For Immediate Release: February 17, 2012
Contact: Mara Lee (202) 482-3809
Foreign Trade Zone Regulation Revision Promotes Flexibility and Transparency
Regulatory overhaul means quicker action, supports job creation
WASHINGTON – Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for the Import Administration at the International Trade Administration, today announced the first regulatory overhaul to the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) program in 20 years, cutting the standard processing time for many FTZ applications in half.
The FTZ Board, chaired by the Department of Commerce, issued new regulations which are designed to improve the FTZ program’s flexibility and responsiveness, enhance ease-of-use for applicants, and promote even greater transparency for both stakeholders and the public.
“The change is in direct compliance with President Obama’s directive to reduce unnecessarily burdensome regulatory practices,” said Piquado. “The new rule streamlines the FTZ application process for companies by cutting process times in half. This is a perfect example of the Obama Administration supporting U.S. businesses that are looking to expand and create jobs through international trade.”
The new regulations replace the prior manufacturing-approval procedures with a much simpler and faster standard notification process. The prior process involved a complex application format and an ordinary 12-month timeframe for the Board to process applications – the new rule will reduce the ordinary processing time for notifications to 120 days.
First established by the FTZ Act of 1934, the FTZ program boosts the U.S. economy by enhancing U.S. manufacturers’ competitiveness, helping to maintain manufacturing and processing activity in the United States, and creating jobs in the communities where they are located. Companies in FTZs currently employ nearly 330,000 U.S. workers and export approximately $30 billion a year in merchandise. There are currently more than 500 FTZs and FTZ subzones nationwide.
A link to a fact sheet is available here.
International Trade Administration
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