these regulations legitimized such old existing free trade zones as those in former West Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and to the post-EEC Treaty of Rome zones more recently established in France and the United Kingdom. A Committee on Customs Warehouses and Free Zones was established to oversee the harmonization of free trade zone and free warehouse regulations throughout the European Union.
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