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Information and guidance on Freeports operating within England.

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Information and guidance on Freeports operating within England.

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1. What are Freeports?

Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply. By delivering investment on specific sites benefitting from tax and customs incentives, Freeports will create thousands of high-quality jobs in some of our most disadvantaged communities. These sites have been carefully selected for their suitability for development by local authorities and key private partners and sit within an outer boundary, which represents the geographical location within which the benefits of Freeports are targeted and does not in itself confer any special tax, customs or other status.

Countries around the world have adopted Freeports or other kinds of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), but the government has worked in partnership with ports, businesses, local authorities, and wider stakeholders through a public consultation to develop a highly ambitious, world leading Freeports model for England.

Our Freeports model will include a comprehensive package of measures, comprising tax reliefs, customs, business rates retention, planning, regeneration, innovation and trade and investment support.

Eligible businesses in Freeports will enjoy a range of tax incentives, such as enhanced capital allowances, relief from stamp duty and employer national insurance contributions for additional employees. These tax reliefs are designed to encourage the maximum number of businesses to open, expand and invest in our Freeports which in turn will boost employment.

Freeports will benefit from a range of customs measures, allowing imports to enter the Freeport custom sites with simplified customs documentation and delay paying tariffs. This means that businesses operating inside designated areas in and around the port may manufacture goods using these imports, before exporting them again without paying the tariffs and benefit from simplified customs procedures.

Freeports will provide a supportive planning environment for the development of tax and customs sites through an extension of permitted development rights and incentivising use of local development orders.

The government will also support Freeports with innovation, with all businesses within Freeports able to access direct engagement with relevant regulators including the Freeport Regulation Engagement Network.

Here is a breakdown of the range of policy levers available to Freeports: gov.uk

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