11 February 2020
The government has revealed that it is planning to open ten new freeports designed to create jobs and spark growth (from Midlands Business Insider, 11 February 2020)
A consultation has been launched setting out the plan, aiming to reveal the location of the new zones at the end of this year so they can be open for business in 2021.
Goods brought into a freeport do not attract tariffs until they leave the zone and enter the domestic market, with no duty payable if they are re-exported. A full customs declaration would also not be required to move goods into a freeport.
It is hoped that freeports will boost trade, jobs and investment, with business clusters expected to be built that benefit the local area.
“Freeports will unleash the potential in our proud historic ports, boosting and regenerating communities across the UK as we level up,” said chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak.
“They will attract new businesses, spreading jobs, investment and opportunity to towns and cities up and down the country.”
Once the ten-week consultation is completed, the government will invite sea, air and rail ports to bid for freeport status on a competitive basis.