Facilitating International Trade
Foreign Trade Zone Overview
Foreign trade zones are secure areas under supervision of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that are considered outside the customs territory of the United States at which special CBP procedures may be used. The Foreign Trade Zone Program was created by the United States government to facilitate international trade and increase the global competitiveness of U.S.-based companies. The program, which has existed since the 1930s, continues to thrive and change to better meet the needs of American companies in the global economy. Foreign and domestic merchandise may be moved into zones for storage, exhibition, assembly, production, and processing without payment of duties, quota and other import restrictions until the decision is made to enter the goods into the U.S. market. This helps offset customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with domestic industry. FTZs are a fiscal tool which can defer or reduce duty payments, streamline supply chain costs and improve a company’s competitive position in domestic and foreign markets. Foreign trade zones must be located within 60 miles or 90 minutes of a U.S. Customs port of entry.
What Activities Can Be Done in a Zone?
*Must receive special approval from the FTZ Board for production.