Foreign Trade Zone

The Virginia Port Authority holds the Grant of Authority for Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 20, which covers all of Virginia Beach.

An FTZ allows companies engaged in international trade-related activities to securely import, process, and ​export items, with duty payments deferred until they are brought out of the FTZ and placed for sale in the U.S. market.

What is a Foreign Trade Zone?​​

Foreign Trade Zones are areas that are geographically inside the U.S., but are legally considered outside its customs territory. Companies that locate in FTZs can benefit by using special procedures to encourage U.S. activity by reducing, eliminating, or delaying duties.

What activities can be done in a Foreign Trade Z​​one?

Merchandise in a zone can be assembled, cleaned, displayed, destroyed, exhibited, manipulated, manufactured, mixed, processed, relabeled, repackaged, repaired, salvaged, sampled, stored, and tested.

What are the advantages of locating in a Foreign​​ Trade Zone?

  • Duty Referral ​​- Users can avoid paying duties on imported merchandise until the goods are removed from the FTZ and enter into the U.S. commerce. Duty on machinery is deferred until it is put into production; there is no duty paid on re-exports or scrap.

  • Inverted Tariffs/Duty Redu​​ction - FTZ zone users can pay lower duty rates on goods produced in the zone when the finished product has a lower duty rate than the imported components and parts.

  • Weekly​​ Entries - Zone users will benefit if they file multiple custom and border protection entries each week. FTZs allow the user to file this paperwork once a week at a rate no higher than $528.33.

  • No Time Constraints - Merchandise may remain in the zone indefinitely, whether or not it is subject to duty.

  • Customs Compliance - Customs and border protection requirements and federal criminal sanctions are deterrents against theft. Cargo that is imported into FTZs have fewer incidents of loss and may result in lower insurance costs.

Learn more about the Port's Foreign Trade Zone. ​
Contact Information​

Laura Smith

The Port of Virginia​
Economic Development Manager/Foreign Trade Zone Administrator
(757) 683-2135