The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) program was created by the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of 1934 to encourage foreign commerce in the United States, and to make U.S operations more competitive in international markets. These zones are defined as geographic areas adjacent to a U.S. port of entry, where foreign and domestic commercial merchandise receives the same Customs treatment as it would outside the United States. There are a number of benefits associated with FTZs, including inverted tariffs (the ability to pay the lower of two possible duties), duty-free services of product inspection, testing and re-packaging, a cap on merchandise processing fees and the reduction or elimination of some additional fees paid to U.S. Customs. Today, there are more than 230 U.S. FTZ projects.
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