INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF
Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Act of 1934, 48 Stat. 98-1003, 19 U.S.C. 81a-81u, as amended, Title 19, Part USC, Section 81a-81u, 19 U.S.C 81a-81u.
The Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) program helps to encourage commercial activity and value added at U.S. facilities in competition with foreign alternatives by allowing delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as other savings. The FTZ Board, an interagency body chaired by the Secretary of Commerce, was established to license (through grants of authority) and regulate foreign-trade zones. The FTZ Board licenses public or public-type corporations to administer zones on a local level. Private corporations generally operate the zones under agreement with licensees. States and local communities use zones as an element of their economic development efforts.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
Provision of Specialized Services.|
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Zone procedures help firms reduce customs costs and help improve a domestic
operation's international competitiveness. The procedures are available at
facilities designated as foreign trade zones and sub zones under the
sponsorship of local public and quasi-public corporations.
Applicant Eligibility: Public and private
corporations as defined by the Law, and by appropriate State enabling
APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Beneficiary Eligibility: Foreign Trade Zone's (FTZ)
are required to operate under public utility principles, providing access to
zone procedures on a nondiscriminatory basis to businesses and manufacturers.
Zone procedures are available at any of the operating FTZ's, subject to
customs requirements, a review process to determine that manufacturing
activity is in the public interest, and the specific requirements of the local
Credentials/Documentation: Applications contain:
A cover letter, with exhibits, detailing corporation's eligibility to apply;
type of authority requested; a site and facility description; project
background; the need for a zone; public economic benefits; the relationship of
the zone project to the overall community economic development plans; and how
the project will be operated and financed. When manufacturing activity is
involved, the application must also contain information on the activity,
including products and components, tariff rates, benefits to the operator,
industry information, international competitive factors, public benefits
(e.g., employment retention/creation), and a demonstration of a net positive
Pre-application Coordination: Draft applications are
recommended. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure: Applications for zone
authority are submitted by eligible applicants and reviewed under the
regulations of the FTZ Board. The Board (Secretaries of Commerce (Chairman),
and Treasury) can approve or deny the application, or approve it with
restrictions. Applications are processed for the Board by the FTZ Staff/Import
Administration/International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of
Award Procedure: Upon filing of an application,
after a pre-filing review, an examiner is appointed to investigate the proposal
and make recommendations. Hearings are held in cases of new zones and public
comments invited in all cases. When the Foreign-Trade Zones Board makes a
decision an order is issued and published in the Federal Register.
Deadlines: Not applicable.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: Applications
are usually acted upon within 10 to 12 months of filing.
Appeals: A negative decision can be appealed by
reapplication to the FTZ Board when warranted by evidence and circumstance.
Renewals: Applicable when the Board places time
constraints on the FTZs. In that event, a renewal application must be filed.
Formula and Matching Requirements: Not applicable.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance: Not
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: Annual reports on FTZ operations are
submitted by grantees.
Audits: FTZ operations are supervised and audited
by the U.S. Customs Service and monitored by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board in
terms of restrictions imposed by board and the general public interest mandate
of the FTZ Act.
Records: Each grantee is required to keep records
pursuant to the FTZ Board's (15 CFR 400), and Customs regulations (19 CFR
Account Identification: 13-1250-0-1-376.
Obligations: (Operations and administration) FY
01 $842,006; FY 02 est $932,170; and FY 03 est $1,000,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance:
The Board processes approximately 75 to 90 applications each year covering new
general-purpose zones, sub zones, and zone expansions.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
Commerce Regulations, 15 CFR, Part 400 (15 CFR 400). U.S. Custom Regulations,
(19 CFR Part 146), FTZ Board Guidelines (see web site below).
Regional or Local Office: Commerce District Offices.
Elizabeth Whiteman 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Room 21013, Washington, District of Columbia 20230 Email: Elizabeth.Whiteman@trade.gov Phone: 2024820473
Web Site Address:
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS: