September 11, 2009

FTZ Board Grantee Update

This e-mail inaugurates a regular series of updates from the FTZ Board staff to grantees on key developments in the FTZ program. I hope that this type of regular communication will be helpful to all of you.

The first topic for this update is one that I'm very enthusiastic about. In order to improve our responsiveness and accessibility for grantees, we are reorganizing our staff along regional lines. We now have five Regional Representatives each with a distinct territory - the Northeast, Southeast, Great Lakes, Central, and Western regions. The driving factor behind the shift to this regional model is to give each of you a primary contact person on the FTZ Board staff who will get to know you and your zone. Over the month or so, each of you should be hearing directly from your Regional Representative. I hope that these contacts will be the starting point for very successful working relationships, and remember that your Regional Representative is available for any FTZ- related questions or concerns that you may have.

A second important topic is the updated formats that we will be releasing within the next week for requests for minor boundary modifications (MBMs). We have had to create a format for MBMs under the FTZ Board's recently adopted Alternative Site Framework (ASF), and the ASF MBM format reflects the simplicity and reduced burden that are hallmarks of the ASF. At the same time, we are updating the format for MBMs under the traditional (non-ASF) site framework. That updated MBM format will provide a straightforward series of questions to answer, rather than the old-style set of criteria to address. We ask that you ensure than any MBM requests submitted to our office after October 31st use the updated MBM format. And, for all MBM requests, we are emphasizing that we can only accept complete requests (rather than the piecemeal submission of documents that has sometimes occurred with MBM requests in the past).

Finally, my staff and I are continuing our series of regional grantee outreach sessions to provide training and to discuss in a small-group setting any topics or issues of interest to you. Our next outreach sessions are scheduled for Dallas, TX on September 25 and Charlotte, NC on October 29. Details are on our web site - - via the link in the "What's New" box. And we will send out additional updates once any new grantee outreach sessions are scheduled.

As always, do not hesitate to contact our staff with questions, concerns or comments. You also should have your first, introductory contact soon from your designated Regional Representative. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback on this e-mail update. You can just hit the "Reply" button and let us know what you think!


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