What is Foreign Trade Zone #93?

Foreign Trade Zone #93 LogoTriangle J Council of Governments is the grantee of the Research Triangle Area's full-service, multi-site Foreign Trade Zone #93.


A Foreign Trade Zone, or FTZ, is a neutral, secured area in or near a port of entry that is legally outside of US Customs & Border Protection Territory. Domestic and foreign merchandise may enter this enclave without a formal Customs entry. Goods entering the Zone may be stored, sorted, manipulated, used in manufacturing, inspected, combined with other domestic or foreign materials, displayed for sale, and re-exported without payment of duty. If the final product is exported from the US, no duty or excise tax is levied. If the final product is imported into the US, customs duty and excise taxes are due only at the time of transfer from the foreign trade zone into US commerce. Spoiled, damaged or waste goods may be disposed of or re-exported without payment of duty.


The US Foreign Trade Zone Board and Triangle J Council of Governments require that zone activities result in significant public benefit and a net positive economic effect. (Subzones may be created if criteria are met.) The intent of FTZ #93 is to stimulate international trade in the Greater Triangle Region and thereby create new jobs in companies engaged in international trade, as well as encourage job creation in spin-off industries.


The Foreign Trade Zone serving the Research Triangle area is now accessible to 15 counties , under a reorganization and expansion plan recently approved by the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone Board. FTZ #93 now includes Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange and Wake counties in Region J, as well as Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Person, Sampson, Vance, Warren and Wilson counties in the surrounding area.


“This enhancement to the region’s foreign trade zone offers new capacity to promote export-import business activity and all-important job growth for the regional labor market,” said Tom White, long-term member and current Chairman of the Rates, Tariff and Legal Review Board for FTZ #93. White credited former Chairman Michael Weisel, as well as former FTZ #93 Administrator Pamela Davison and current Administrator Renée Boyette, for their diligence in pursuing ASF approval and mobilizing support throughout the region.


In addition to expanding the service area of FTZ #93, the approval authorized a new way for the region’s foreign trade zone to conduct business. The Alternative Site Framework, or ASF, provides greater flexibility, expedites access to the benefits of the Foreign Trade Zone program and lowers participation barriers, especially for small and medium sized businesses. Under the ASF, a zone can establish two types of sites, magnet sites and usage-driven sites. Magnet sites are intended to attract users to a single fixed location, generally in a business park or a port facility. Usage-driven sites are geared toward specific companies, enabling grantees to locate zone designation where companies’ needs actually arise. By bringing zone designation to firms, usage-driven sites help grantees respond to growth opportunities in the local economy and diminish the need to try to anticipate where future activity may occur. Under the ASF, a usage-driven site application is much simpler and the turnaround is expected to be much quicker than for a subzone or site under the old framework.


Foreign Trade Zone #93 currently consists of the permanent magnet site at World Trade Park, operated by Longistics International; four subzones: Merck Sharp and Dohme Corporation (Wilson County and Durham County), and Revlon Consumer Products (Granville County); and four usage driven sites: Dudson China, USA (Raleigh),  Southern Lithoplate (Youngsville), GlaxoSmithKline (Zebulon) and Tobacco Rag Processors, Inc. (Wilson).