What does FTZ Enabled mean?
Sites that are “FTZ enabled” are either located in the Alternative Site Framework (“ASF”) Service Area of an existing FTZ project under the sponsorship of an existing ASF Grantee, or are located in a geographic region that is eligible for sponsorship under an existing Traditional Site Framework (“TSF”) Grantee.
Do FTZ Enabled sites have FTZ designation?
No. While FTZ enabled sites do not yet maintain FTZ designation, their inclusion in a defined ASF Service Area or a TSF geographic region means that there is an existing grantee that can sponsor FTZ designation of the sites. Sites in defined ASF Service Areas (noted with asterisk) are eligible for an expedited approval process with no fees to the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board.
Why am I just now hearing about the term FTZ Enabled now? Have the laws changed?
The FTZ laws and regulations have not changed since 2012. However, as an industrial real estate developer with decades of FTZ development expertise, we hope to connect prospective tenants and landowners with the supply chain and logistics benefits associated with our FTZ enabled sites.
Are only Rockefeller Group-owned sites FTZ Enabled?
No. Any site located in a defined ASF Service Area or a geographic region that is eligible for sponsorship by an existing TSF grantee may be considered “FTZ enabled”. Whether located in an ASF Service Area or an area eligible for sponsorship by a TSF grantee, the site will ultimately need to be FTZ-designated through an application process with the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board including concurrence of local U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
Are only industrial buildings/locations FTZ Enabled?
The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board will only grant FTZ designation to property that is zoned for commercial, industrial, manufacturing or similar uses. Property with non-conducive zoning (i.e., retail, residential) is not considered FTZ enabled and cannot be FTZ designated.
I am a developer and want to get my site designated a Foreign Trade Zone. Is my site FTZ Enabled?
The site may be FTZ enabled if it is located in the ASF Service Area of an existing ASF Grantee or the sponsorable geographic region of an existing TSF Grantee. Note that the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board regulations seek to tie FTZ designation to actual use of FTZ procedures. Therefore, the FTZ designation application process is generally associated with companies that will act as the FTZ Operator and/or FTZ User at the site (i.e., importers, exporters, 3PL, etc.) and not to developers.
I am looking at leasing a property and am interested in operating my business in a Foreign Trade Zone. How do I know if the location is FTZ enabled and how long would the process to get FTZ-designated take?
The first step is to determine if the site is located in any ASF Service Areas or sponsorable TSF geographic regions, and if so, whether only one or multiple grantees can sponsor the site. Once determined, the next step is to engage each grantee to understand their policies, procedures, rules, timeframes and fees for FTZ sponsorship. At that point it is feasible to determine an approximate timeframe for the FTZ designation application process as well as the FTZ activation application (and possibly FTZ production application) process.
How much more quickly do sites located in ASF Service Areas achieve full FTZ designation versus sites located sponsorable TSF geographic regions?
Depending on the grantee and CBP port’s processes, it takes approximately 30-90 days for an ASF site to be approved by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board including the time it takes to prepare the application itself. In contrast, TSF site approvals generally take 4-6 months and include a Federal Register Notice process, a public comment period and notice in a local newspaper.
What is the role of the sponsor and why is that important?
The grantee is the public interest sponsor of the local FTZ project and the conduit through which businesses (i.e., importers, exporters, manufacturers and 3PLs) can access FTZ benefits.
If you would like to calculate whether FTZ status at these properties would drive financial and supply chain/logistics benefits for your company and also understand how RGFTZS can assist you with the FTZ implementation process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410.897.4858.