By Eleanor Kennedy
Lynchburg is joining the New River Valley’s application to become a foreign trade zone and port of entry — a status economic development coordinator Brian Gleason said shows a commitment to the city’s manufacturing base and which will support economic growth through exports.
Lynchburg contributed $500 to be a part of the New River Valley’s application.
According to the U.S. Customs website, foreign trade zones are “restricted access sites authorized by the Foreign Trade Zones Board,” made up of the secretaries of commerce and the treasury. Within these zones, customs entry procedures do not apply.
Gleason said the area’s application has just passed the review process and, as far as he knows, “everything has gone through.”
Being a part of the foreign trade zone and port of entry will allow manufacturers in the Lynchburg area to move products and components within the zone and from zone to zone without passing through customs or paying duty.
“It just creates a lot of efficiency with the process,” Gleason said.
The status will make it easier for exports — an important driver of economic growth — to come out of the area, he said
“Exports are the things that grow the whole pie,” Gleason said.