Tri-Link is your go-to source for understanding the language of foreign trade zones. Get informed on definitions, regulations, and industry terms with our comprehensive glossary. Unlock the potential of global commerce today.


General-purpose zone sites must be within 60 miles or 90 minutes driving time of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry.

Admit, Admission

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection terms describing the shipment of merchandise into U.S. foreign trade zones under CBP supervision.

Alternative site framework (ASF)

The Alternative Site Framework was adopted by the U.S. Foreign Trade Zones Board as a matter of practice in December 2008 (74 FR 1170, January 12, 2009; correction 74 FR 3987, January 22, 2009) and modified by the U.S. Foreign Trade Zones Board in November 2010 (75 FR 71069, November 22, 2010) and as may be amended or modified in the future.

Articles Consumed

Interpretation of the FTZ Act holds that all materials to be consumed in manufacturing or processing operations within a zone must first be entered for consumption with duties paid.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security

Domestic origin/duty paid

Describes merchandise that is mainly of domestic origin but can include foreign-origin merchandise as well which customs entry and duty payments have are made prior to admission to the zone site.

Entry for Consumption

Describes the general customs process of filing the appropriate documents from the CBP (including duty evaluation) allowing merchandise to be brought into the commerce of the United States. With respect to foreign trade zones, this process occurs when merchandise is shipped from the zone into the United States commerce.


Merchandise which is forwarded from zone sites to destinations in foreign countries.

Foreign Trade Zone

(FTZ) includes one or more restricted-access sites, including subzones, in or to a CBP port of entry, operated as a public utility under the sponsorship of a zone grantee being authorized by the Board, with zone operations under the supervision of CBP.

Foreign Trade Zones Board

Consists of the Secretary of Commerce (chairman) and the Secretary of Treasury, or their designated alternates.

Foreign Status

Describes zone merchandise admitted to a zone site under CBP supervision that is normally of foreign origin. Such merchandise is admitted to zone sites without being subject to formal customs entry procedures and payment of duties, unless and until the foreign merchandise enters customs territory for domestic consumption. Foreign status merchandise is further categorized by CBP as either Non-Privileged Foreign or Privileged Foreign.


Merchandise being shipped from or forwarded from zone sites after release by CBP. This category includes merchandise being forwarded to destinations in the United States market and merchandise that is exported to markets in foreign countries.

Grant of Authority

A document issued by the Board that authorizes a zone grantee to establish, operate and maintain a zone, subject to limitations and conditions specified in this part and in 19 CFR part 146. The authority to establish a zone includes the responsibility to manage it.


Giving the privilege of establishing, operating, and maintaining a Foreign Trade Zone being granted by the Foreign Trade Zones Board.


A general-purpose zone or sub-zone site already approved by the FTZ Board, although is not active with CBP. No activity under FTZ procedures is occurring at the site.

Magnet site

A site intended for serving or attracting multiple operators under the ASF.

Non-Privileged Foreign (NPF) Status

One of the customs categories of foreign status merchandise. The merchandise is evaluated based on its current condition at the time it’s shipped from the zone to the United States market and entered for consumption by CBP.


A corporation, partnership, or person which operates a zone or subzone under an agreement with the grantee.

Port of Entry

A port of entry in the United States, as defined by part 101 of the regulations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (19 CFR part 101), or a user fee airport authorized under 19 U.S.C. 58b and listed in part 122 of the regulations of CBP (19 CFR part 122).

Privileged Foreign (PF) Status

Foreign merchandise from which the duty and applicable taxes have been determined at the time that this status is approved. Determined duty rate and taxes are not subject to future fluctuation. Once established, privileged foreign status cannot be changed. If merchandise has already been admitted to a zone with a non-privileged foreign status, privileged foreign status may be obtained by filing a CF214 and related documents. Application for this status, however, must be filed prior to manipulation or manufacture in the zone.

Service Area

The jurisdiction(s) within which a grantee proposes to be able to designate sites via minor boundary modifications under the ASF.


This is a special purpose zone that has been established as part of a zone project for a limited purpose and may not be accommodated within an existing zone facility. The term "zone" also applies to a sub-zone, unless stated otherwise.

Usage-Driven Site

A single site tied to an operator or user under the ASF.


A person or firm who is using a zone for storage, handling or processing of merchandise.


A foreign trade zone (see above) established under the provisions of the FTZ Act and regulations. The term also includes sub-zones, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Zone Grantee

The corporate recipient of a grant of authority for a zone project. The term "grantee" means "zone grantee" unless otherwise indicated.

Zone Operator

A corporation, partnership, or person operating a zone or sub-zone under an agreement with the zone grantee with the concurrence of the Port Director of CBP.

Zone Restricted Status

Only merchandise admitted for the purpose of exportation or destruction. If merchandise states itself as zone restricted status, it may not enter U.S. Customs territory for consumption, only if approved by the Foreign Trade Zones Board.

Zone Site (Site)

A physical location of a zone or sub-zone.

Zone Status

The status of merchandise admitted to a Foreign Trade Zone. The merchandise entered in the zone can either be domestic or foreign status.