What are Freeports and where are they located?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in the March 2021 budget that eight new Freeports will come into operation in the hope that they will boost the economy and help to regenerate deprived areas.

These will be located at:

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

A Freeport is usually located at a port (whether sea, air, or rail) and is a secure customs zone, which means that goods that arrive into Freeports from abroad aren’t subject to the tax charges (tariffs), that are normally paid to the government. These taxes are only paid if the goods leave the Freeport and are moved elsewhere in the UK. Otherwise, they can be exported overseas without the charges being paid.

How can my business benefit?

In addition to customs duty exemptions and deferrals, companies located in the Freeport also benefit from a broad array of special regulatory requirements, tax breaks and government support. These include reductions to the tax that companies pay on their existing property, allowances on investments and reduction on Stamp Duty when buying new buildings. Employers will also pay reduced national insurance for new staff.

Freeports legal advice – How can Walker Morris support?

We offer a range of legal support to companies looking to locate at Freeports, including advice on planning, construction, international trade, supply chain and logistics, commercial contracting and energy & infrastructure.

To find out more contact one of our lawyers below.

James Crayton, Head of Commercial at Walker Morris presented on the Insider Freeports Forum on 26 March. Watch the recording here.

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