PLATTSBURGH -- Foreign Trade Zone 54 has been reorganized, allowing its expansion.

The Development Corp., which administers the zone for Clinton County, announced that its application to reorganize under the alternative-site framework has been approved.

The Foreign Trade Zone program is a federal program that runs within the U.S. Department of Commerce. It provides benefits to companies that can reduce customs duties and improve cash flow.

Development Corp.

Development Corp. President Adoré Flynn Kurtz said the announcement was welcome.

"We knew immediately that this new FTZ alternative would be a real asset in local economic development for the future, and are pleased it is finally a reality," she said in a news release.

The alternative-site framework allows interested businesses to get Foreign Trade Zone designation at their existing location with a streamlined application process.

The reorganization also allows up to a total of 2,000 acres to be added to a Foreign Trade Zone designation, now with a service area throughout Clinton County.

Clinton County Administrator Michael Zurlo also welcomed the successful reorganization.

"The enhancements to our existing FTZ program give us a powerful tool to help attract businesses to our region and provide us with a distinct advantage over other destinations," he said.

Three Foreign Trade Zone sites are located in the Town of Champlain.

The Air Industrial Park in the Town of Plattsburgh and the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base also contain Trade Zone locations.

Outside of customs

According to the Foreign Trade Zone Corporation website, the zones are considered outside of U.S. commerce for customs purposes. That allows a company to defer duty payments until goods actually enter commerce.

If the goods are re-exported, no customs entry is needed, and no duty is paid.

The zone also allows a company to assemble, exhibit, clean, manipulate, manufacture, mix, process, relabel, repackage, repair, salvage, sample, store, test, display or destroy goods. The zone can enable the company to save paying duty on waste and scrap materials and damaged goods.

Kurtz said The Development Corp. was proactive in filing for the new status on behalf of the county. It engaged attorney David Ostheimer of the law firm Lamb and Lerch to assist with the application.

E-mail Dan Heath at:

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