What is a Foreign-Trade Zone?

A Foreign-Trade Zone or FTZ is a restricted-access site that is treated, as it relates to tariffs and Customs procedures, as being outside the Customs territory of the United States. Merchandise may enter the FTZ without a formal Customs entry, payment of Customs duties, or payment of federal excise taxes. 

The Alternative Site Framework (ASF) is a new FTZ approach that enables the zone to be marketed and the FTZ benefits brought to companies at their existing place of business. 

There are two types of sites within an FTZ:

  1. Magnet Sites are designated to attract future business and are very similar to current GPZ sites, both in function and application process. It can take up to 10 months for approval and offers a 5-year sunset limit.
  2. Usage-Drive sites are designated specifically for one company. the very brief and easy application process can be approved in as little as 30 days and has a 3-year sunset limit.