Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce welcomes Niagara Foreign Trade Zone Point

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Niagara MPs Chris Bittle and Vance Badawey, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, have announced the designation of the Niagara Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) Point – the first of its kind in Ontario.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) has supported the Foreign Trade Zone initiative since early 2015 and has lobbied in support of the designation.

On behalf of the business community in Niagara, we are grateful to see our collective efforts rewarded, GNCC said in a news release.

“The importance of this designation to Niagara cannot be overstated. With its world-class attractions, agriculture, research institutions, wineries and breweries, and its advantageous geographical situation between two of the Great Lakes and on a major border crossing, Niagara can become a major site of international trade and commerce,” said GNCC president and CEO Mishka Balsom. “The FTZ Point brings that status a huge step closer.”

A foreign trade zone, or FTZ is a secure and enclosed area, located near or in a Port of Entry. An FTZ is considered to be outside Canadian customs territory and border patrol territories.

It enables foreign and domestic goods to be moved into it without being subject to Canadian customs duties, until the goods enter Canadian commerce.

When merchandise is removed from a FTZ, customs duties may be eliminated if the goods are then exported outside of Canada. If the merchandise formally enters into Canadian commerce, customs duties will be applied.

The FTZ Point provides streamlined information on the Government of Canada’s tax and tariff export-related programs that can make it easier for businesses looking to expand and export.

These include duties relief for goods imported for storage or manufacturing, refunds on duties paid on goods that were imported for later export, customs bonded warehouses where goods can be imported and stored without duties or taxes until their entry into the Canadian market, and the purchase of goods without paying HST if those goods are destined for export.

This designation will be a significant asset to manufacturers, importers-exporters, and any other industry engaged in significant foreign trade in Niagara. Moreover, it will attract new business in those industries to the region, meaning more jobs and more prosperity.

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“At the GNCC, we recognized the potential that an FTZ would have for Niagara some time ago. On behalf of the GNCC and the business community it represents, I wrote in support of the designation of Niagara as an FTZ in early 2015. I am happy to see that becoming a reality now. I can’t wait to see what developments this will bring about in our region.” – Ian Kowalchuk, Chair of the Board, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

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