Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ’s) were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. firms engaged in international trade-related activities. These procedures were aimed to offset customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with domestic industry. Businesses locating in an FTZ can take advantage of a number of financial and time-saving benefits including duty deferral, duty reduction, and streamlined distribution. There are currently 256 General-Purpose Zones and 538 Subzones in the U.S. – 3 General-Purpose Zones in Minnesota.
Benefits of an FTZ in Koochiching County
The port of entry into the U.S. for CN rail from the Vancouver to Chicago route is Ranier, Minnesota – three miles east of International Falls. This port of entry is strategically located in the geographic center of CN Rail’s North American network and is the busiest rail port in North America. The Koochiching Economic Development Authority (KEDA) is positioned to serve companies that could benefit from locating in an FTZ or logistics companies that could use this location as a distribution center or for general warehousing. The KEDA has created a 90-acre business park just south of Ranier adjacent to the CN main line and has immediate access to state highways and in 2015, the FTZ was expanded to include all of Koochiching County. Additionally, the FTZ site is located near and experienced Customs Broker with years of handling international freight and commodities. International Falls is also served by an international airport that provides daily commercial passenger service and customs support, as well as the Highway 53 corridor connecting to Duluth and Minneapolis through Interstate 35.
Benefits for companies importing product into the United States include:
- Duty Deferral
- Duty Reductions/exemptions
- Drawback Elimination
- Weekly Entries
- Increased Efficiencies in Supply Chain Management
- Zone-to-Zone Transfers
- Quota Storage