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Foreign Trade Zone

To reduce your cost of doing business internationally

Who is eligible

A broad range of companies use Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ), including:

  • Warehouses and distribution firms
  • General manufacturers
  • Food processors 
  • Electronics manufacturers
  • And many more

To participate 

You can participate anytime by contacting David Heyer at or 651-259-7468.

Benefits of FTZs

  • Deferring and reducing duty payments: inventory kept within an FTZ may be held indefinitely without paying customs duty. Duty is paid only as merchandise is delivered to its market.
  • Reducing costs: goods may be stored, distributed, or produced while in an FTZ. If a company’s finished product is destined for the U.S., paying a finished product rate can save money.
  • Saving on processing fees: import fees can be combined into one weekly entry fee instead of individual Customs entry fees, lowering overall import costs.
  • Making duty-free exports: Imported goods can be stored and exported without incurring duties.

How it works 

The greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area has an existing Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #119) that companies can use. Hennepin County is within the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) service area, meaning businesses within the county can create a subzone at their existing location. A new distribution zone can be approved in as little as 30 days.

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David Heyer