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Paducah-McCracken Co. Riverport Now Active Foreign Trade Zone

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Matt Markgraf, WKMS
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The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority is now an active Foreign Trade Zone. The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol approved the authority late last year and activated the site last week as Trade Zone 294.

According to a news release, benefits include:

  • U.S. Customs duty is deferred until the goods are removed from zone area which improves cashflow for its users
  • Zone users pay lower duty rates on goods produced in the zone when the finished product has a lower duty rate than the imported components and parts
  • Zone users paper work is reduce to once a week 
  • Customs duties on waste and/or scrap of imported goods during processing to finished goods are eliminated
  • User can transfer zone merchandise to other zone facilities delaying customs duties until processing is complete

The authority's executive director Bill Miller has said imports and exports held within the zone are not taxed until they leave the facility for final use, making the zone a good business recruitment tool. He also said the zone should foster manufacturing and distribution jobs throughout the area.

The authority has been taking steps towards activation since 2011. There are three other foreign-trade zones in Kentucky, including Louisville, Boone County and a joint effort between Greenup and Boyd Counties.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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