Frequently Asked Questions

General information

What is a Foreign Trade Zone?

A foreign trade zone in Canada provides eligibility for tariff and tax exemptions to companies that purchase or import raw materials, components or finished goods. These materials and goods can generally be stored, processed or assembled in the foreign trade zone for re-export. In this case, taxes and duties would generally not apply, or for entry into the domestic market, taxes and duties would be deferred until the time of entry. Canada’s foreign trade zone programs offer investors geographic flexibility.

What are the key advantages of foreign trade zone programs?

  • No heavy burden
  • No geographic restriction – accessible regardless of location
  • Improved cash flow
  • Reduced operating expenses
  • Increased international competitiveness

What does Niagara's Foreign Trade Zone program do?

  • Duty Relief Program provides upfront relief of duties. Goods must be exported within four years.
  • Drawback Program refunds duties for exported goods. Goods must have been exported within four years
  • Custom Bonded Warehouse defers / relieves duties and taxes. Goods must not be substantially altered.
  • Export Distribution Centre Program provides upfront relief of GST / HST on certain imports and domestic purchases. Must be export-oriented commercial entity that adds only limited value to goods.
  • Exporters of Processing Services Program provides upfront relief of GST / HST on certain imports. Goods must belong to non-residents and be re-exported after being processed.

Who can get help from Niagara's Foreign Trade Zone?

Companies that are located in Niagara, including:
  • Importers
  • Exporters
  • Processors
  • Owners
  • Producers
  • Warehouse operators

Why contact Niagara's Foreign Trade Zone?

If you are already exporting and importing goods, or are thinking about setting up an operation that will export and want help with:

  • Site/facility selection/expansion assistance (I am setting up more production)
  • Growth finance (if developing new products or expanding production)
  • Tax or duty-relief, export insurance, or bonding solutions (if currently exporting)
  • Lead generation/trade shows (if market research is done and ready to export)
  • International market research and advice (if just getting started)
  • Domestic market research and advice (I am considering a business operation in Niagara)
  • Talent (I need help with export development, production expansion or innovation)

What are the aims of Niagara's Foreign Trade Zone?

Simply put, we want businesses in Niagara to grow by selling more goods abroad, or by buying goods abroad and reselling them across Canada. We also want to attract more businesses to set up shop in Niagara, attracted by that same promise of export oriented growth.

What areas does Niagara's Foreign Trade Zone serve?

Niagara’s Foreign Trade Zone serves all 13 municipalities which includes:

  • Niagara region
  • Fort Erie
  • Grimsby
  • Lincoln
  • Niagara Falls
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Pelham
  • Port Colborne
  • St. Catharines
  • Thorold
  • Wainfleet
  • Welland
  • West Lincoln