Foreign Trade Zone operators can legally minimize the payment of U.S. Customs duties by receiving and manipulating goods (assembly, kitting, repackaging, etc.) as if this work were happening outside the jurisdiction of United States Customs Service. This allows operators to perform specific operations with imported goods and legally delay paying duty until the goods leave the FTZ and subsequently enter U.S. Customs territory. 

Operations must occur in a secured location that meets specific standards and is authorized by the federal government. These facilities are considered to be outside the Customs territory of the United States, even though they are under U.S. Customs supervision and control. This allows businesses to postpone or void duties, taxes, bonds, quotas and certain other requirements.

Goods and activities in the Zone are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations. Articles prohibited by law are not allowed admission, nor are articles that violate copyright, trademark or patent laws. Animal quarantine restrictions apply as well. 

 Full text Overview