Louisville Riverport Authority Applies To Include South Central Kentucky In Foreign Trade Zone #29 Service Area

Seven counties have formally joined the Louisville Riverport Authority in its bid to expand the city's foreign trade zone. An application pending before the U.S. Department of Commerce's Foreign Trade Zones Board would, if approved, expand Foreign Trade Zone #29 to include service to Allen, Barren, Christian, Todd, Logan, Simpson and Warren counties.  The application, docketed by the federal board on January 9, 2023, included the support of leaders from all seven counties.

"I support the application for Foreign-Trade Zone 29, which presents an incredible chance for our region to draw in investment and maintain local employment," said Warren County Judge Executive Doug Gorman. "The creation of this foreign-trade zone will significantly contribute to the area's economic progress, especially with companies like Envision and others considering coming to South Central Kentucky."

Expanding Louisville's Foreign Trade Zone designation would bring a variety of benefits to businesses throughout south central Kentucky, namely, allowing  them to compete with foreign manufacturers per international customs rates and regulations that come with foreign trade zones. An expanded trade zone would also unlock new opportunities for local economic development organizations seeking to attract foreign investment and job creation.

At the end of 2021, FTZ 29 included retail goods distributors trading textiles, footwear, and electronics; automotive, electronics and appliances manufacturers; and petroleum, vehicle parts and other businesses that directly employed more than 25,000 Kentucky workers. Operators in this trade zone also shipped nearly $25 billion in goods with nearly $750 million in exports through December 2021. FTZ 29 currently serves 25 counties in central and western Kentucky; the expansion of FTZ 29 into south central Kentucky will enable businesses in this part of the Commonwealth to benefit from this economic activity.

Louisville Riverport Authority partners and co-applicants include

  • Envision AESC in Bowling Green, which will manufacture EV batteries
  • Southern Kentucky Warehousing & Fulfillment, LLC in Rockfield, which provides warehousing and distribution services

Another critical partner to the foreign trade zone program is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which serves FTZ 29 sites from the Port of Louisville and the Port of Owensboro/Evansville.  Zone projects established in the expanded service area will be served by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection from the Port of Nashville.  Zone activation by US CBP enhances the security of the goods moving through the zone which benefits everyone involved in these transactions.

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Learn more about Louisville Riverport Authority here.