Port's Foreign Trade Zone No. 3 Approved for Expanded Area

Expanded Areas Include Contra Costa, Marin, & Solano Counties

Contact: Jim Maloney, Port of San Francisco
Phone: 415-274-0519  |   jim.maloney@sfport.com
San Francisco, CA - Monday, May 6, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Commerce last week approved the Port of San Francisco’s application to expand its Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 3 service area to include Contra Costa, Marin and Solano Counties, as well as portions of Sonoma and Napa Counties. The previous service area included San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. This action will support efforts to strengthen the local economy and attract new businesses to the area.

The FTZ program has allowed American companies to obtain a more competitive position with respect to their counterparts overseas, and subsidizes job growth by deferring, reducing, or eliminating customs duties paid on imported goods by importers, distributors, manufacturers and processors.

"Foreign Trade Zones are one tool to reduce logistics costs, which translates into savings to a company's bottom line," said Jim Maloney, Maritime Marketing Manager at the Port of San Francisco, grantee of FTZ No. 3. "The FTZ program provides an excellent opportunity for Bay Area businesses to enhance their competitiveness in the global economy."

The program allows existing and new companies in these counties to secure FTZ site status under the streamlined Alternative Site Framework program within approximately 30 days from when an application is accepted. Without the program the process can take 8-12 months.

A Foreign Trade Zone site is a secured area near a designated customs "port of entry," and while physically located within the United States, it is considered outside the U.S. Customs territory. This allows for foreign goods to be brought into FTZs without formal customs entry for manufacturing, testing, assembly, processing, storage, and distribution. Duty payments on imported goods and materials can be reduced or eliminated, or deferred until they leave the designated area and enter U.S. commerce. Goods not entering U.S. commerce, for instance re-exports or scrap, are not obligated to pay customs duties.

There will be no additional requirements of the counties or cities encompassed by the program. It is an opt-in incentive, managed jointly by the Port of San Francisco, the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with companies electing whether or not to participate.

In order to participate in the program, interested businesses will apply through Foreign Trade Zone No. 3. Applications can be found on the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board website at: http://ia.ita.doc.gov/ftzpage/. After the application is approved, they can be eligible for the following benefits:

Duty Deferral -
· Duties are paid on goods only as they leave the FTZ to be sold, improving cash flow.

Duty Reduction -
· Items can be packaged, manufactured or utilized as part of another product. If a lower duty applies to the finished product, only that amount is paid.

Duty Elimination -
·  If a product is re-exported, or sold to the military, no duty is paid. Likewise, documented waste or faulty product incurs no duty charge.

Additional Benefits -
·  Weekly entry of imported shipments, rather than "per-shipment" entry allows for substantial savings on processing fees.
·  No duty on domestic content or value added to a product, including the cost of labor, use of domestic parts, overhead, and profit. Final duties are assessed on the value of foreign content only. 

The Port of San Francisco, an enterprise agency of the City and County of San Francisco, oversees a broad range of commercial, maritime and public access facilities along the City's waterfront that are held in public trust for the people of California. The Port's Foreign Trade Zone No. 3 was established by a grant of authority in 1948.