The Emergence of New Corporations: Free Zones and the Swiss Value Storage Houses

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This chapter centres on ‘Luxury Freeports’, which are specialized storage sites where art and other high-end goods can be kept indefinitely without tax and duty-payments being made. The chapter makes the case that Luxury Freeports are best understood as new entrants in the ‘offshore world’, and shows how these sites have, over the course of the last ten years, taken up a new niche role in the evolving global ecosystem of tax avoidance. Further, it examines the rapid spread of this new form of offshore and traces it back to the combination of spillover effects within the offshore world itself. More specifically, Luxury Freeports stem from the juncture of a competitive ‘push’ from the rapid spread of Open Customs Warehouses at the turn of the century and the investment ‘pull’ of large pools of money needing new investment outlets in the wake of the recent multilateral effort to clamp down on banking secrecy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCombating Fiscal Fraud and Empowering Regulators : Bringing Tax Money back into the COFFERS
EditorsBrigitte Unger, Lucia Rossel, Joras Ferwerda
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9780198854722
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Freeports
  • Art
  • Banking secrecy
  • Wealth management
  • Offshore

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