WARWICK, RI – Mayor Scott Avedisian announced Tuesday that the City has written a letter supporting Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s application for federal authority to use an “Alternative Site Framework” (ASF) option available to streamline the process for companies to be added to a Foreign Trade Zone.
There are presently three existing Foreign Trade Zones in Rhode Island: 32 acres at the Port of Providence, a 43-acre area at the Airport Business Park adjacent to T.F. Green and 880 acres within the Quonset Business Park that have been so designated. Among the benefits of a FTZ are a duty exemption on re-exports, duty elimination on manufacturing, repacking, no duty on rejected or defective parts, relief from inverted tariffs and duty deferral, and no duty on domestic content or sales to the U.S. military or NASA.
The ASF allows an entity, such as the Commerce Corporation, to add new foreign-trade zone locations for companies within its designated “service area” and make it easier to process information that’s necessary for a company to apply for an FTZ designation. The addition of these locations can be made within 30 dayswith agreement of the federal Customs and Border Protection. A site must be used and operational within three years of receiving the designation.
The proposed service area would include all five of Rhode Island’s counties – Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, and Washington. In his letter of support, Avedisian noted that the “cities of Warwick and Providence and the Town of North Kingstown have already seen the benefits of having well-established FTZs in their communities. As the state works cooperatively with communities throughout Rhode Island to expand economic development opportunities and job growth through fostering a competitive local business climate, expansion of the FTZ #105 service area in all five Rhode Island counties would greatly help in this regard.”
In October, Avedisian sent a letter Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryeor and Commerce RI’s Board of Directors to express his support for a proposal to expand Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #105 within Warwick to include land surrounding City Centre Warwick.