The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) program offers businesses engaged in international trade the means to decrease overall costs, increase supply-chain pace, and provide the FTZ user with a more competitive cost structure and increase their global competitiveness. FTZs are designated sites at which special customs procedures may be used. These procedures allow domestic activity involving foreign items to take place prior to formal customs entry. Duty-free treatment is accorded items that are re-exported and duty payment is deferred on items sold in the U.S. market, thus offsetting customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with producers located in the United States. Overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign-Trade Zones Board and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Cargo and Conveyance Security, FTZs have been proven to be a successful trade program by consistently creating and retaining jobs and capital investment in the United States. Maine currently has four active FTZs that cover various regions of the state.
- Waterville #186 Counties served: Lincoln, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Androscoggin, Kennebec, Waldo, Knox and Somerset (partial)
- Bangor #58 Counties served: Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Waldo and Washington
- Madawaska #179 Towns served: Fort Kent, Frenchville, Grand Isle, Madawaska, St. Agatha and Van Buren
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