Rhode Island Establishes New Foreign Trade Zone

1 February 2021 By Laura Shaughnessy
Rhode Island’s New Foreign Trade Zone
Courtesy of Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard

Laura Shaughnessy is the former managing editor at Dockwalk. 

At the end of 2020, a foreign trade zone was established at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard. They welcomed the first yacht into the zone in early December.

“In November, we completed the activation of a new Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) in partnership with the Providence Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Office and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation,” says Foreign Trade Zone Director Chris Schubert for Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard. “Located at our shipyard in downtown Newport, the FTZ is a necessary tool for boat owners and brokers who want to exhibit and sell their foreign-flagged yachts to U.S. citizens while at our docks. It is an exciting addition for the entire Safe Harbor network of marinas as we support our customers with the services they need.”

Schubert emphasizes that this is an important improvement for the industry and New England area. “It gives owners and yacht brokers unparalleled access to the New York and Boston metropolitan markets and adds to the rich maritime history of Narragansett Bay,” he says. “Newport, Sag Harbor, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket have always been iconic summertime destinations, and now there is yet another reason for captains and owners to bring their yachts to Newport. With our zone’s availability of both wet slips and an area out of the water, we can support a yacht’s needs from a survey haul with our 500 MT marine travelift to the detailed customizations a new owner may want. There is no limit for how long a yacht may stay in our FTZ.”

Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard continues to make infrastructure improvements, Schubert says, including the addition of wave attenuator docks that are replacing older docks currently in their north basin. “We are very fortunate to be in Newport, Rhode Island, which attracts many yachts from around the world. We pride ourselves on offering amenities that are convenient for captains and crew who may be spending long periods with us, including a fitness center, marina vehicles, ship store/chandlery, and Belle’s Café,” which he says will undergo renovations this winter. “We have 3,500 linear feet of dock space, can accommodate yachts up to 350 feet, and we can haul out yachts up to 500 MT.” There are also many onsite specialty shops, including metal fabrication, carpentry, paint, and marine mechanics. Schubert adds that they work with a large network of local subcontractors who are experts in their trade and are onsite frequently.

This column is taken from the February 2021 issue of Dockwalk.


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