Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Port of Tacoma Receives Federal Approval for Foreign Trade Zone Reorganization

The Port of Tacoma has received approval to reorganize its Foreign Trade Zone 86 under the US Department of Commerce’s new Alternative Site Framework (ASF) program.

The ASF program simplifies the designation process for firms seeking to use FTZ areas, allows firms seeking to use the FTZ to obtain the FTZ designation within 30 days instead of between six months to a year, and lowers the cost of thjavascript:void(0)e FTZ designation process.

“Obtaining the ASF designation makes our FTZ a more effective marketing tool,” Port of Tacoma Director of Real Estate and Asset Management Jack Hedge said. “We will now be able to dramatically increase our flexibility and speed in designating and adjusting sites within our FTZ to meet our customers’ needs.”

FTZs provide importers and exporters a flexible way to ship, store, and add value to goods while delaying, reducing, or in some cases, eliminating payment of U.S. Customs duties.

As a result of the approval of the ASF application, the port's FTZ 86 now consists of 11 Magnet Sites (industrial parks or property) that cover more than 2,235 acres of both port and privately-owned land. First established in 1983, FTZ 86 has been expanded three times over the years.

Mazda and Kia both use Tacoma’s FTZ 86 to process imported vehicles. In addition, Puget Sound International, Norvanco International and Pacific Distribution Services all provide FTZ warehousing services to companies involved in the importation and distribution of a wide range of products.

Tacoma’s FTZ ranks third among the 35 West Coast FTZs (behind Long Beach and San Diego), and 18th out of the 272 FTZs in the United States in total dollar value of foreign status merchandise being admitted into a zone. For the government fiscal year 2010 (October 2009 through September 2010), the total dollar value of foreign merchandise that moved through FTZ 86 tripled to $1.3 billion.