CHIEF Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak has announced a ten week consultation to rapidly establish ten freeports across the UK, covering sea, air, and rail ports. The ports, once designated as free, will have no domestic taxes levied on any goods within them. Taxes will only be levied when a product leaves the freeport, and enters the rest of the UK.
Many believe that this will have the effect of encouraging international business to come to the UK to process or store goods with little to no red tape, bringing jobs and investment in the mainly coastal communities. Ten are set to be designated by the end of the year. Industry leaders have already started lobbying for freeport status
Chief Executive of the Forth Ports Group Charles Hammond said “Our network of international connections, streamlined customs systems and developable land close to key markets in the Central Belt of Scotland, Greater London and the South East mean our operations are ideal locations to support existing or fresh manufacturing and processing business opportunities.”