The government has published ‘Freeports, Response to the Consultation’, as it continues to develop one of its flagship policies on the creation of new freeports in England. 

A freeport is a zone within a country that is identified as being outside its home country for customs purposes. Goods or components can come in and out tariff-free, only incurring duties at the point of export.

The UK Freeports' plan includes a single contiguous defined site within which Freeport tax reliefs will apply.

Within a freeport:

  • There will be simplified customs and tariff procedures and benefits.
  • Import VAT will be suspended and Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) will work in tandem.
  • Buying and selling of goods will be duty-free if both the buyer and seller have the same customs authorisation. 

Further tax reliefs are being considered:

The report accepted that other tax reliefs and allowances are currently being developed. Further details, such as the timing, scope and rates of relief of these measures, will be set out later in a 'Bidding Prospectus'. 

Freeports and Freeport businesses will also be able to bid into UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) national ‘Place-based’ R&D funds.

The orginal freeports consultation was published on 10 February and was due to close on 20 April but was extended until 13 July 2020 in response to COVID-19.

Links

Structures and Buildings Allowance
An at a glance guide to the Structures and Buildings Allowance.

SDLT: Stamp Duty Land Tax
What are the SDLT rates? What is exempt from SDLT? What reliefs are available?

Enterprise Zones: Plant and machinery allowances
Enterprise Zones (EZ) are designed to attract new business to its area by offering a package of measures from capital allowances and business rate relief to planning relaxations.

External links

Freeports, results of consultation

UK Research and Innovation

 

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