As you will be aware, the deadline for submitting a Freeport bid for the Tees Valley region is now three weeks away (5th February). We continue to work closely with PD Ports, the Tees Valley Mayor, TVCA, key stakeholders and NEPIC members to ensure the Tees Valley maximises this once in a generation opportunity.
During recent consultation meetings, TVCA have confirmed that the Tees Valley bid will be focus on regeneration and the future prosperity of the area, centring around its current themes of decarbonisation, green growth, offshore wind and (supply to) electric vehicles. It is not seeking to encourage displacement of business from outside of the area into any Teesside Freeport.
A specific area of the bid that we would like to draw members’ attention to relates to secondary custom sites. Where bidders can make an economic case, the government will allow multiple additional customs sites (“secondary custom zones” or “customs subzones”) to enable multiple sites to benefit from the Freeports customs model.
An economic case would provide clear justification of any customs subzones’ relationship to the wider Freeport. For example, a space-constrained port may manage the flow of international goods more effectively using an additional inland subzone; multiple exporting businesses within a region may seek subzone status to benefit from the Freeport; or businesses with geographically dispersed supply chains may wish to support these sites using subzones.
Secondary custom zones may be of any reasonable size, may be within ports or inland, and may be empty spaces or existing productive sites. As with primary sites, beneficiaries will be expected to cover the cost of securing their subzone and obtain authorisation from HMRC. They will be authorised in the same way as primary customs sites.
Secondary Custom Sites confer the same benefits and are subject to the same conditions as the primary customs site, as set out in the Government’s Freeport Bidding Prospectus. Businesses operating with Freeport customs sites will receive tariff benefits, including:
If you would like to be considered as a “Secondary Customs Site” then please refer to the link below and contact TVCA directly via Chris Rowell at Chris.Rowell@teesvalley-ca.gov.uk. The bid must be submitted by TVCA by 5th February 2021 and any party seeking to be specifically included must commit now as part of the initial bid, however, this can be deselected or withdraw subsequently in the process.
Further information regarding secondary customs zones can be found within the document links below, and additional detail via the following link – click here. TVCA is seeking clarity from the government if there is an opportunity for a businesses to apply to become a Secondary Customs Site post the establishment of the Freeport, but no answer has been received yet, therefore we are encouraging all Members to look at this element of the Freeport process ahead of the submission date by 5th February 2021.
We also enclose within the attachments below a Site Assessment Update that summarises the work of an independent consultancy, MACE, funded by PD Ports. Here, for the first time, different areas on Teesside are assessed for the likely economic impact of a freeport. This is important as only a limited amount of land (600Ha) can be designated ‘tax zones’ in order to qualify for business tax advantages. These advantages are likely to encourage existing companies to invest on their sites and other companies to locate to Teesside for the first time. This analysis looks at the relative economic advantage of a range of locations for tax zones to see which would generate most new investment and jobs.
For more information about these tax zones contact TVCA or Philip Aldridge at NEPIC.