The tendering process for the free port was opened by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Seen as an opportunity to ‘supercharge post-Brexit trade’, stimulate the economy and create thousands of jobs, at least seven will be created in England – with the first next year.
Designed to attract significant domestic and international investment, free ports will benefit from a wide range of tax breaks, streamlined customs procedures, streamlined planning processes to stimulate redevelopment, and government support to promote regeneration and innovation.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our new free ports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, leveling communities across the UK, creating new jobs and boosting our economic recovery.
“As we seize our new opportunities as an independent trading nation, we want to deliver lasting prosperity to the British people and free ports will be essential to achieve this.”
An ambitious new customs model will draw on international best practices and build on existing arrangements. A company can import goods into a free port without paying tariffs, process them into a final product, and then pay tariffs on domestic sales or export without paying UK tariffs.
The tax breaks will include the purchase of land, the construction or renovation of buildings, investment in new plant and machinery and employers’ contributions to national insurance.
Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our free ports will be international centers for trade and investment, fueling regeneration, job creation and entrepreneurship. I am delighted that ports, boards and their private sector partners can now apply for free port status – with all the special opportunities this will bring to their communities and the country. “
As planned, the government is working with the decentralized administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to establish at least one free port in every country in the UK, in addition to those allocated to England.
It was well received by the industry, the head of the UK’s largest port complex by tonnage, ABP Humber’s Simon Bird, only explained on Friday how a “compelling bid” was presented for the estuary.
Richard Ballantyne, Managing Director of the British Ports Association, said: “The launch of the tendering process for free ports in England today represents a major step forward in creating fair and inclusive free ports in England. UK. We are pleased that the government recognizes and supports ports as engines of economic development and prosperity. Ports, and the maritime industry at large, are eager to play their part in the solution to national economic recovery and the regeneration of coastal communities.
Tim Morris, Managing Director of the UK Major Ports Group, said: “We welcome the launch of the Freeports Bidding Prospectus. Port operators across the UK are developing ambitious proposals to address the free port opportunity. The UK Major Ports Group and the port operators themselves look forward to working closely with the government to build ever stronger bridges for UK global trade, boost prosperity for coastal and inland communities and maintain standards. high.
The deadline for submitting applications has been set for Friday, February 5, with submissions to be assessed by a committee chaired by the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government in March, with decisions announced in the spring.
The prospectus is now available online.