What is a Foreign Trade Zone?
Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. plants engaged in international trade-related activities. FTZs aid import and export businesses by allowing savings on taxes and duties.
Duty-free treatment is accorded to items that are imported and processed in an FTZ and then re-exported. Duty payment is deferred on items to be sold in the U.S. until they are brought out of the FTZ. This helps to offset customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with domestic industry.
Businesses that import can benefit from direct delivery, weekly entry and duty deferral. Duty deferral makes it possible for companies to defer payment on imported items until they are ready to be shipped to their final destination. Businesses that export can benefit because they are not required to use a duty drawback when re-exporting.