When not utilizing a Zone, an importer is required to pay Custom duties at the time the imported merchandise enters U.S. commerce. Merchandise in a Foreign-Trade Zone is considered to be outside the commerce of the United States, so no Customs duty is owed when foreign merchandise is brought into a Foreign-Trade Zone, for as long as it remains in the Zone. If the foreign merchandise is exported from the U.S., no Customs duty is ever due. This benefit is available to companies in General-Purpose Zones and to companies that have received Subzone approval from the FTZ Board.
The FTZ Corporation has many clients whose ability to compete in international markets depends on their ability to avoid duty payments on imported merchandise that is subsequently re-exported. By staging their merchandise for international distribution from U.S. locations, these companies can keep their U.S.-based distribution operations open and pursue international sales at the same time.
We have the expertise necessary to obtain FTZ status through request or application to the FTZ Board, activate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and implement the FTZ inventory control procedures and software that companies need to manage their FTZ operations. This turnkey solution provides the benefit of integration of all of these FTZ-related services with one point of contact.
The duty exemption on re-exports benefit available to U.S. companies under the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones program is often available in free trade zones abroad. This makes it especially important for U.S.-based distributors to take advantage of the FTZ program in the U.S. in order to gain a level playing field against their foreign competitors and sister companies.