LE FREEPORT is a safe deposit box for the ultra rich
Two misconceptions in less than 10 words:
False, the term “safe deposit box” is negatively connoted, evoking secret, absence of all control. Contrary to the goods that are stored, for example, in banks’ safe deposit boxes, all goods stored at LE FREEPORT are inventoried by companies operating at LE FREEPORT. These inventories are available to government agencies.
False, the daily cost for storing a small to medium sized painting is cheaper than the price of a cup of coffee in a coffee shop.
Storing goods at LE FREEPORT equals tax avoidance
False, storing goods at LE FREEPORT does not constitute any illegal act, notably not tax avoidance. Indeed, the existence and the functioning of LE FREEPORT are regulated by the law of the Country on which territory it is located, to wit Singapore and Luxembourg, Countries that were in 2015 respectively ranked 7 and 9 of the least corrupted Countries in the world according to Transparency International. Customs and Tax authorities notably control the exploitation of LE FREEPORT. Storing goods at LE FREEPORT results therefore of the concern to best preserve goods from theft, depredations, and climatic aggressions.
There is no control at LE FREEPORT
False, all tenants at LE FREEPORT are specialized logistics companies that were authorized by government agencies to operate at LE FREEPORT. These specialized operators must keep detailed inventories subject to Customs inspections. All movements of goods are therefore known by Customs. No other type of storage are subject to such an exhaustive control.
Use LE FREEPORT is a means not to pay taxes
False, just like in thousands of bonded warehouses under customs supervision, there is naturally no general exoneration of taxes, but rather a mere SUSPENSION of the local consumption tax (VAT) and of the (possible) Customs duties, for as long as the goods are stored at LE FREEPORT. Any lawyers know that taxation of the owners of the goods stored at LE FREEPORT is naturally regulated by the law of the Country where these owners reside, and not by the law of the Country where LE FREEPORT is located.
No one knows what is stored at LE FREEPORT
False, the Customs and each operator know exactly what goods are stored in storage rooms. The minimal content of the inventories is imposed by Customs and Tax authorities that have access to these inventories.
The secret of LE FREEPORT allows to store stolen goods
False, as already observed above, there is no secret at LE FREEPORT. All movement of goods is documented (complete description, value, artist, shipper, origin and destination, tax status) and recorded in an inventory. LE FREEPORT is a model of transparency. No other storage model enjoys such a level of transparency.
LE FREEPORT is a lawless zone
False, LE FREEPORT is part of the territory where it sits, and is therefore regulated by the laws of this Country, including all anti-money laundering rules.
LE FREEPORT is used to launder money
False, clients that wish to store goods at LE FREEPORT are submitted to a thorough check by operators similar to the same procedure of “know your customer” that are used by banks and other professional subject to anti money laundering laws.