STEP 1: STATEMENT OF NEED (FOR FTZ STATUS)
An applicant must submit a written request to GDFTZ that includes:
- Name of company and the physical address of the proposed FTZ site, including the jurisdiction in which the site resides (municipality and county)
- Proposed square footage or acreage of the site
- Summary of the company’s planned activities
- Acknowledgement of compliance with all GDFTZ terms and conditions, including its fee schedule and operating agreement
- Payment of non-refundable application fee
STEP 2: SUBMISSION OF FORMAL APPLICATION
Upon GDFTZ’s concurrence of an applicant’s justification for FTZ status, GDFTZ will submit an official application to the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board. In addition to the items mentioned in Step 1, the application will include:
- Proof of site ownership that demonstrates the right to use the location for the intended purpose from the operator (if the site owner) OR, a concurrence letter, on company letterhead, from the legal property owner approving the proposed FTZ use (a “Right to Use” attachment)
- Current zoning of the site
- A statement that FTZ designation is not a requirement or precondition for future activity or construction at the site
- A clear and detailed site map with the site boundaries outlined in red
- A concurrence letter from CBP
STEP 3: ACTIVATION BY U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
Once the application is approved by the FTZB, the site operator must request activation of the site from CBP. FTZ procedures cannot begin at a facility until it has been activated. Typically, a company contracts with a third party FTZ specialist for assistance with activation-related compliance. Requirements for activation include, but are not limited to:
- Letter on company letterhead signed by a company officer requesting FTZ activation
- Letter from GDFTZ supporting the activation request
- Completed CBP-provided background investigation forms on company officers and key FTZ personnel that will have access to FTZ inventory and recordkeeping system
- A blueprint of the area to be activated
- A “Procedures Manual” describing the FTZ inventory control and recordkeeping system that will be used
As a condition of approval of the activation request, the CBP Port Director will order an inquiry by a Customs officer as to the security, suitability, and fitness of the facility to receive merchandise in zone status. The surveying officer may prepare a survey report addressing CBP’s physical and procedural standards (Cargo Security Survey).
The Port Director will promptly notify the applicant in writing of the decision to approve or deny the request to activate. The decision of the Port Director will be the final CBP administrative determination in the matter.
Following the Port Director’s approval of the request and acceptance of the executed FTZ Operator’s Bond, the zone site will be considered activated and merchandise may be admitted to the zone in zone status.