Economic Development

Programs - Foreign Trade Zones

Houston created an area along the the Port of Houston, a place where tariffs, customs, and duties are suspended: foreign trade zones.  This zone benefits Houston companies that trade international merchandise.

How does a foreign trade zone work?

  • U.S customs considers Merchandise outside of their territory while inside an FTZ
  • Businesses may bring merchandise into an FTZ without customs entry, import quotas, or other restrictions
  • The United States assesses duties and excise taxes after merchandise enters U.S. commerce

What are the benefits of foreign trade zones?

  • Storage: merchandise may be stored for an unlimited time
  • Product Handling: Merchandise may be opened, examined, assembled, mixed, cleaned, labeled, or repackaged within the zone.
  • Manufacturing: Products may be manufactured within a zone and may even include the combining of foreign and domestic merchandise.
  • Exhibiting: Merchandise may be displayed, sampled or examined within the zone.
  • Disposal: Waste materials and damaged or valueless merchandise may be destroyed within the zone to avoid duties.

For more details about this opportunity please visit the  Port of Houston website.