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MIASF gets approval to establish duty-free zone

The MIASF said Foreign Trade Zone restricted-access sites are considered to be outside U.S. Customs territory.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida said Monday that it received approval from the Foreign Trade Zone Board and Fort Lauderdale FTZ No. 241 for a 16-site marine industry subzone.

A subzone is a group of sites established for a specific use. The MIASF said each of the 16 sites in the special-purpose subzone will operate as a commercial marina, a marina parts and components business or a yacht repair facility.

The MIASF said Foreign Trade Zone restricted-access sites are considered to be outside U.S. Customs territory. As such, they can defer, reduce or eliminate customs duties on foreign products.

“This is a first of its kind in the United States,” MIASF executive director Phil Purcell said in a statement. “Fort Lauderdale is already known as the yachting capital of the world and will now be known for introducing the first FTZ subzone dedicated to the recreational boating industry.”

“As a leading economic engine that contributes $8.8 billion to our area, the success of the marine industry is directly tied to the long-term growth, development and prosperity of Fort Lauderdale,” Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler said.

“Providing economic incentives through our Foreign Trade Zone program will enable marine industry businesses to free up important resources that can be used to expand operations, increase revenue and create additional jobs and career opportunities for our community while also serving as a valuable tool for future business attraction and retention,” Seiler said.

“Strengthening our marine industry by creating an environment that will encourage more business is the key reason to pursue Foreign Trade Zone activity,” said Karen Reese, FTZ administrator for Fort Lauderdale’s FTZ No. 241. “The city expects to continue expanding the marine industry business through FTZs.”

“Now that the initial filing for FTZ status has been approved, we are excited to begin working with each marina or marine distributor site to activate in compliance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations,” said Gary Goldfarb, chief strategy officer of the Interport Group of Companies.

“This is a monumental achievement for the city of Fort Lauderdale, the marine industry and the community as a whole. There are so many more options for the industry under a FTZ, and as a result we expect this will be a very active sector for jobs for years to come.”

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