FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Northeast Indiana’s Foreign-Trade Zone has added Randolph County to its service area.

The U.S. Department of Commerce approved the City of Fort Wayne’s application to include Randolph County in Foreign-Trade Zone 182’s service area. The county joins Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, LaGrange, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties in the service area.

It also is the final remaining county in Indiana to join a Foreign-Trade Zone, which allows U.S.-based companies to defer, reduce or even eliminate U.S. Customs duties on goods and materials admitted to the zone to allow more area businesses to take advantage of reduced U.S. Customs expenses on imported or exported materials.

“The community of Randolph County is pleased with this important approval for membership in the Foreign-Trade Zone 182 District,” said Bruce W. Hosier, executive director of the Randolph Economic Development Corporation. “Given the circumstances of the global business presence in our communities, this asset will put in place another important piece of the puzzle, in helping build our Economic Development capacity and securing a better path forward for those we have the privilege of serving. We appreciate the partnership and the efforts of Elissa McGauley, in helping us achieve this goal.”

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said the addition of Randolph County will benefit the area’s economic development future.

“We’re looking forward to our region working with Randolph County and offering the advantages of being located within the Foreign-Trade Zone,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “This innovative approach will help boost economic development efforts and allow more businesses to maximize opportunities to promote growth for international business.”

The City of Fort Wayne is the grantee for Foreign-Trade Zone 182.