FOREIGN TRADE ZONE

What is a FTZ?

A FTZ is an area within the United States, in or near a U.S. Customs port of entry, where foreign and domestic merchandise is considered to be outside the country, or at least, outside of U.S. Customs territory. Certain types of merchandise can be imported into a Zone without going through formal Customs entry procedures or paying import duties. Customs duties and excise taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the FTZ for U.S. consumption. If the merchandise never enters the U.S. commerce, then no duties or taxes are paid on those items.


General InformationMultiple nautical flags strung up on a ship.

THE FOREIGN-TRADE ZONE (FTZ) PROGRAM was created by the U.S. government to facilitate international trade and increase the global competitiveness of U.S.-based companies. The program, which has existed since the 1930s, continues to thrive and change to better meet the needs of American companies in the global economy.

The Port Authority has been designated as Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #231, which includes sites located at the Port of Stockton, Rough and Ready Island and the Stockton Municipal Airport. The zone offers users special advantages. For example, customs duties on imported goods entering the FTZ can be delayed until the cargo is removed from the zone. No duty is paid if the merchandise is exported directly from the zone.

Foreign Trade Zone Fee Schedule: Download PDF – RTF

A dock view of a large cargo ship in port.What are the Benefits of FTZ?

• Imports may be held in a FTZ without paying customs.
• Users can pay the duty rate of the component material or the duty rate of the merchandize produced from component material.
• Customs are not paid in merchandize that is exported from a zone.
• Duties are reduced or eliminated on materials that are defective, damaged, wasted or scraped.
• Merchandize may be exported, transported and returned without paying duties.
• Delays in Customs clearances and duty drawback results reduced or eliminated.
• Duties are not paid on labor, overhead and profits.
• Quality control inspections may identify goods to be destroyed or returned that do not pay duty fees.
• Spare parts may be stored, destroyed or returned without duty payment.
• Merchandize with in-bond/zone-to-zone status do not pay duty.

Why Use the Port of Stockton’s Foreign Trade Zone?

The Port offers a strategic link to interior U.S. markets. Its unique location makes Stockton an ideal distribution point for shippers sending goods to the Western U.S. Market. Shipping overland to these areas is easy because of direct access to a vast network of interstate highways and railroads.

Stockton’s FTZ includes facilities located throughout the Stockton area offer a variety of services, allowing more flexibility and diversity than many other zones.

What Activities Can Be Done In A FTZ?

The merchandize may be:
• Assembled
• Tested
• Sampled
• Relabeled
• Manufactured*
• Stored
• Salvaged
• Processed
• Repackaged
• Destroyed
• Mixed
• Manipulated
*The user must receive special approval from the FTZ Board for manufacturing.