A foreign trade zone (FTZ) is an area designated by the federal government as outside of U.S. Customs territory. Businesses operating with FTZ designation typically get relief from paying Customs duties and tariffs, which in turn lowers the cost of engaging in international trade.
Foreign trade zones are established in or adjacent to U.S. ports of entry and operate under the supervision of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The DFW International Airport Board administers the DFW Foreign Trade Zone. The Board participates in the Foreign Trade Zones Board's Alternative Site management framework, which allows an expedited process for approving new "Usage-Driven" foreign trade zone locations. Any business located in the Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton, Grayson, Kaufman and Hunt counties are eligible for the expedited process.
With the agreement of local officials, the federal government will provide any eligible business with a foreign trade zone designation on an expedited and simplified basis. Formerly, that designation took about a year. The new process to designate a “Usage-Drive Foreign Trade Zone Site” will now take 45 to 60 days and carry a nominal expense (approximately $6,000). (7/10)