Foreign Trade Zone

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The US Department of Commerce has designated more than 500 acres of land in Kitsap County, at the Port of Bremerton’s industrial park and at Bremerton National Airportas part of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 216.

Gaining Foreign Trade Zone status is now faster and easier for businesses under regional Foreign Trade Zone #216‘s (FTZ #216) Alternative Site Framework (ASF), which was approved by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in 2011. The ASF allows businesses in the zone’s area that are engaged in importing, exporting, assembly, warehousing and distribution to apply for expedited approval through the FTZ #216 program. The expedited approval means significantly less paperwork for a business’s FTZ application process, and only a 30-day wait to receive approval from the federal Foreign Trade Zone Board. Along with the new Alternative Site Framework, FTZ #216 has undergone a substantial geographic expansion and now includes the southern part of Kitsap County

What is a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ)?

Foreign-trade zones are designated sites licensed by the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board at which special Customs procedures may be used for foreign goods.  The activities in a zone offset Customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with producers located in the United States.The

South Puget Sound Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ #216)

As Grantee of FTZ #216, the Port of Olympia administers the South Puget Sound Foreign-Trade Zone in the Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Kitsap counties.

Benefit for Businesses

The FTZ program helps American companies improve their competitive position versus their counterparts abroad. The FTZ program allows US-based companies to defer, reduce or even eliminate Customs duties on products admitted to the Zone. For example:

  • Domestic goods involving foreign items can be processed in a zone to eliminate or reduce customer duties.
  • Duty-free treatment is accorded items that are re-exported and duty payment is deferred on items sold in the U.S. market.
Benefits for Communities

When companies increase their cash flow, save taxes and improve their bottom line by locating their operations in FTZs, communities benefit in several important ways.

  • Economic growth and development are stimulated because jobs are retained and created in the community.
  • Opportunities are created for suppliers and service providers to locate in the community.
  • An FTZ project can be a valuable asset when a community is trying to attract new business investment to its area.
  • A community with an FTZ may experience an improved infrastructure and expanded tax-base as a result of higher employment and the influx of new businesses.

More than 250 communities throughout the United States support and rely on the benefits that the FTZ program offers public as well as private entities.

Building local prosperity through global business

The FTZ program promotes American competitiveness by encouraging companies to maintain and expand their operations in the United States. The FTZ program corrects trade imbalances by treating a product made in a U.S. foreign-trade zone, for purposes of customs tariffs.

The South Puget Sound Foreign-Trade Zone is a collaborative effort at the regional level. The communities of South Puget Sound are striving to create, maintain and diversify economic development in the region. FTZ #216 has generated a great deal of interest nationwide because of its collaborative efforts and unique multi-site, four-county coverage.

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