Deal agreed for 2 green freeports in Scotland
Following disagreement on freeports in Scotland last year, the U.K. and Scottish governments have now agreed that 2 will be established. The £52 million deal will be using a compromised structure of the freeport model in England and the greenport model that was proposed by the Scottish Government last year. The “green freeport” will promote employee welfare and fair taxation, alongside the developmental opportunities that other freeports have experienced.
Boris Johnson said this on the deal:
“Freeports will help to accelerate our plan to level up communities across the whole of the United Kingdom. They have the power to be truly transformational by creating jobs and investment opportunities to enable people to reach their potential. I am delighted that people across Scotland will reap the benefits that will come from having two new green freeports.”
Where will the green freeports in Scotland be?
The exact locations of the green freeports in Scotland have not yet been determined, as bids are being accepted from Spring until Summer this year. The bids will then be assessed by both the U.K. and Scottish governments to determine which sites will offer the greatest benefit to the country.
However, the Scottish Government released a list of potential sites when they were considering their own greenport initiative. This list included:
– Firth of Forth
– Aberdeen and Peterhead
– Rosyth and Montose
Whether or not there will be bids from all of these sites, or more that are not on the list, remains unknown.
What are the additional requirements compared to freeports?
Green freeports in Scotland will not only offer tax benefits to manufacturers and traders within the area, but they will promote fairer working practices and incentive towards net-zero emissions. This is not in line with the current freeport model that is used in England, and was the cause for disagreement between the Scottish and U.K. governments last year.
With the green freeport model, companies benefiting from the Free Economic Zone (FEZ) are required to have better environmental and employee welfare practices:
– Payment of the real living wage to employees.
– Contribution towards net-zero by 2045.
Companies that do not promote “Fair Work First” or actively work towards net-zero emissions will not benefit from the FEZ.
When will the green freeports in Scotland be operational?
Bids for the sites are being accepted by the U.K. and Scottish governments until Summer, after which both parties will decide on the best location for the green freeports.
Once the sites have been selected, the administration work will begin to outline the FEZ borders and open applications for companies within the area. Operations are currently expected to begin in Spring 2023.
Do you need more information on freeports?
Freeports across the U.K., and the green freeports in Scotland, could provide you with big opportunities due to their development. If you want more information on how you can benefit from being within a FEZ, or how customs clearance will change, please contact one of our team for assistance.