St. Lucie County Expands the Foreign Trade Zone to Encompass Entire Treasure Coast
The International Trade Association recently announced that St. Lucie County’s Foreign Trade Zone #218 has been approved by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board for reorganization under its Alternative Site Framework, allowing for the expedited designation of sites for companies ready to conduct Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) activities.
The service area for the newly reorganized FTZ #218 has been broadened to encompass all of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, extending significant potential benefits to the Port of Fort Pierce and Treasure Coast International Airport & Business Park.
“Foreign Trade Zone #218 will now become a powerful economic development tool for the entire Treasure Coast, and, in particular, will support the dramatic and continued growth of manufacturing in St. Lucie County,” said St. Lucie County Commission Chair Sean Mitchell.
“Foreign Trade Zone benefits are key for manufacturers interested in exporting their goods. The expansion of our FTZ will help the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC) recruit manufacturers who can bring high-wage jobs to the county,” added St. Lucie Economic Development Council President Pete Tesch. “This is particularly good news at a time when supply chain challenges are impacting existing manufacturing businesses and as companies look for alternative locations to the congestion in South Florida.”
The FTZ designation provides federal tax relief on merchandise that is shipped through the federally-approved zone. The new “Alternative Site Framework” designation provides considerably more flexibility for companies looking to benefit from an FTZ.
St. Lucie County’s original FTZ designation was approved in October of 1996 under the Central Florida Foreign Trade Zone, Inc at the St. Lucie County Airport. The FTZ Board changed its name in 2012 to the Treasure Coast Foreign Trade Zone, Inc. St. Lucie County is now the grantee of the FTZ.
Businesses with questions about Foreign Trade Zone #218 should contact St. Lucie County Air & Seaport Executive Director J. Stanley “Stan” Payne at [email protected] or 772-462-1450.