What are Freeports and how do they help businesses?

What are Freeports and how do they help businesses?

Eight new Freeports will create hubs for trade and help “regenerate” communities across Britain, the Queen’s Speech 2021 has confirmed.

But what are Freeports? And how could they help your business?

In this blog, we’ve covered everything you need to know about Freeports.

What are Freeports?

Freeports are trading hubs usually built around shipping ports or airports. Goods brought into freeports will not attract tariffs until they leave the freeport and enter the domestic market, while no duty is payable if they are re-exported. Manufacturers located inside free trade zones may also be exempt from filling out certain customs declarations or levies.

Freeports may also benefit from a range of other reliefs, including business rates relief, capital allowances, research & development tax credits, VAT and excise duty relief, Stamp Duty Land Tax relief, and Employer National Insurance Contributions relief.

Where will the eight new Freeports be located?

As confirmed in the Chancellor’s March Budget, the new Freeports will be located in the following regions:

  • East Midlands Airport
  • Felixstowe and Harwich
  • Humber region
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Plymouth
  • Solent
  • Thames
  • Teesside

What are the benefits of a Freeport?

As they benefit from a range of tax incentives, Freeports may attract new and established businesses and create new jobs and regenerate deprived areas.

Are Freeports banned under EU legislation?

Freeports can be established under European legislation, but the UK has not used the scheme since 2012, when the last British Freeport was closed.

Get expert advice today

For help and advice on related matters, please get in touch with our expert Brexit advisory and international trade team today.

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