Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about foreign trade zones with Tri-Link FTZ. Learn more about the benefits of using FTZs, how they work, and what it takes to get started. We'll help you make the best decisions.

A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a secure area under U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervision that is generally considered outside CBP territory upon activation. Located in or near CBP ports of entry, Foreign Trade Zones are the United States’ version of what are known internationally as free trade zones.

A free trade zone, also called a foreign trade zone, formerly free port, is an area where goods may be landed, handled, manufactured, or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities.

Importing and exporting in the U.S. presents many obstacles to business owners, many of which can come up spontaneously, without warning, and often carry significant operational or cost burdens.

  • Alcohol
  • Apparel
  • Autos
  • Electronics
  • Raw Materials
  • Pharma
  • Energy
  • Textiles
  • Tobacco

  • Cash Flow (Duty Deferral)
  • Manufacturing (Duty Reduction)
  • Cost of Money (Duty Elimination)
    • Avoid Drawback
    • Expedite Drawback
  • Tax Exemptions
    • Inventory or Floor Tax
    • Federal Excise Tax

As a result, designated areas around the country have been established and zoned to help these businesses better manage their inventory and proactively pivot around any potential roadblocks that might come their way. Two examples of these areas are Bonded Warehouses and Foreign Trade Zones. There are significant differences between these two so we will dive a little deeper to understand what they are.

Both large and small companies use foreign trade zones, including importers, manufacturers, distributors, assemblers of products, and exporters of imported merchandise and or products containing imported merchandise.

There are various benefits to using an FTZ, such as duty deferral, duty elimination, inverted tariffs, logistical improvements, and weekly entries. Contact Us to find out what opportunities are best for your company.

If you are already using another Customs tariff-reduction program, such as Duty Drawback, Temporary Importation Bond, or a Bonded Warehouse, you need to consider using an FTZ as a way to streamline operations, cut down on paperwork, increase flexibility, and save additional money.

  • Product Assembly
  • Product Testing
  • Sampling
  • Package Relabeling and Repackaging
  • Product Manufacturing
  • Product Storage
  • Merchandise Consolidation
  • Breakdown of shipments into separate deliveries
  • Salvaging
  • Processing
  • Destroying
  • Other Manipulation

Customs handles the day-to-day monitoring of zone activity. Merchandise is admitted into a zone on CBP form 214 and is removed from the zone through CBP entry or transportation under bond procedures. CBP is consulted on every application for zone activity.

Most likely, yes. Cargo placed under various holds can be admitted to an FTZ. Tri-Link handles products assigned to, among others, a Merchandise Examination Team review and can also store products awaiting FDA, FCC, and other regulatory approvals.

Using a customs broker can be very beneficial when organizing an international shipment. However, their services are not required when entering imported freight into an FTZ. Only when merchandise is removed from an FTZ and entered into the United States marketplace is a formal customs entry filed. Merchandise that is kept in an FTZ and later exported does not require the services of a customs broker.

In order for your shipment to enter into our FTZ, we will need copies of:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing List
  • Harmonized Tariff Number for each item
  • Arrival Notice

We will arrange for the pick-up of your goods from the port with a drayage company, or you can arrange the transport yourself. If you are using your own drayage company, please give us an ETA at least two hours ahead of the scheduled delivery.

Duty deferral benefits remain in effect when transferring product in bond from one FTZ to another. Tri-Link operates FTZs in California, Nevada, Florida and New York.