November 18, 2010

FTZ Board Grantee Update

PLEASE SHARE THIS UPDATE WITH YOUR FTZ OPERATORS, USERS AND OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED IN THE FTZ PROGRAM.

The FTZ Board expects to publish proposed revised regulations by the end of 2010, and will be inviting public comment on the proposed regulations for a period of at least 90 days. To help parties potentially affected by the proposed changes to take full advantage of the public comment period, the FTZ Board's staff is planning free forums specific to the proposed regulations at several locations across the country plus one or more free webinars for parties unable to attend a forum. The forums and webinar(s) will enable parties to both learn and ask questions about the proposed changes to the regulations. Initial details are below.

The FTZ Board's current regulations have been in place since 1991, so the process of revising the regulations allows all of us to consider how the program could be better served through specific changes. The development of the proposed regulations has focused in particular on key areas:

- Simplification and streamlining for certain manufacturing activity (especially manufacturing for export)

- Additional guidance and requirements specific to the statutory mandate that each zone operate as a public utility and provide uniform treatment to users

- Provisions for the issuance of fines for certain violations of the FTZ Act or the regulations, as well as for the mitigation of such fines and the prior disclosure of violations.

Here are the initial details about the FTZ Board's free events pertaining to the proposed regulations:

January 26 - General Forum in Washington, DC - open at no cost to any party interested in learning and being able to ask questions about the details and intent of each proposed regulatory change. The forum will be led by the Executive Secretary of the FTZ Board.

January 27 - Grantee Forum in Washington, DC - to provide Grantees with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the proposed regulatory changes with the Executive Secretary of the FTZ Board, other members of the FTZ Staff and other Grantees. This unique no-cost event limited to FTZ Grantees will also allow for discussion of other issues/questions that Grantees may have, and enable Grantees from across the country to meet with each other.

In addition to the two Washington events already planned, we are finalizing details for several free General Forums and Grantee Forums at other locations across the United States, as well as for one or more free webinars.

We will send out additional information on all of these events as soon as it is available and will also highlight the information in the "What's New" box on our web site - www.trade.gov/ftz

As always, do not hesitate to contact your FTZ Staff regional representative with any questions you may have. The list of staff contacts by region is in the "Contact Us" section of our web site - the direct link to that list is:

https://enforcement.trade.gov/ftzpage/grantee/staffbyregion.html

Andrew McGilvray
Executive Secretary and Staff Director
U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board
(202) 482-2862
www.trade.gov/ftz