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Newport Shipyard receives coveted free-trade status

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Maritime Ownership

Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard has been declared a foreign trade zone (FTZ) under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of 1934, the shipyard’s owner, Safe Harbor Marinas, announced in early December.

The Newport facility is the only shipyard with FTZ status outside of Florida in the United States. FTZs are considered secure areas under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervision.

What does an FTZ designation mean?

Safe Harbor officials say Newport’s new status will enable them to provide better service for boat owners in the area and beyond. It allows foreign-owned vessels to be sold or bought by U.S. citizens in Newport. The CBP says the designation brings other benefits for both yacht owners and yacht brokers, including:

  • Merchandise within the zone is not subject to U.S. duties or taxes
  • Certain personal items are typically exempt from state and local taxes
  • Taxes and duties do not apply to goods exported from a free-trade zone
  • No time limit exists for goods to remain in the zone even if subject to duties

Expanding a global marketplace

The CBP says free-trade zone programs help promote economic development within the U.S. by increasing competition between nations over capital, industry and jobs. The government established the FTZ program nearly 90 years ago to encourage American companies to expand their operations.

Safe Harbor says the New England location offers many other benefits, not only for the City of Newport and the state of Rhode Island but also for luxury yacht owners in Boston, New York and along the entire Northeast region, as this option has never before been possible.