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Foreign trade zone status approved for ACCO

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ACCO Brands will be able to avoid having to pay customs expenses for its combined manufacturing and distribution operations plant at its 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Ogdensburg.

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority has agreed to include the building, located at 941 ACCO Way in the OBPA’s heavy industrial park, in its designated Foreign Trade Zone 118 in the port of Ogdensburg.

The OBPA board unanimously approved the agreement Wednesday with a 6-0 vote.

Last week, the Illinois-based manufacturer of office supplies company announced it was moving all manufacturing operations from its 140,000-square-foot plant at 263 ACCO Drive, town of Oswegatchie, and a plant in Brampton, Ontario, to the distribution center.

Officials are confident that the strategy will enable ACCO to continue to maintain a strong presence in its U.S. and Canadian markets as well as position itself for growth.

“The approval of the application is another important step in ACCO Brands’ process to set up an efficient and effective warehousing operation in Ogdensburg,” ACCO spokesman Richard Nelson said Thursday. “It is good news.”

Goods that are moved into a Foreign Trade Zone aren’t viewed as being within U.S. Customs territory, but as international commerce. As a result, merchandise entering the zone doesn’t require payment of duties, tariffs or excise taxes.

OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis said the port’s wind turbine shipping project in 2012 was the only other time where a client took advantage of the zone’s benefits.

For ACCO, he said, zone status was an essential component.

“Without the zone, ACCO wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing,” he said Thursday.

The Brampton plant will close and leave 95 hourly and 30 salaried workers jobless. Another 70 office employees will be transferred to an ACCO-owned Mead office supply facility in Mississaugua, Ontario.

The manufacturing and distribution consolidation in Ogdensburg will be completed by January.

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