Getting prepared to use Freeport customs sites
In the Spring Budget earlier this year, the chancellor announced that eight Freeport locations would be created in England. The Freeports will be in the East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, the Humber region, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, the Solent, the Thames, and Teesside.
Freeports are a special kind of port where normal tax and customs rules do not apply rather there are simplified customs procedures and duty suspensions on goods. This will allow firms to import components and other pre-manufactured goods into a Freeport without paying taxes. The goods would then be processed into a finished product to be built in the UK.
In these new Freeport areas, no duties will be charged on goods or materials until they leave the zone as a finished product for the UK domestic market. There should be no UK tariffs payable when the finished product is re-exported directly from the Freeport.
HMRC has published new guidance to help businesses get ready to use a Freeport site. You cannot currently use the Freeport customs special procedure to import or export excise goods. HMRC’s guidance will be updated with details when this becomes possible.