A Tool for Foreign Trade Zones

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By: Archie Nelson

If you want to know why Foreign-Trade Zone programs are important to the U.S. economy, try OFIS.

OFIS stands for Online Foreign-Trade Zone Information System. The program was demonstrated at the 2012 National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ) Spring Seminar in Atlanta, GA and provided valuable industry information on zones, grantees, sites, subzones and Federal Register notices. The website’s easy access, user friendliness and helpful features, saves time when looking up FTZ information.   What a useful tool!

OFIS has a search feature that allows you to enter a keyword or phrase. Furthermore, the system will allow Grantees and Operators to update their information and submit annual reports to the FTZ Board. Under the Department of Commerce, the International Trade Administration-Import Administration is the lead agency for collaborating with the Foreign Trade Zones Board and responsible for maintaining the OFIS website.  It’ s your one-stop shop for FTZ information.

You can visit the OFIS website at: http://ita-web.ita.doc.gov/FTZ/OFISLogin.nsf. Check it out!

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4 Responses to A Tool for Foreign Trade Zones

  1. TC says:

    On August 2, 2011 Ryan posted an article about reporting the correct FTZ #’s in AES. In that article there was a link that routed you to a page that provided the FTZ and Sub Zones. He advised: “For filing in the AES, this means reporting both the general purpose zone code and the subzone code in the FTZ field of the AES. This two-part code is a combination of the one to three digit numeric general purpose zone code and the one to two character alpha subzone code.” The link that you provided today in your posting routes to pages that contain information about FTZ (general purpose zone) and Site Numbers. My question is if there is no Subzone should the site number be reported with the Zone Number instead? An example is 021 for the South Carolina State Ports Authority and within this Zone there are 21 different Sites. The AESTIR really provides no guidance on this matter so any clarification would be appreciated.

  2. Global Reach Archie says:

    @ TC
    The FTZ Identifier requires 5 digits (the first 3 digits are for the general purpose zone and other 2 digits describe the subzone. If there is no subzone, the site number should not be reported with the general purpose zone.

    When there is no subzone, you should report the general purpose zone and (zereos) 00 for the subzone numbers (i.e., FTZ# 12400). You should use a zero (0) in the place of the subzone.

  3. TC says:

    Archie, After I posted the comments I refered back to the Electronic Export Information data elements in 15 CFR 30.6 (b)(3) and honestly was not expecting the reply I received. The FTZ identifier reads: “If goods are removed from the FTZ and not entered for consumption, report the FTZ identifier. This is the unique identifier assigned by the Foreign Trade Zone Board that identifies the FTZ, subzone or site from which goods are withdrawn for export.”.. Based on the the CFR we are to report the site numbers.. Can you re-clarify since the posts have been contrary to that. Thanks

  4. Global Reach Archie says:

    Based on the current programming behind AES, the Foreign Trade Zone Identifier is only 5 digits long. This particular reference requires reporting only the General Purpose Zone and the Subzone. When the proposed regulations become effective, the AES and AESDirect will be expanded to a 7 digit field.

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