New Foreign Trade Zone process makes it easier for firms to use Port of Ogdensburg under zone rules
Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 8:05 am

OGDENSBURG -- A new expedited process for firms doing business in the Foreign Trade Zone at the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority will cut the time it takes to process FTZ status requests.

An Alternative Site Framework improves the time it takes to grant approvals for FTZ status from about 12 months to about 30 days, according to the OBPA's Director of Commercial and Industrial Development John Rishe.

“The new zone tool can be utilized by existing companies in St. Lawrence County and will be used to attract new companies to the region,” Rishe said.

The process was approved for Ogdensburg and signed Tuesday.

In addition, Zone services are now available to all firms within a 60-mile, 90-minute radius of the Port of Ogdensburg, now encompassing nearly all of St. Lawrence County. The Authority is in the process of identifying firms who will benefit from the use of the new Zone tool and will schedule informational sessions to promote these benefits.

Foreign Trade Zones can defer customs tariffs for companies exporting to the U.S. or exempt duty payments, for instance for companies that export components to the U.S. for assembly here and which are then exported to other countries.

“Use of this new zone tool will ultimately create more new jobs in the region” said authority Executive Director Wade A. Davis. “It has taken over two years to receive the appropriate governmental approvals for the new zone tool and we look forward to using it for the benefit of North Country firms.”

During 2008-9, the zone was used to create jobs at the Port of Ogdensburg and eliminate duty on imported wind turbine components saving nearly $1 million.

“Increasing the ability to use the Foreign Trade Zone offers potential cost savings and process enhancements helps in making St. Lawrence County a more competitive location,” said St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kelly. “We look forward to working with the authority to find ways to utilize the FTZ in our business retention, expansion and attraction activities.”

New Foreign Trade Zone process makes it easier for firms to use Port of Ogdensburg under zone rules