Parts of Queen Anne’s County are now included in a Foreign Trade Zone according to an announcement made October 11, by the United States Department of Justice.
A foreign-trade zone is a federally designated area located within the United States, yet considered “outside” of U. S. Custom’s territory for the purposes of assessing and collecting import duties and taxes. The Baltimore Development Corporation serves as administrator of the FTZ on behalf of Baltimore City and surrounding counties, said Larry Collins, FTZ Administrator of the Baltimore Development Corporation. Parts of Queen Anne’s County are have been added to Baltimore Foreign Trade Zone #74.
“To be included the companies must be located within 90 road miles, or 60 miles as-the-crow-flies, from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry in Baltimore,” explained Collins.
With FTZs there are generally no time restraints on merchandise remaining in a zone, whether or not subject to duty. Domestic and foreign goods may be admitted to a zone without being subject to Customs duties or certain excise taxes. Goods may be exported from a zone generally, free of duty and tax, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protections website. Merchandise admitted into a zone may be stored, exhibited, repacked, assembled, distributed, sorted, graded, cleaned, processed, tested, labeled, repaired, and mixed with foreign or domestic merchandise otherwise manipulated, destroyed, or manufactured.
“The Foreign Trade Zone program assists companies doing business globally by deferring certain taxes until their products are ready for the U.S. markets, therefore improving their cash-flow,” said William H. Cole, president and CEO of the BDC, in a statement. “FTZ #74 helps increase activity at the already vibrant Port of Baltimore, which is an important economic engine for the Baltimore region as well as the State of Maryland. Howard and Queen Anne’s counties are a welcome addition to Baltimore’s Foreign Trade Zone.”
FTZs are part of a duty deferral program. Generally, payment of duties and excise taxes on foreign merchandise admitted to a zone will be deferred until the goods are transferred from the zone to the Customs territory for consumption. Merchandise may be manufactured or changed in condition while in the zone, substantially lowering the duties eventually paid.
Jean E. Fabi, Economic Development Manager, Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic and Tourism Development said, “The Foreign Trade Zone program is a value added incentive for Queen Anne’s County companies that are importing goods. The ability to reduce customs duties and fees will certainly help their bottom line. I look forward to working with the Baltimore Development Corporation to get businesses certified.” For more information about this and other business incentives contact the Department of Economic and Tourism Development at 410-604-2100.