February 25, 2011

FTZ Update -

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

Recently, you may have noticed some changes on the FTZ Board's website. We are in the process of rolling out a new system that will provide information on each zone in one location and also allow for the online submission of annual reports (see "Grantee and Operator Log-In Section" near the end of the text below).

The basic system - the Online FTZ Information System (OFIS) - is now live and can be accessed through the "Reading Room" on our website or through the link in the "What's New" box. The direct link to the system is here:

http://ita-web.ita.doc.gov/FTZ/OFISLogin.nsf

OFIS is intended to provide a "one stop shop" for information on each zone, including grantee information, site and subzone information and Federal Register notices. Until now, there had been no site information available on our website, and other information has been spread over multiple pages that can be hard to find. OFIS will make all information on a zone available in one location. While we transition, we will be maintaining the other pages, but OFIS will become the new source for zone information.

On the OFIS main page, look at the menu on the left hand side of the page for options. In the top box, you'll see options for browsing and viewing public information:

Zone and Site Information

If you click on "Zone and Site Information" a list of zones sorted by number will come up. By clicking on the small arrows next to each column heading you can sort by Zone Number, Grantee, Location, State and Port of Entry. For more information on a zone, click "open" next to the zone number. The top part of the screen will then display general zone and grantee contact information. You can then click on the buttons below for more information on Sites, Subzones, Admin Actions (such as minor boundary modifications) and Federal Register notices specific to that zone.

For example, clicking "open" next to a site number will give you specific information on that site, such as the address, acreage and a map. We have uploaded the maps that we had on file for each site. However, we do not have maps on file for all sites, and some of the maps we have are not of good quality. If a grantee has updated or clarified maps available for any of its sites, the grantee can provide them to our office for inclusion in OFIS.. Also, note that a few zones still require some site renumbering (for reasons described in a prior e-mail update), so site numbers at a limited number of zones may change in the future after our staff coordinates with the affected grantees.

You will also notice that each site has a status field and a field for the number of acres that are activated. Grantees will be able to log into OFIS and update the status (Active/Not Active) and activated acreage of any sites in their zone. Grantees will also be able to update their contact information directly.

Summary Site Information

If you click on this option, a page will display which allows you to select the zone that you are interested in. Once you select the zone number, you will see listed all sites and subzones for that zone along with any Federal Register notices and admin actions contained in OFIS for that zone. This section is intended to provide a quick reference to certain key information about a specific zone.

Federal Register Notices

This section will replace the former Federal Register notice database on our webpage, and will ultimately include all notices from 1980 on. When you click on "Federal Register Notices" a page will display that allows you to sort notices by company name, the year of publication or the zone number (note - to find a specific notice you can also use the "Search" option described below).

The structure of the notices themselves is the same as it was in the past. There will be general information on the notice in the top section, and applications, comments and the case status will be available for recently docketed cases.

Search

This option allows you to enter a keyword or phrase to search within all documents and zones contained in OFIS.

Grantee and Operator Log-In Section

Ultimately, OFIS will also be used for grantees to submit their annual reports to the FTZ Board online. We currently have a limited number of volunteer grantees entering data on a test basis into the portion of OFIS pertaining to annual reports. Additional information, instructions and assistance will be provided regarding the online submission of annual reports when this section of OFIS is fully ready for use.

Grantees will also be able to request accounts for their operators. Operators will then be able to use OFIS to submit their annual report information to their grantee for the grantee's review. With the grantee's authorization, OFIS will compile all of the grantee reports for the online submission from the grantee to the FTZ Board.

While work on the annual report section is being completed, grantees will still be able to log in to OFIS and update their contact information, the status of sites and the number of activated acres within a site.

Each grantee will soon be receiving an email from our office with a username and initial password for OFIS. (Each grantee does not need to request a username and password - our office will provide these automatically to grantees.) Once the grantee receives this email, the grantee should log into OFIS and change its password.

If you have any questions or problems using OFIS, please contact Liz Whiteman at Elizabeth.Whiteman@trade.gov or (202) 482-0473.

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