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Port of Tacoma Works to Improve and Streamline its Foreign Trade Zone


Increased flexibility and a reduction in paperwork are two goals behind the Port of Tacoma’s efforts to have its Foreign Trade Zone #86 reorganized under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s new Alternative Site Framework (ASF) program.

“Obtaining the ASF designation will help make our FTZ a more effective marketing tool,” said Jack Hedge, the Port’s Director of Real Estate and Asset Management. “It will dramatically increase our flexibility and speed in designating and adjusting sites within our FTZ to meet the changing needs of companies in our region.”

FTZs give importers and exporters a flexible way to ship, store, and add value to goods while delaying, reducing, or in some cases, eliminating payment of U.S. Customs duties. Mazda and Kia are two major users of Tacoma’s FTZ, using it to process imported autos.

The Port’s FTZ #86, one of the largest on the West Coast, includes both Port land and privately-owned land. It currently consists of 12 sites totaling 2,266 acres of land. FTZ #86 was first established in 1983, and has been expanded three times over the years.

The review process for the application is expected to take about six months.

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