By Todd Karpovich
Photography by Donovan Eaton Photography
The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) works closely with the Port of Baltimore to attract new businesses to the state and help existing ones expand.
BDC administers Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #74 and recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Foreign Trade Zones Board to expand its service area to include Howard and Queen Anne’s counties. FTZ #74’s service area already includes Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford, Cecil and Anne Arundel counties.
FTZs are designated areas where international goods can be stored and fabricated, but still be considered part of international commerce. Goods are not subject to U.S. taxes or duties until transferred to the U.S. market outside of trade zone areas. Companies are allowed to build, manufacture and manipulate components into finished products for U.S. sale or re-export.
“We collaborate with many local partners to provide quality and effective services to city businesses,” said Susan Yum, Managing Director of Marketing and External Relations for BDC. “The Port of Baltimore is integral in our discussions with companies doing business globally, whether they are existing businesses or potential prospects analyzing sites for future locations.”
Together, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and BDC “have the capabilities to address the landside and waterside business needs,” she said. “Expansion of the FTZ enables more Maryland jurisdictions to increase their participation in the global economy by providing tools to reduce individual business operation costs.”
Yum added that the expanding trade zone would allow businesses to hold inventory close to their customer base without duty fees, thus helping cash flow. She cited Belts Logistics Services as an example of a business that has taken advantage of FTZ benefits.
BDC prepared FTZ #74’s expansion request for the FTZ Board and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in conjunction with Howard and Queen Anne’s counties’ economic development leaders to meet the growing requests from existing industry to have access to
“The FTZ program assists companies doing business globally by deferring certain taxes until their products are ready for the U.S. markets,” said William H. Cole IV, BDC President and CEO. “FTZ #74 helps increase activity at the already vibrant Port of Baltimore, which is an important economic engine for the Baltimore region as well as the State of Maryland. Howard and Queen Anne’s counties are a welcome addition to Baltimore’s FTZ.”
Baltimore’s FTZ #74 is one of four zones in the state and the most active, with 18 operators managing facilities supporting 193 warehouse/distribution companies throughout the service area. FTZ #74 directly supports more than 750 jobs.
“The FTZ program is a value-added incentive for Queen Anne’s County companies that are importing goods,” said Jean E. Fabi, Economic Development Manager at Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic and Tourism Development. “The ability to reduce customs duties and fees will certainly help their bottom line. I look forward to working with the Baltimore Development Corporation to get businesses certified.”
BDC serves as the overall economic development agency for the City of Baltimore. Its mission is to retain and expand existing businesses, attract new opportunities that provide jobs for city residents and increase investment in city neighborhoods.
According to a report issued by the Foreign Trade Zones Board, Maryland recently ranked eighth in FTZ merchandise received. The Port is ranked first in the number of automobiles/light trucks received and in roll-on/roll-off cargo.
“Howard County is home to a vibrant advanced manufacturing and importing industry that will directly benefit from the expansion of FTZ #74,” said Lawrence Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “We are excited to provide our community with access to this valuable resource and to assist businesses with taking advantage of this unique offering.”
Baltimore Development Corporation At-A-Glance
William H. Cole IV,
President and CEO
Kimberly A. Clark,
Executive Vice President
Location: 36 S. Charles St.
Suite 2100, Baltimore, MD 21201 410-837-9305