2012 FTZ Regulations - Summary of Changes (effective April 30, 2012)

All Applications

  • All applications for new zones, expansions, reorganizations, ASF reorganizations, subzones (not within an ASF service area) and production applications require the submission of a "pre-docketing" copy of the application.
  • The pre-docketing copy should be complete and should be submitted in electronic form (PDF or Word-compatible format) to ftz@trade.gov
  • The FTZ Staff will let the applicant know within 30 days if the pre-docketing copy is sufficient, or if any changes or additional information are needed.
  • The final version of the application (hard copies and final electronic version) can only be submitted once the FTZ Staff determines that the pre-docketing copy is sufficient.


  • The term "production" replaces "manufacturing" and "processing".
  • Production is defined as, "Activity involving the substantial transformation of a foreign article resulting in a new and different article having a different name, character, and use, or activity involving a change in the condition of the article which results in a change in the customs classification of the article or in its eligibility for entry for consumption ." (15 CFR 400.2(o))

  • The first step to request production authority is to submit a "Production Notification".
  • The standard timeframe for the FTZ Board to make a decision on a production notification is 120 days from submission of a complete notification.

  • If the FTZ Board determines not to authorize certain activity at the end of the notification process, the applicant may choose to use the more extensive "application" process for production authority.


  • Subzone designation purely relates to the designation of the land.
  • A grantee under the ASF submitting a request for a boundary modification for a company located within the service area can designate the site(s) as a subzone (or usage-driven site(s), if preferable).

  • If not designated through a minor boundary modification under the ASF, the subzone application process will be 3 or 5 months.
  • If the grantee elects for the proposed subzone to be subject to the overall zone's FTZ Board-approved activation limit, then the processing time will be 3 months.
  • If the proposed subzone will not be subject to the overall zone's activation limit, the processing time will be 5 months.