Crowley Maritime Corporation’s Caribbean logistics unit has recently been granted reclassification of its Puerto Rico warehousing and distribution center to Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status, which allows the facility, located in Free Trade Zone #61; Rd 165 KM 2.4, Building 11 in Guaynabo, to receive, store and process cargo without it being subject to formal U.S. Customs entry procedures and payment of duties until the cargo enters the U.S. supply chain and is made available for domestic use and consumption.
Those cargoes being cross-docked or processed at Crowley’s warehouse prior to re-export internationally receive the same treatment as they would moving overseas or outside of the U.S. and its territories – no duties or quota charges and no state, ad valorem or personal property taxes. Additionally, cargo can now remain in Crowley’s FTZ facility for an unlimited amount of time, which is a significant change from the previous 14-day deadline associated with bonded cargoes.
“Becoming a Free Trade Zone allows Crowley to offer additional services and benefits to both domestic and international customers,” said Ayesha Diaz, general manager, logistics. “These expanded capabilities and services allow us to work with new customers that we were not able to serve in the past.”
Under the new FTZ designation, customers who utilize Crowley’s building 11 warehouse for imports, would not be charged quotas or duties on cargo that is re-exported or on expired goods or those deemed defective or damaged. Additionally, in the event the cargo consists of spare parts, no duties would be paid until the parts are used. Additionally, imported merchandise for which a quota is filled or for which a quota on entry is established, may be held in the zone until the quota opens or is removed.
Exporters also receive benefits in that domestic goods moved into the zone for export can be considered exported upon admission to the zone for purposes of excise tax rebates and drawback.
Recently, Crowley announced plans to build two larger, faster and environmentally-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, combination container – Roll-On/Roll-Off (ConRo) ships for the Puerto Rico trade lane to replace the current triple-deck towed barges. These new ships will decrease transit times, maximize cargo carriage and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. These vessels will create approximately 100 new jobs on the island and come with the possibility of additional investments to the tune of $58 million into the infrastructure of Isla Grande Terminal.