Foreign-Trade Zones in the United States
The Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) proposes to amend its regulations, and invites public comment on these proposed amendments. Through this action, the Board proposes to amend the substantive and procedural rules for the authorization of Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs or zones) and the regulation of zone activity. The purpose of zones as stated in the Foreign-Trade Zones Act (FTZ Act or the Act) is to ``expedite and encourage foreign commerce, and other purposes.'' The regulations proposed here provide the legal framework for accomplishing this purpose in the context of evolving U.S. economic and trade policy, and economic factors relating to international competition. The changes are comprehensive and the proposed action constitutes a major revision. These revisions encompass changes related to manufacturing and value-added activity, as well as new rules designed to address compliance with the Act's requirement for a grantee to provide uniform treatment for the users of a zone. The new rules should improve flexibility for U.S.-based operations, particularly for most circumstances involving exports; enhance clarity; and strengthen compliance and enforcement. The revisions would also reorganize the regulations in the interest of ease-of-use and transparency.