UK Freeports

20th June 2022

UK Freeports


Plymouth — South Yard/ Sherford (see: Plymouth & South Devon Tax Freeport map)

Teesside — Teesport/Hartlepool/Teeside Airport

Humber — Immingham/Hull/Grimsby/Goole

East — Harwich International Port & Felixstowe

East Midlands — East Midlands Airport

London — London Gateway, Tilbury Port

Liverpool — Liverpool Waters/Wirral Waters

Solent — Southampton Port & Airport/ Portsmouth Port

A Freeport must be contained within a 45km diameter outer perimeter, unless a special case can be demonstrated. Within that perimeter there can sit Customs sites and Tax sites.  No more than 600 hectares within the outer perimeter can be designated as a zone where tax incentives will apply.

Zones are still being approved and updates are available on .Gov website:


Incentives for investors

Land purchased for ‘qualifying use’ in these zones will be purchased free of SDLT until 30 September 2026.


Employers NIC relief for employees based in Freeports until April 2026 (at least 60% working time in Freeport zone). Employers NIC at 0% for 3 years, per employee, up to £25,000 annual earnings.


100% First Year Allowances available on plant and machinery for use primarily within a Freeport tax site (FYA – so usual criteria: Not second hand, not held for leasing, not cars)


10% Structures and Buildings Allowances are available for expenditure incurred on constructing or renovating buildings within a Freeport tax site.


Planning processes are streamlined for brownfield development.


Business rates relief for five years for all new businesses in Freeport zones.


Incentives for users

Relief from import duties and import VAT until such a time as the goods are moved out of the Freeport and into the UK.


Where raw materials are imported into Freeport zone and processed:

  • If exported, directly from Freeport zone, then no UK VAT or duties charged
  • If brought into UK market, then lower finished goods tariff rates apply


Related Contacts

Marcus Worthington

Marcus Worthington Partner

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Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis Partner

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