What is a Foreign Trade Zone?
US Foreign Trade Zones Board
A foreign-trade zone is a designated location in the United States where companies can use special procedures that help encourage U.S. activity and value added - in competition with foreign alternatives - by allowing delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as other savings.
A site which has been granted zone status may not be used for zone activity until the site has been separately approved for FTZ activation by local U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, and the zone activity remains under the supervision of CBP. FTZ sites and facilities remain within the jurisdiction of local, state or federal governments or agencies.
What happens in a Foreign Trade Zone?
- Merchandise in a zone may be assembled, exhibited, cleaned, manipulated, manufactured, mixed, processed, relabeled, repackaged, repaired, salvaged, sampled, stored, tested, displayed and destroyed.
- Production activity must be specifically authorized by the FTZ Board. (Production activity is defined as activity involving the substantial transformation of a foreign article or activity involving a change in the condition of the article which results in a change in the customs classification of the article or in its eligibility for entry for consumption.)
- Retail trade is prohibited in zones.
What are the Advantages of Using a Foreign-Trade Zone?
- Duty Exemption. No duties on or quota charges on re-exports.
- Duty Deferral. Customs duties and federal excise tax deferred on imports.
- Inverted Tariff. In situations where zone production results in a finished product that has a lower duty rate than the rates on foreign inputs (inverted tariff), the finished products may be entered at the duty rate that applies to its condition as it leaves the zone (requires prior authorization).
- Logistical Benefits. Companies using FTZ procedures may have access to streamlined customs procedures (e.g. "weekly entry" or "direct delivery").
- Other Benefits. Foreign goods and domestic goods held for export are exempt from state/local inventory taxes. FTZ status may also make a site eligible for state/local benefits which are unrelated to the FTZ Act.
Are there any Foreign Trade Zones in Missouri?
Missouri has three Foreign Trade Zones in: