Foreign trade zones (FTZs) are sites in or near a U.S. Customs port of entry where foreign and domestic merchandise is considered to be in international trade. Goods may be brought into a FTZ without formal customs entry requirements or without incurring customs duties or excise taxes unless and until they are further imported into the United States.
FTZs are intended to promote U.S. participation in trade and commerce by eliminating or reducing the unintended costs or obstacles associated with U.S. trade laws. Business operations that might be shifted to a foreign country are thereby encouraged to remain in Texas.
FTZ projects may be at one or multiple sites, a single building, all or a portion of an industrial park, at a deep-water port, or within an international airport. The Central Texas Foreign Trade Zone is FTZ 183.
For more information regarding FTZ 183, visit:
Benefits for businesses using FTZs include:
● Duty Exemption. No duties on or quota charges on re-exports.
● Duty Deferral. Customs duties and federal excise tax deferred on imports.
● Inverted Tariff. In situations where zone manufacturing results in a finished product that has a lower duty rate than the rates on foreign inputs (inverted tariff), the finished products may be entered at the duty rate that applies to its condition as it leaves the zone -- subject to public interest considerations.
● Logistical. Companies using FTZ procedures may have access to streamlined customs procedures (e.g. "weekly entry" or "direct delivery").
● Other. Foreign goods and domestic goods held for export are exempt from state/local inventory taxes. FTZ status may also make a site eligible for state/local benefits which are unrelated to the FTZ Act.
Benefits for the public from FTZs include:
● Public Service. Providing special customs procedures to help firms conduct international trade related operations in competition with foreign plants.
● Business Retention. Helping attract offshore activity and encourage retention of domestic activity.
● Jobs. Helping create employment opportunities.
● Growth. Assisting state and local economic development efforts.
● Trade and Globalization. Helping facilitate and expedite international trade.
The U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Trade Zones Board website is available at: