The Liverpool City Region Freeport

The Liverpool City Region Freeport

Earlier this month, the Government rubber stamped the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Freeport, making it the latest area to be given official freeport status.

LCR Freeport is one of eight designated areas announced by the Government in the 2021 Budget, along with East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Plymouth and South Devon, Solent, Teesside, and the Thames.

Approval of the LCR Freeport business case will mean that new tax and customs rules aimed at boosting economic growth will come into force, with the regional freeport receiving up to £25 million of seed funding from the Government to get the initiative off the ground.

Reports suggest that the green light could provide an £850 million boost to local communities and a significant boost to the country’s largest transatlantic port, which handles 45% of trade from the US. Unsurprisingly, it’s being touted as a ‘gateway to international markets’ with the potential to ‘create more well-paid, highly skilled jobs for local people’.

But two years on from Rishi Sunak’s announcement to re-award The Port of Liverpool with freeport status, after it was removed in 2012 when freeports were abolished by the then coalition Government, what do we know about the specially designated areas, and what advantages will they bring to regional businesses?

To learn more about Freeports visit our hub:

Freeports Hub


What next?

With the Liverpool City Region Freeport now 'up and running', now is the time for businesses to decide whether relocating to the special economic zone is the right move for them.

The first question to ask is: are you an advanced manufacturing, logistics, or low carbon technology provider? If the answer is yes, then there are five key factors to consider:

  • Assess whether relocating to the LCR Freeport will be beneficial to your business, such as the proximity to customers and access to trade corridors.
  • Speak to LCR Freeport directly to discuss plans to relocate. Once this has been done, you need to register your interest with HMRC.
  • Review business plans to understand the role that research and development plays in the future direction of the business.
  • Streamline operations – would it benefit from tightening operational procedures and processes through collaboration with other freeport businesses?
  • Single Authorisation is a simplified customs procedure and one that is open to those companies operating within the LCR Freeport, enabling them to import goods without paying tariffs. If you wish to secure Single Authorisation, you need to demonstrate stringent record-keeping procedures and meet specific safety and security standards.

With the green light finally given to the LCR Freeport, the time has never been better for regional businesses to properly consider what this reinstated status means for them.

If you would like to understand how freeports can benefit your business, contact Matthew Clark or Laura Stuffins.