Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) are areas within the United States that are under the supervision of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For customs’ purposes FTZs are treated as though they are located outside of the United States. An FTZ can provide companies delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise as well as other savings. Many firms use FTZs to postpone and in the case of re-exporting, eliminate the applications of U.S. Customs laws that impose duties, taxes, bonds, quotas and other requirements. Domestic and foreign merchandise may be stored at the FTZ. It may be manufactured, displayed, sold or altered in almost any way that is not prohibited by U.S. law.
If your business imports and exports, FTZs are about real cost savings and improving your competitiveness.
The Port modified FTZ #129 to provide a new benefit for businesses in Whatcom County. The Port of Bellingham FTZ is under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF). This will allow any new or existing companies within Whatcom County to secure Foreign Trade Zone status for warehousing and distribution operations within 30 days from the time an application is accepted. Manufacturing applications can be approved in 120 days. This is a new process that requires basic information on the company, its operation and location. Businesses can now secure approval for FTZ designation more quickly and for a lower cost.