Back     Glossary of FTZ Terms  

How do I know if a zone is right for my community/company?

  • New Zone: The first things that should be done are 1) to assess the level of international trade in the area and if there is a need for zone services for local companies and 2) to determine if is an existing zone(s) adjacent to the CBP port(s) of entry that will already serve companies needs. A new zone can only be approved if the applicant demonstrates that the existing zone(s) will not meet the "convenience of commerce." The application requirements are extensive and the process is lengthy (requiring approx. 10 months after the FTZ Board "dockets" the completed application). Also, if the zone is approved there are security and operating requirements that may be cost prohibitive if there is not a strong need for zone services. It may be much more efficient (from time, resource, and cost perspectives) to discuss with the existing zone(s) the sponsorship of subzones for companies in your community.

  • Subzone/usage-driven site: If a company is interested in pursuing FTZ designation for its facility, the process under the FTZ Board's 2012 regulations is quick (as little as 30 days with a maximum time of 5 months, depending on the specific procedure used by the applicant) and straightforward. The FTZ Board staff and the grantee of your nearby FTZ(s) can provide guidance on specific procedure to follow.

  • Production Authority: Any company interested in applying for production authority in a zone should perform a cost-benefit analysis to make sure that the FTZ benefits outweigh the costs of operating in the zone. 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. 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.

    There is a simple duty estimator and additional information on the process available on the Production Toolbox Page.