Foreign-Trade Zone

Encouraging U.S. manufacturing through duty and tax savings benefits

Under a grant issued by the Foreign-Trade Zone Board of the U.S. Department of Commerce, RIDC is grantee of Foreign Trade Zone #33. Foreign-Trade Zone #33 was established to attract and promote international trade and commerce in western Pennsylvania.  RIDC was granted the charter of administering the 33rd FTZ program in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1977 when RIDC was involved in bringing Volkswagen to Westmoreland County. Since then, many well known companies have taken advantage of this economic development program. Companies such as Sony, Leedsworld, Mitsubishi and others have been beneficiaries of the FTZ .

What is a Foreign-Trade Zone?

An FTZ zone provides a secure and 'neutral' area outside the U.S. Customs territory. Users may bring certain products into the Zone under bond without formal Customs entry, payment of Customs duties or government excise taxes.
When these products leave the Zone to enter the domestic marketplace, all applicable customs duties must be paid. If the products are exported out of the country then no duty or taxes are ever paid on them. You can contact RIDC to find out if your company would qualify for this duty deferral/duty savings federal program.

The FTZ program is a widely utilized import program but it is poorly understood by those not directly involved in its use. Very simply put, for the purposes of tariff laws and Customs entry procedures, FTZs are considered to be outside of the Customs Territory of the United States. Under specific FTZ procedures foreign merchandise may be admitted into a zone without being subject to formal Customs entry procedures, the payment of Customs duties or the payment of federal excise taxes. When it is time to remove merchandise from the FTZ, if it is sent back out of the US no duties are ever paid on the imported products. If formal entry into the US commerce is made then the duties and taxes are paid at the time of entry. If manufacturing has occurred then the importer has the choice of paying the duties on the products they imported or on the end product.

Download the FTZ Zone Schedule here.


Foreign-Trade Zone Sites

Foreign Trade Zone #33 is organized under the Alternative Site Framework and includes the following eleven counties in its Service Area: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

FTZ_Eleven County Service Area

FTZ #33 includes three magnet sites:

RIDC Park West
Pittsburgh International Airport
RIDC Westmoreland (former Sony facility)