Declaration Of Labuan As A Free Port
On this day in 1956, Labuan was declared as a free port. It attained the free port status after its separation from the administration of the Straits Settlements in 1946 and was made a British colony. As a British colony, Labuan was governed by the same tariff restrictions imposed on other colonies. Pursuant to the Customs Ordinance (2nd Amendment) 1956, all customs export and import duties, excluding those imposed on alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco as well as petroleum products, were abolished. This liberalisation turned Labuan into a free port. In November 1956, the Labuan Free Port Committee convened a meeting to announce Labuan's new status. The meeting was attended by delegates from neighbouring countries, and a resolution was made where the Committee was established as the permanent Free Port Association with its headquarters in Victoria, Labuan. As a post-war free port, Labuan was an excellent natural port and served as a transfer port (ship to ship transfer or break-bulk) for the Bay of Brunei area with a 1,025 feet long wharf. With this declaration, Labuan has now become a more prominent investment centre and free port in the South China Sea.