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The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) announced today that Eastern Alachua County has joined Northeast Florida’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 64, a federally designated area providing cost-saving options for importers. The expansion represents one of the last eligible areas in Northeast Florida that can be added to the zone under federal FTZ guidelines.
“The expansion of the Zone is part of a strategic plan to grow cargo volumes while supporting Northeast Florida businesses of all sizes,” said JAXPORT Foreign Trade Zone Manager Justin Ryan. “We are thrilled to add Eastern Alachua County to our coverage area and look forward to continuing to work with businesses throughout Northeast Florida to take advantage of the efficiencies of our award-winning FTZ.”
FTZ No. 64 is Florida’s largest FTZ by area, covering more than 5,000 square miles throughout 10 counties in Northeast Florida. Under the expansion, businesses located east of I-75 in Alachua County are eligible for FTZ benefits, including the ability to reduce, defer or eliminate U.S. Customs duties on products imported into the U.S.
“The Greater Gainesville Chamber is excited about the foreign trade zone designation and the opportunity it presents from an economic development standpoint,” said Greater Gainesville Chamber CEO Eric Godet. “This will allow area businesses to reduce production, transaction, and logistic-related costs by allowing them to defer paying customs costs on goods imported into the U.S. until those goods leave the zone for consumption.”
Foreign Trade Zones are restricted-access sites that are inside the U.S. but legally considered outside of U.S. commerce.
FTZ No. 64 operates under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF), which allows warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturers within any of the 10 covered counties to utilize FTZ benefits while operating in their existing facilities. For example, an FTZ can be as small as a single room within a building or as large as a warehouse or entire manufacturing plant.
With the addition of Eastern Alachua County, FTZ 64 now encompasses ten counties in Northeast Florida: Eastern Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties.
Any company within the 10-county area service area wanting to take advantage of FTZ benefits must submit an application through JAXPORT and receive approval from the federal FTZ Board to be an FTZ operator. The entire application and approval process typically takes less than 60 days. Connect with JAXPORT Foreign Trade Zone Manager Justin Ryan to inquire about the FTZ.