Michaels Stores Joins JAXPORT’s Foreign Trade Zone
Michaels Stores, Inc., the largest arts and crafts specialty retailer in North America, has been granted permission to operate within Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 64 in northeast Florida. Michaels will begin moving merchandise through its approved southeast distribution center starting January 2017.
Michaels, which has operated its Jacksonville distribution center since 2001, now joins other household names, such as Coach, Inc., Mazda Motor of America, Inc., and Bacardi Limited, which already take advantage of the streamlined customs processes and cost-savings of operating in FTZ No. 64.
The federal foreign trade zone program allows businesses to save a significant amount of money on imported cargo shipments and distribution operations by streamlining U.S. Customs clearance and offering other efficiencies. Cargo entering an FTZ is not considered to have entered United States customs territory. Importers are able to defer paying duties and taxes until the products are removed from the FTZ.
“Along with room to grow, fast access to market and a large, skilled workforce, FTZ No. 64 is one of the major advantages JAXPORT and northeast Florida have to offer large-scale retailers, such as Michaels, looking to establish, expand or relocate distribution centers,” said Roy Schleicher, JAXPORT’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
FTZ No. 64 is approved to operate under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) which greatly simplifies the process for new site applications and extends the zone to include eight counties within northeast Florida. Storage and distribution sites located within Nassau, Clay, Baker, Columbia, St. Johns, Putnam, Bradford, and Duval counties can be approved in 30 days or less under the ASF; manufacturing plants can be approved within 120 days or less.
“The strong partnership between JAXPORT, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the FTZ Board makes it easier and faster for applicants to get approved and activated,” said Lisa Diaz, JAXPORT’s manager of Foreign Trade Zone No. 64 and northeast Florida sales.
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