The Sarnia-Lambton Foreign Trade Zone Point helps companies access federal, provincial and regional programs that support Canada’s export development efforts. The Sarnia-Lambton Foreign Trade Zone’s “one-window” approach means that it has never been easier or more efficient for businesses to navigate their way through the diverse range of government supports that exist.
The Sarnia-Lambton Foreign Trade Zone Point aims to help businesses expand their reach to international markets through a combination of tax and duty relief programs and tariff exemptions.
Thanks to its proximity to the US border and robust road, rail, air and port infrastructure, the Sarnia-Lambton area is a vital link for trade between Canada and the United States. The Blue Water Bridge is Canada’s second-busiest crossing for commercial traffic.
The designation as a Canadian Foreign Trade Zone Point offers businesses the opportunity to work with a dedicated team of public and private sector experts to access information, programs and incentives that have been specifically developed to help companies initiate and improve their international trade efforts. By working with the Sarnia-Lambton Trade Zone Point, companies and suppliers that are involved in the production of products for final export to other countries can find and apply for tax, duty and tariff exemptions that can significantly improve their bottom line.
The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership in conjunction with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce collaborated to bring the Foreign Trade Zone to our community.
The Sarnia-Lambton area is known for having exceptional transportation infrastructure and as a hub for international trade. The Blue Water Bridge connects Ontario’s 400-series highways with U.S. Interstates I-69 and I-94 in Port Huron, Michigan. It is Canada’s second-busiest crossing for commercial traffic.
The regional rail is robust, and the St. Clair Tunnel connects the Sarnia-Lambton area to Michigan. The tunnel carries more freight than any other US-Canada border crossing.
The Sarnia-Lambton area boasts one of the busiest inland waterways in the world. Through the St. Lawrence Seaway System, ships can navigate from the Sarnia-Lambton area to the Atlantic Ocean.
The area is also home to the Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport. The Sarnia-Lambton area is a vital and proven link for trade between Canada and the United States.
The Oversized Load Corridor (OLC) is a designated protected route on existing roadways connecting fabricators to the Port of Sarnia for the unimpeded import/export and trans-shipment of oversized product to and from fabricators’ locations and Sarnia-Lambton’s industrial base. The project is anticipated to be completed in late 2023.
The Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) elevates the Sarnia-Lambton area as a hub for international trade.
Foreign Trade Zone Advantages
CBSA Trade Incentives Program – The program exists to help Canadian importers, exporters and manufacturers by relieving, deferring, or refunding duties and other taxes from your costs for imported goods. It is accessible to all types of businesses with a wide range of activities permitted and there is no geographic restriction.
Duty Deferral Program – The program covers three components which can be used individually or in combination, depending on business needs, which are:
- Duties Relief Program – With duties relief, you may not have to pay duties on imports you store, process or use to manufacture other products, provided you later export the goods or products. There are no fees or security requirements and it improves cash flow and allows for all types of manufacturing.
- Drawback – You can apply for a drawback if you export the goods in the same condition in which they were imported, or if you use them in the manufacture of other goods that are exported. All claims must be filed within four years of the date of importation.
- Customs Bonded Warehouse – Allows clients to purchase goods when the price is optimal and keep the goods in a customs bonded warehouse until ready to export or they find a market in Canada. Allows for the deferral of all import duties etc. as well as GST for up to four years from the date of importation.
Temporary Importations – Can provide relief from the payment of duties and taxes, including GST/HST in some cases, for good entering Canada on a temporary basis.
Export Trading House – Businesses that sell goods, 90% of which are exported in the same condition as they were purchased can do so without paying the GST/HST.
Export Distribution Centre – Business that sell goods, 90% of which are exported with only minor modifications to the condition in which they were purchased can do so without paying the GST/HST.
Exporters of Processing Services – Businesses that temporarily import goods of others in order to perform certain processing/alteration services before reexporting can take possession at the border without paying GST/HST.
Additional Resources & Documents
- CBSA – Customs Tariff 2020
- Canada Tariff Finder
- Global Affairs Canada
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Online Tools
- Oversized Load Corridor
- Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Alliance
- Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce
- Step by Step Guide to Exporting
- Guide to Exports