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Guide to Niagara’s Foreign Trade Zone

Posted by Greg Chew on Jun 6, 2017 4:06:24 PM

Guide to Niagara’s Foreign Trade Zone

Just over a year ago Niagara was named Ontario’s first Foreign Trade Zone, and in that first year, we are already experiencing the rewards.


What is a Foreign Trade Zone?

The idea of making Niagara a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) was announced in April 2016. The primary focus of the designation relates to unique exemptions from foreign trade tariffs. Simply put: goods can be imported into Canada without tax or duty if they are to be used to manufacture products to be exported. Furthermore, if those products are then sold to foreign countries, there is, again, no tax or duty applied. 

Obviously, these exemptions are meant to benefit Niagara’s industrial and commercial sectors, making Niagara a more attractive place to do business.

Niagara was chosen due to its existing assets: proximity to the United States and the GTA, post-secondary institutions, transportation infrastructure (both on land and water) and available land.


Who Benefits Primarily?

An FTZ designation benefits export-oriented businesses by exempting them from duty and HST. It’s hoped that these savings will allow current manufacturers to grow and attract new industry and business to Niagara, providing a much-needed boost to Niagara’s employment numbers. 

Examples of success stories have been cross-border truck transportation and product manufacturers that have been able to import a higher quantity of goods for production.


Niagara Commercial Real Estate and the FTZ

The FTZ designation has had significant implications on Niagara’s commercial real estate and we are experiencing it first hand. We are fielding more inquiries than ever before from businesses looking to expand within, to or planning to start in Niagara. In its initial year the FTZ has clearly succeeded in drawing commercial interest to the Region.


Is there a Niagara’s Foreign Trade Zone Website?

Yes: Niagara Region, in partnership with local economic development agencies, has set up a website at to provide easy-to-access information about the FTZ. You can also contact Niagara Region’s economic development office at 905-980-6000 ext. 3728. 


Now is an excellent time for those with developable land to market it to commercial enterprises or the manufacturing industry, or, if you are interested in purchasing commercial property, the impacts of the FTZ look to be long-lasting. If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of the FTZ, check out our currently available Niagara commercial properties here:

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Topics: Niagara, Niagara Economic Development

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