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The first of the English Freeports, Teesside, opened operations on 19 November 2021, and is expected to be followed shortly by Thames and Humber. The Teesside Freeport will be at the forefront of local low carbon sector creating thousands of jobs in green energy.
Businesses in Freeport tax sites are able to benefit from tax reliefs including:
- an enhanced 10% rate of structures and buildings allowance
- an enhanced capital allowance of 100%
- full relief from Stamp Duty Land Tax
- business rates relief on certain business premises within freeport tax sites
- employer National Insurance contributions relief, subject to Parliamentary process and approval
In addition, local councils will be able to retain 100% of business rates growth generated by the freeport tax sites for the next 25 years, providing them with financial security to invest in regeneration in their local area.
The Teesside Freeport also has a custom's site designation. This is a special kind of port where normal tax and customs rules do not apply. Rather there are simplified customs procedures including tariff suspension, exemption, and deferral available.
In total, the government has committed to the creation of eight Freeport locations across England and at least one Freeport in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.