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Foreign Trade Zone #20

Virginia is the best choice for FTZ activities due to our strategic mid-Atlantic location. Companies locating in FTZ 20 can benefit from advanced distribution networks; easy and reliable access to shipping channels, highways, railways, and airways.

Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) are areas which are geographically inside the United States, but are legally considered outside its Customs territory. Companies that locate in FTZs can benefit by using special procedures to encourage U.S. activity by reducing, eliminating, or delaying duties.

Foreign Trade Zone 20 Service Area

To receive the benefits of the foreign trade zone 20, companies must locate or be located 60 minutes or 90 miles from the Customs Port of Entry in Norfolk, VA.

User Benefits

  • Duty Deferral: Users can avoid paying duties on imported merchandise until the goods are removed from the FTZ and enter in the U.S. commerce. Duty on machinery is deferred until it is put into production; there is no duty paid on re-exports or scrap.
  • Inverted Tariffs/Duty Reduction: FTZ zone users can pay lower duty rates on goods produced in the zone when the finished product has a lower duty rate than the imported components and parts.
  • Weekly Entries: Zone users will benefit if they file multiple Customs and Border Protection entries each week. FTZs allow the user to file this paper work once a week at a rate no higher than $485.
  • No Time Constraints: Merchandise may remain in the zone indefinitely, whether or not it is subject to duty.
  • Customs Compliance: Customs & Border Protection requirements and federal criminal sanctions are deterrents against theft. Cargo that is imported into FTZs have fewer incidents of loss and may result in lower insurance costs.

Public Benefits

  • Help facilitate and expedite international trade.
  • Provide special customs procedures as a public service to help firms conduct international trade related operations in competition with foreign plants.
  • Encourage and facilitate exports.
  • Help attract offshore activity and encourage retention of domestic activity.
  • Assist state/local economic development efforts
  • Help create employment opportunities.

How to Apply

Step 1: Contact the Port of Virginia

Laura Smith
Economic Development Manager
Foreign Trade Zone Administrator
lhsmith@portofvirginia.com
757-683-2135

Step 2: Apply with the Port of Virginia

1. Site visit by the Port of Virginia
2. Download and complete the Minor Boundary Modification application
3. Submit application and application fee to the Port of Virginia
4. Port of Virginia obtains concurrence from CBP-Norfolk
5. Port of Virginia submits all documents to FTZ Board

Step 3: Receive approval from FTZ Board

1. Application review by FTZ Board. Site will be approved within 30 days.
2. Review and sign Operator Agreement with Port of Virginia

 Step 4: Activate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection

1. Grantee will notify user when FTZ Board has approved the site
2. CBP and FTZ user can now begin activation. Go to: http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FTZmanual2011.pdf

FTZ Savings Calculator

Wondering if your company could benefit from being in FTZ #20? Please click here to use a calculator to estimate your company’s potential savings from operating with foreign-trade zone status.

Virginia Port Authority Fee Schedule (pdf)

For more information please contact:

Laura Smith
Economic Development Manager
Foreign Trade Zone Administrator
757-683-2135
lhsmith@portofvirginia.com