Leesburg's Proposed Foreign Trade Zone

The City of Leesburg is closer to receiving approval for a foreign trade zone that will encourage business growth around the international airport.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration recently wrapped up a 60-day invitation for public input without comments. Representatives with U.S. Customs and Border Protection also completed an on-site review of the airport two weeks ago. 
These steps clear the way for final review and potential approval for the foreign trade zone through the Department of Commerce.

“The foreign trade zone will give the City of Leesburg another tool to help business at the international airport and to expand economic development in our city and throughout Lake County,” said Leesburg Mayor John Christian.

If approved, Leesburg International Airport will join more than 250 other foreign trade zones based in major ports of entry around the country including Orlando International Airport, Orlando-Sanford International Airport, Cape Canaveral, Miami and Pensacola.

These federally designated zones provide significant financial benefits to local businesses that import and export items, reducing or eliminating duties and fees for products shipped internationally. Private companies operating in foreign trade zones also may utilize streamlined customs procedures, making work faster and easier to accomplish.

“We are hopeful that our application for the foreign trade zone will be approved soon,” said city airport manager Leonardo Treggi.

Leesburg International Airport is eligible to create a foreign trade zone in a large part because it is a growing transportation hub and includes a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office among its many aviation services.

The foreign trade zone helps businesses at the airport, but the same benefits can be extended to other nearby areas like Tavares and Clermont or specific locations like Leesburg’s industrial and technical park off of County Road 470 and Florida’s Turnpike.

For more information about Leesburg’s proposed foreign trade zone, contact Leonardo Treggi at (352) 728-9786, ext. 1130.