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Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 68)

Foreign Trade Zone Map

A foreign trade zone (FTZ) is a site within the United States, in or near a U.S. Customs port of entry, where foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in an international commerce. Foreign or domestic merchandise may enter this enclave without a formal Customs entry or the payment of Custom duties or government excise taxes.

El Paso has long been an international trading center because of its strategic location on the U.S. border. Modern transportation and "Twin Plant" border industrialization have fueled the growth of a diverse industrial community, employing many Americans directly in both manufacturing and support services activities. El Paso has two Foreign Trade Zones, which designate over 4300 acres of El Paso industrial sites at 16 different locations. FTZ #68, operated by the City of El Paso since 1982, is one of the nations most used. Because of the high volume and participation in FTZ #68, users can enjoy the lowest user fees in the country. Although FTZ benefits are limited on merchandise origination in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, companies whose merchandise originates from other countries around the world can enjoy a multitude of FTZ shipping and manufacturing benefits. These benefits can help your business contain overhead costs.

Major Benefits:

  • While in the zone, your goods are not subject to U.S. Customs duties, quotas, or excise taxes.
  • Duty is not paid until your goods are imported from the trade zone into the U.S., so your cash flow is flexible. If your goods are exported from the trade zone, no duty is paid.
  • Products that arrive damaged can be returned, stored in the FTZ or destroyed without having to pay duty or taxes.
  • US Quota restrictions do not apply in an FTZ.

Below are some of the industries that have realized benefits from utilizing the zone:

  • Automotive Products and Parts
  • Chemicals
  • Cigarettes
  • Computer and Office Equipment
  • Food Products
  • Home Appliances and Furnishing
  • Liquor
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Military equipment and Parts
  • Plastic and Rubber products
  • Vacuum products
  • Wood products

Services Offered By FTZ No.68

The City of El Paso is the Grantee and Operator of Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 68. The mission of FTZ No. 68 is to promote, market and manage the FTZ as a tool for attracting jobs, industry and investment to the El Paso trade area. FTZ No. 68 is a major component of the City’s economic development efforts to enhance international trade, while providing air transportation services integrated into a one stop international trade “hub” at El Paso International Airport.

FTZ No. 68 is a General-Purpose Zone that contains 3,003 designated acres at 21 non-contiguous industrial sites through out the El Paso port of entry. Because of its strategic location, FTZ No. 68 is a tremendous benefit to Maquiladora (twin-plant) operations in Cd. Juarez, Mexico, just across the international border with El Paso.

Its strategic location sets it apart from many ports of entry and FTZs’. This has made it the largest in volume General-Purpose Zone along the US/Mexico border for over 10 years, and one of the top five in volume General-Purpose Zones’ in the nation for the last five years.

FTZ No. 68 administrative staff provides direct coordination to interested companies in activating a facility, operational start-up, training and on-going support. Four public warehouses serve importers and exporters that do not wish to operate their own FTZ facility.

Source: City of El Paso, Foreign Trade Zone office & El Paso Empowerment Zone Website

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