Alfred Figuly
One New Century Parkway, Suite 110
New Century, Kansas 66031


Foreign Trade Zones

The Greater Kansas City Foreign Trade Zone, Inc. (GKCFTZ) is a regional grantee of the national FTZ program. GKCFTZ has been the grantee since 1974 and was the first non-profit organization to be designated a grantee. GKCFTZ sponsors both Foreign-Trade Zone No. 15 in Kansas City, Missouri, and Zone No. 17 in Kansas City, Kansas. Zone 15 serves FTZ needs in 22 contiguous counties in the western half Missouri. Zone 17 presently serves 9 counties in metropolitan Kansas City, Kansas.

GKCFTZ is one of the largest zone operators in the country with more than 17.6 million square feet of approved foreign trade zone space that includes General Purpose and Subzone space in both Kansas and Missouri. The Kansas City trade zones handle more volume than those of Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and St. Louis and have more available space than any other area in the country. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Foreign Trade Zone?

A foreign-trade zone is a designated location in the United States that is outside of Customs territory for purposes of collection of US Customs duties and fees. Foreign goods and merchandise admitted duty-unpaid to a Foreign Trade Zone where they can be stored, processed, repackaged, transformed, destroyed or otherwise handled by company employees providing value-added work before they leave the FTZ (when a formal entry is filed) or exported. FTZ users enjoy many cost-saving benefits in cost of goods stored, produced/assembled in FTZ’s as well as cost reductions in transportation, distribution and other components of their supply chains.  

What can a company do in an FTZ?

In an FTZ, merchandise may be assembled, exhibited, cleaned, manipulated, manufactured, mixed, processed, relabeled, repackaged, repaired, salvaged, sampled, stored, tested, displayed and destroyed. Retail trade is prohibited.

What is the Foreign-Trade Zone Board?

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board is comprised of the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Treasury. The Board is chaired by the Secretary of Commerce. The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection also plays a key role, as it did prior to its recent move from Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security, providing a position during the FTZ Board voting process with respect to customs security, control, and resource matters. The Board has delegated action authority on most matters to a Committee of Alternates, which is composed of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy. Learn more about the FTZ Board. 

Why were FTZs created?

The intent of the FTZ program is to stimulate economic growth in the U.S. It's designed to promote American competitiveness by reducing, deferring or eliminating duties on goods sourced overseas then brought into Zones for value-added work by U.S. employees, and thereafter entered into U.S. commerce or exported. The program is an incentive for firms to maintain and expand operations in the U.S. and entice foreign companies to establish U.S. operations.

What is the application process for a Subzone/Usage-driven site?

If a company is interested in pursuing FTZ designation for its facility, the process under the FTZ Board's 2012 regulations is quick (as little as 30 days with a maximum time of 5 months, depending on the specific procedure used by the applicant) and straightforward. The GKCFTZ can provide guidance on specific procedure to follow and assist in preparing the application.

How do I gain production authority?

Any company interested in applying for production authority in a zone should perform a cost-benefit analysis to make sure that the FTZ benefits outweigh the costs of operating in the zone. The first step to request production authority is to submit a "Production Notification." 

The standard timeframe for the FTZ Board to make a decision on a production notification is 120 days from submission. If the FTZ Board determines not to authorize certain activity at the end of the notification process, the applicant may choose to use the more extensive "application" process for production authority.

Benefits to a Zone User:

Duty Elimination

Duty is eliminated on:

  1. Foreign merchandise admitted to the zone but eventually exported from FTZ.
  2. Merchandise scrapped, wasted, destroyed or consumed in the zone.

Duty Deferral

The user does not pay customs duties or federal excise taxes on imported raw materials, components or finished products until the material is sold in the U.S. If the user imports the material into the zone and then exports it back out – no US Customs duties are paid. If the user brings the goods into the zone and it arrives damaged or is damaged, destroyed lost in FTZ-related processing, it is removed from inventory and no duties are paid. The reduced cost of imported products also lowers those elements of costs for warehousing, transportation and distribution that are affected by the cost of the imported product (ie: insurance, bonding, etc). 

Duty Reduction / Inverted Tariff

Imported components to products processed, manufactured, or assembled in a FTZ resulting in transformation of these components into a finished product can elect to pay the Customs duty on the finished product or the products imported components, whichever is less.  

Weekly Entry & MPF Savings

FTZ users’ whose goods are “admitted” duty-unpaid to FTZ’s and that are subsequently “entered” are allowed to file consolidated entries on a weekly basis and pay one Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) entry fee to Customs. The consolidation to one weekly customs entry allows for a reduced MPF (max $508.70) and brokerage costs, which can result in significant savings.

Direct Delivery

Allows the goods to move directly from the port of unlading to the FTZ.  Typically results in a reduced transit time and ability to avoid storage at port.

Logistical Benefits

  • Improved Customs & Border Protection compliance - FTZs are recognized as a “best industry practice” by USCBP  because they significantly improve supply chain security.
  • No limit on length of time merchandise can be in the FTZ
  • Reduced inventory cycle time
  • Lower security and insurance costs
  • Improved inventory control and streamlined logistics
  • Source component products at competitive prices
  • Production equipment - deferral
  • Zone-to-Zone transfers
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One New Century Parkway, Suite 110
New Century, Kansas 66031

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