NAFTZ’s Policy Agenda For 2016

The following are the major policy objectives adopted by the NAFTZ Board of Directors in 2016:

Policy Agenda

A smooth transition of FTZs to the Automated Commercial Environment in conformity with key deadlines.

In cooperation with U.S. Customs, NAFTZ is advocating for realistic deadlines with adequate opportunity to test software compatibility for processing of FTZ Customs releases, FTZ Customs entries and FTZ Admissions in ACE. The NAFTZ is also working with key Partner Government Agencies (PGA’s) to facilitate the full participation of PGA’s in the International Trade Data System (ITDS) to support FTZ operations. Foreign-trade zones process more than 12 percent of total U.S. goods imports, so full and timely integration of FTZs into ACE is vital to maintaining the flow of international commerce across America’s borders.

Read the ACE Policy Brief

A complete revision of the Customs Part 146 regulations of FTZs.

These regulations last underwent a comprehensive revision in 1986. NAFTZ advocates a modernization of the Customs regulations to fully account for the revolution in CBP automation and the equally sweeping changes in modern global supply-chain management. Among other changes, NAFTZ is seeking an expansion of the parties permitted to use direct delivery, removal of  manufacturing, manipulation, and exhibition  from the CBPF 216 ( as the activity is only authorized by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board Order when permitted) and elimination of the outdated five-day rule (dropped for bonded warehouses years ago). The NAFTZ is actively working with Customs to facilitate adoption of a proposed rule that would transform the regulations to meet the 21st Century needs of Customs, the FTZ community, and our more globally integrated U.S. economy.

Read the Rewrite of Part 146 Policy Brief


Read the Expansion of Blanket 216 Policy Brief

Revision of the FTZ Board’s “scope of authority” regulations to encourage industry compliance.

The current FTZ Board regulations do not adequately allow FTZ operator/user companies to modify their list of imported components, approved in their FTZ production scope of authority, to reflect the continually changing demands of global competition. The NAFTZ has been collaborating with the FTZ Board to introduce changes to the FTZ Board regulations that would allow the use of six-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers and retrospective filing of their scope changes, to better allow companies to maintain compliance with the FTZ Board approved scope of production, while keeping their  production lines in continuous operation. The NAFTZ is working with the FTZ Board on a pilot program for the updated proposed FTZ Board regulations for production scope expansion, and retrospective scope expansions.

Read the Scope of Authority Policy Brief

Trade Equality for American Manufacturers (TEAM).

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) enacted over the past two decades have exposed FTZ manufacturers to increased competition from imports from FTA partner countries whose manufactured products carry lower duties than products manufactured by American workers in FTZs. The NAFTZ is committed to working with U.S. lawmakers to modernize the Foreign-Trade Zones Act to level the playing field for American manufacturers with their competitors in Canada, Mexico, and other FTA countries. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement makes the TEAM initiative even more relevant.

Read the TEAM Policy Brief

How do I get Involved?

Our members play an important role in our advocacy efforts. Here are some ways that you can contribute:

Keep up to date on the industry

Our email blasts inform members of breaking developments in FTZ regulations and our monthly Zones Reports contain a section devoted to regulatory changes and policy developments that affect the FTZ community.

Participate in the Grantee or Operator/User Roundtable discussions

At our Spring Seminars and Annual Conferences, we host roundtable discussions to receive input on what issues are of greatest importance for our Grantees and Operators.

Take part in Congressional Visits/Congressional Updates

As part of our annual Legislative Summit, the NAFTZ encourages members to visit their elected Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill, to share the impact of the FTZ program in their home states and districts. This allows members a first-hand opportunity to tell the story of how FTZs contribute to the U.S. economy and to educate Congress about issues affecting business. The NAFTZ encourages its members to update elected Senators and Representatives on the positive investment and employment in zone projects on a direct continuing basis.

Join a Committee, Working Group, or Task Force

Members are presented with ongoing opportunities to shape and engage in our policy work. Our Committees meet regularly to discuss concerns and recommend action by the NAFTZ.

Our Working Groups are organized around major policy or issue areas and they meet on an ongoing basis. The working groups are to designed to help us think long-term; identify new opportunities; and to mobilize members to address specific issues. We have recently had several very active working groups formed to address the ACE transition of specific PGA’s. Task forces bring members together on a short-term basis to gather insights, expertise, and information to meet a particular policy challenge. We have a very active ACE Taskforce for example.

Contact Jarmila Zapata if you are interested in participating on a working group or task force.