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  • Cathy O'Connor

okc's foreign-trade zone can reduce expenses

Oklahoma City is one of 230 designated Foreign-Trade Zones in the United States and competes with other major cities such as Dallas, San Francisco, and New York City to encourage businesses to establish import and export operations in our market. FTZ No. 106 covers 22 counties and is a regional economic development tool used by the city.

Companies that acquire FTZ designation are for customs purposes considered outside the United States. That way, internationally oriented companies that import goods, perform a manufacturing process or somehow change the raw product for resale have a better competitive edge.

Having FTZ status can decrease a company’s expenses through duty deferral, and in some cases exemption, and greatly reduce merchandising processing fees. For example, a recent analysis of an import business showed the company paid more than $235,000 per shipment entry in one year. That same company with an FTZ status would have paid $25,000, saving nearly $210,000 in processing fees. Most people think of large corporations as befitting from the FTZ status, but more than 70 percent of FTZ users are small businesses. Using the FTZ status may help them reach an expanded market that otherwise would be cost-prohibitive.

Location is at the top of the list of reasons companies consider Oklahoma City. Our city sits in the middle of the largest market in the world, with three major interstates running through it. Lower shipping rates are also an advantage; it is significantly cheaper to ship from Oklahoma than almost anywhere else in the country.

Read more at The Journal Record.

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