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Foreign Trade Zones

Foreign Trade Zones are sites within the United States where foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in international commerce. Foreign or domestic merchandise may enter an FTZ with a special customs form. Importers or companies may delay payment of customs duty or government excise taxes until goods are entered into commerce.

Merchandise entering a zone may be:

  • Stored
  • Tested
  • Sampled
  • Labeled
  • Repackaged
  • Displayed
  • Repaired
  • Manipulated
  • Mixed
  • Cleaned
  • Assembled
  • Manufactured
  • Salvaged
  • Destroyed
  • Processed

Final Product

If the final product is exported from the USA, no U.S. Customs duty or excise tax is levied. If, however, the final product is imported into the U.S., Custom duty and excise taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the Foreign Trade Zone and formal entry into the U.S. The duty paid is the lower of that applicable to the product itself or its component parts. Thus, Foreign Trade Zones provide opportunities to realize customs duty savings. In addition, FTZ procedures provide one of the most flexible methods of handling domestic and imported merchandise.

Foreign Trade Zone #102

The largest Foreign Trade Zone on the Missouri side of the Freightway is Foreign Trade Zone #102. Benefits of FTZ102 are available to any manufacturing or distribution business in St. Louis City or St. Louis County. Under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) which St. Louis County Port Authority obtained in 2010, manufacturing facilities as well as distribution centers within 60 miles of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices, which are adjacent to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, can also benefit from this program.

Foreign Trade Zone #31

The primary Foreign Trade Zone in the Southwestern Illinois portion of the Freightway is Foreign Trade Zone #31. America’s Central Port, a 500-acre site with 1.7 million square feet of space and adjacent 47 acre north harbor, is the grantee of the Foreign Trade Zone and has two designated sites. The other designated sites of FTZ #31 are Gateway Commerce Center, a 2,250 acre designated area in Edwardsville and Pontoon Beach IL and Mid America Airport in Mascoutah IL which has 3,850 acres designated as Foreign Trade Zone. More information on Foreign Trade Zone #31 including a map is here.