Friday, January 18, 2019

Howard County has received approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Trade Zones Board to be included in the service area of Foreign Trade Zone #74 as part of a recent expansion.

FTZ #74, which is administered by the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), already includes Baltimore City and the Maryland counties of Baltimore, Harford, Cecil and Anne Arundel. As part of this expansion Queen Anne’s county was also added to the area.

“Howard County is home to a vibrant advanced manufacturing and importing industry which will directly benefit from the expansion of Foreign Trade Zone #74,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “We are excited to provide our community with access to this valuable resource and to assist businesses with taking advantage of this unique offering.”

Foreign Trade Zones are designated areas where international goods can be stored and fabricated, but are still considered part of international commerce. Goods are not subject to U.S. taxes or duties until transferred to the U.S. market outside of FTZ designated areas. Companies are allowed to build, manufacture, manipulate components into finished products for U.S. sale or re-export.

“During the last several decades, Howard County has created a robust ecosystem where businesses can launch, grow, thrive and prosper,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We are proud to be included in Foreign Trade Zone #74 and look forward to expanding our global footprint while utilizing our attractive brand for the economic benefit of the entire region.”

BDC prepared FTZ #74’s expansion request to the FTZ Board and US Customs Border Protection (CBP) in conjunction with Howard and Queen Anne’s County’s economic development leadership to meet the growing requests from existing industry to have access to FTZ benefits.  Baltimore’s FTZ #74 is one of four Zones in the state of Maryland and is the most active — with eighteen operators managing facilities supporting 193 warehouse/distribution companies throughout the existing service area.

“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 Baltimore Development Corporation.  “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.”

According to a report issued by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Maryland ranked eighth in FTZ merchandise received, with FTZ #74 directly supporting more than 750 jobs across the service area.

Howard County businesses interested in taking advantage of the opportunity should contact the HCEDA at www.hceda.org/contact.

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