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Foreign-Trade Zone Seminar hosted by NEOTEC and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority: FTZ experts showcase programs's benefits and cost savings

April 22, 2013

Area companies can learn how to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their global supply chain at a seminar on Foreign-Trade Zones on May 30 at Firestone Country Club in Akron. Hosted by the Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in conjunction with the Greater Akron Chamber, the half-day seminar will bring together nationally renowned FTZ experts to discuss the program’s benefits and how it helps companies be more globally competitive.

Presenters include Dan Griswold, president of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ) in Washington, D.C.; Trey Boring, a NAFTZ board member and senior vice president of IMS Worldwide, Inc. in Texas; Kevin Burwell, president of the Northeast Ohio Regional Center in Wooster, Ohio; and Brandi Hanback, managing director of Rockefeller Group Foreign-Trade Zone Services in Maryland.

Topics to be addressed include FTZ basics, benefits of the program, the application and activation process, inventory control and recordkeeping, handling goods in an FTZ, and compliance regulations.

“This is an important opportunity for area companies to understand that the Foreign-Trade Zone program can save them money and make their global supply chain more efficient,” said Ron DeBarr, president and CEO of NEOTEC. Companies that can benefit from Foreign-Trade Zone status include those that export products, import high-value products or products in high volume, are subject to import quotas, desire expedited delivery, or receive multiple shipments in a week. “These are the companies that need to be at this seminar,” said DeBarr, “as well as property owners and developers who want to provide FTZ status for companies locating at their sites.” NEOTEC offers a free, confidential benefits analysis to companies to determine how much value the FTZ program can provide, DeBarr said.
NEOTEC and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, grantees of Foreign-Trade Zones 181 and 40, have a partnership agreement to administer and market the FTZ program in Northeast Ohio, which is one of the most successful foreign-trade zone areas in the country.

“Through our collaboration with NEOTEC, the Port is creating awareness of the FTZ program and delivering a product that serves the global development needs of companies in our area,” said David Gutheil, the Port’s vice president of maritime and logistics.

Foreign-Trade Zone Seminar Hosted by NEOTEC and Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority– page 2
The event sponsor is the Greater Akron Chamber; other sponsors include the Development Finance Authority of Summit County, Medina County Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Ohio Regional Center, and Rockefeller Group Foreign-Trade Zone Services.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the seminar concludes at 1 p.m. The fee for the seminar, which also includes a Continental breakfast and buffet lunch, is $85. An optional golf outing will follow. To register, visit the NEOTEC web site at www.neotec.org.

The Foreign-Trade Zone program was created in 1934 by Congress to facilitate international trade and enable U.S.-based companies to maintain cost competitiveness with their foreign-based competitors. Under FTZ procedures, foreign and domestic merchandise may be admitted into zones for operations such as storage, exhibition, assembly, manufacture and processing, without being subject to formal Customs and Border Protection (CBP) entry procedures, the payment of duties, or the payment of federal excise taxes. Zone status provides companies with an opportunity to reduce certain operating costs, and inventory stored in an FTZ is not subject to import quotas. Other zone benefits include entry consolidation and direct delivery.

NEOTEC is a multicounty economic development partnership that works to attract business investment in the region by promoting domestic and international trade, and strengthening the region’s distinct advantages as a business location. In addition to the FTZ program, NEOTEC’s initiatives include the International Trade Assistance Center, which provides basic export counseling assistance and training to area companies; the Global Trade Group, which offers in-depth “executive-in-residence” and one-on-one training services to companies ready to begin exporting or expand their export activity; the Northeast Ohio Logistics Network, which works to improve market access in Northeast Ohio and promote the region’s logistics strengths; and the Global Business Development Initiative, a series of efforts to attract foreign direct investment to the region. NEOTEC is located on the campus of Kent State University, which partners with NEOTEC in its economic development efforts. For more information, visit the NEOTEC web site at www.neotec.org.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority operates the Port of Cleveland, a leading gateway for waterborne trade on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System. Nearly 18,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in economic activity result from the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor on average each year. The Port also provides innovative financing services for a wide range of development projects in Northeast Ohio, and is leading initiatives to solve critical infrastructure challenges along Cleveland’s waterfronts. For more information, visit the Port website at: www.portofcleveland.com.