Saint John designated a Foreign Trade Zone point

Companies can import, assemble and store goods and re-export them without taxes or duties

The designation, which Enterprise Saint John has been working to secure for two years, allows companies to import goods, assemble and store them and re-export them without taxes or duties.

It also recognizes the Saint John region as a hub for international trade and should help attract new businesses, officials said.

“This initiative will simplify trade and duty matters for New Brunswick businesses in this challenging climate,” Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet said on behalf of Roger Melanson, the minister responsible for trade policy.

Saint John Mayor Don Darling said it will mean less paperwork and fewer tax and tariff burdens for businesses — “less hoops to jump through.”

“If they grow, our city grows,” he said.

The city’s connections, including the port, make the region “a natural fit for the development of a trade cluster,” said Port Saint John CEO Jim Quinn.

“The FTZ point designation will make it easier than ever to engage with international businesses and to reach international markets.”

Saint John is the 10th city in Canada to get the designation, Enterprise Saint John said.

The organization is getting $75,000 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to promote the designation, Saint John-Rothesay MP Wayne Long said.

The regional economic development agency will serve as a single access point for businesses looking for information on the city’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) point, including training and regulatory information from agencies, such as the Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Export Development Canada, Global Affairs Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Opportunities NB, Port Saint John and Develop Saint John are also contributing to the marketing efforts.