Foreign-Trade Zone 181

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P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242
Phone: 330-672-4080
or 800-793-0912
International: 001-330-672-4080

Obtaining FTZ Status

How does my company obtain FTZ status?
Foreign-Trade Zones Board of the U.S. Department of Commerce oversees the foreign-trade zone program and appoints grantees of the various zones throughout the country. Applications are submitted to the board by the grantee for foreign-trade zone status for specified areas, or on behalf of individual companies in the case of a subzone.

The Foreign-Trade Zone program in Northeast Ohio is a collaboration of the Port of Cleveland and NEOTEC, and includes Foreign-Trade Zones #40 and #181.

The Port of Cleveland is grantee of FTZ 40, which currently includes 23 sites covering nearly 5,900 acres in Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Ashtabula counties.  NEOTEC is grantee of FTZ 181, which currently includes 7 sites and 3,591 acres in Columbiana, Richland, Stark and Summit counties.

NEOTEC serves as administrator of both zones.


The Application Process

NEOTEC operates under a fast-track application process called the Alternative Site Framework.  This new application process was approved for NEOTEC by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board in early 2011.  It dramatically shortens the time frame under which companies can be approved for FTZ status, from 12 months or more to just one to two months.  


Please note that an application is not required for companies locating in a current site within FTZs 40 or 181.
The company would simply enter into an agreement with the Port of Cleveland for FTZ 40, or NEOTEC and the Zone Site Administrator within the county for FTZ 181.

To establish a new site or modify an existing site:
All expansion applications and requests for boundary modifications in FTZs 40 and 181 will be prepared and submitted to the FTZ Board for review and approval. An expansion application establishes a new site within the zone. A boundary modification application modifies an existing FTZ site or transfers acreage.

Components of an application include an executive summary, legal authority to apply, site description, operation and financing, economic justification, maps and legal description.


The Activation Process

After locating within the boundaries of FTZ 40 or 181, a company will go through a process called activation in order to take advantage of all of the benefits of the zone. To become activated, a company must do the following:

1) File a request to U.S. Customs and BorderProtection (CBP) to operate under FTZ procedures
2) Meet CBP procedures for security and inventory control

Requirements for Activated FTZ Companies

Besides daily operations under FTZ procedures for admitting merchandise into the zone, activated FTZ 40 and 181 companies are responsible for the following:

  • Filing an FTZ Annual Report with the grantee, which details the movement of goods and other zone activity for a given report period.
  • Filing a USCBP Blanket 216 form on an annual basis: this one-page form is the formal request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to operate under FTZ procedures.
  • Notifying U.S. Customs and Border Protection on an annual basis that an inventory reconciliation has taken place.