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Foreign Trade Zone

Foreign Trade Zone Overview

The U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Program is an approved site that is outside of U.S. Customs territory and considered to be in international commerce.

Companies using a Foreign Trade Zone are able to delay, reduce or eliminate duties on foreign goods admitted in the FTZ, and enjoy streamlined Customs processing. 

Activities performed in a Foreign Trade Zone can include manufacturing, storage, inspection, testing, processing, repair, relabeling and packaging, display, distribution and destruction of damaged merchandise.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1934, the Foreign Trade Zone program enhances the global competitiveness of companies operating in the U.S.

San Jose's FTZ, operated by the Office of Economic Development, is the 18th to be approved, and was established in 1974. The Zone encompasses San Jose and the cities and towns in Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Fremont, Hayward, Newark and Union City.

As Grantee of FTZ #18, the City of San Jose can help companies seeking to designate their facility as a Foreign Trade Zone, or access an existing FTZ. With the help of OED's International Programs Manager, companies interested in FTZ designation for their facilities can receive approval by the Foreign Trade Zones Board within 30 days. We can also assist with companies' work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to activate the Zone to commerce operations.

Contact: Joe Hedges, International Programs Manager, (408) 535-8186.