Foreign-Trade Zone Expansion to Help Area Businesses Save Money

 Businesses in a much wider area soon will be able to explore the benefits of operating in a foreign-trade zone. For now, there are only four such sites in Allen and Huntington counties, but soon eight northeast Indiana counties will be under the new Alternative Site Framework program. The ASF program will expand the FTZ-182 boundary to Allen, Adams, Wells, Huntington, Whitley, Wabash, Noble and DeKalb counties.

Businesses approved for the new program will streamline the application process, reduce cost of entry for participants and provide additional efficiencies.

A foreign trade zone is designated by the U.S. Customs Department and allows foreign and domestic merchandise to be admitted to the U.S. for operations such as storage, exhibition, assembly, manufacture and processing, without being subject to formal customs entry procedures, the payment of customs duties or the payment of federal excise taxes until the finished goods are distributed.

The city of Fort Wayne is grantee for FTZ-182, and the program is managed by Ola DeGabriele, international trade manager for Fort Wayne. The city and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance are working closely with the Fort Wayne International Airport to implement the ASF program by developing a branding and marketing program to promote it throughout the region.

According to the alliance, companies that import products or materials for redistribution, assembly or for manufacturing and then export goods may benefit from the BizFTZ program.

World markets are very competitive, and participation in an FTZ may save a company 3 to 6 percent by reducing, eliminating or deferring tariffs on imported goods and materials. Merchandise activities permitted in a foreign trade zone include: assembly, manufacturing, repairing, cleaning, mixing, salvaging, destroying, processing, sampling, displaying, relabeling, repackaging, testing and manipulating.
Source: The News Sentinel