Sheffield City Region has revealed its bid for free port status as part of Brexit plans for ten new free ports.
A free port status means that a port doesn’t follow normal tax and custom rules. The customs documentation will be simplified and they don’t have to pay tariffs. Companies within free ports pay a lower rate of VAT tax and employment tax. This will mean that business rate relief will increase.
The affect that this status will have on the area will be overall positive, with the government stating that more jobs will be created. The free port will increase private sector investment and will grow South Yorkshire’s economy. If the bid is successful Sheffield City Region will become a net exporter of goods by 2029.
The bid is focused around Doncaster Sheffield Airport and the iPort logistics hub in Doncaster. The governments plans for the UK to have ten new free ports by 2021, with Sheffield set to be one of the locations. The decision from ministers is set for Spring 2021.
Free ports will help the country to boost international trade and in the aftermath of Brexit this will encourage more economic activity. Sheffield City Region hope to increase the regions connectivity internationally. The creation of free ports will will attract businesses that may have been put off by by previous EU tariffs.
This free port would be an inland free port, but this doesn’t mean that it is disadvantaged compared to a sea port. Inland ports are easier to expand. They are also closer to other ports such as rail ports, keeping them better connected.