NAFTZ’s strongest asset is its membership and our member’s willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise. Putting that talent into action by serving on a committee is your first step to an active role in NAFTZ.
We encourage all active Grantees, Operators/Users, and Service Provider members to serve on a Committee. Serving on a committee provides tremendous benefits including personal growth, professional development, building industry contacts and developing relationships, and the chance to influence our policy development and public outreach.
Listed below are the committees members can serve on:
The Accreditation Committee was established by the NAFTZ Board of Directors to develop and maintain the Accredited Zone Specialist (AZS) credential. The Association bestows the AZS credential to elevate the FTZ profession and establish standards of professional practice. There are several paths to achieve the Accredited Zone Specialist (AZS) designation which include involvement at NAFTZ seminars and conferences and active participation in the NAFTZ community and FTZ field. The Committee meets monthly via conference call to brainstorm new and unique ways to keep professionals engaged and involved in the FTZ program. Past initiatives include updating acceptance criteria to reflect changes in education methods, promotional marketing at industry events and through social media, and developing the criteria that other organizations can use to evaluate competence and knowledge in the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones program.
The purpose of the Membership Committee is to facilitate NAFTZ member expansion by identifying and supporting opportunities for NAFTZ organizational growth. We advocate for professionals part of the association to increase member awareness and promote association resources.
PROJECT/ACTIVITIES FOR 2022
- Pursue 2022 Membership Count Goals
- Partner with other NAFTZ Committees as necessary
- Develop Customized Outreach for Memberships
- Revamping of the Mentorship Program
- Social Promotions
- Communicate recommendations on Membership Categories as requested
- The Membership Committee meets via conference call monthly.
- Meetings organized by committee co-chairs with conference number and passcode
- Co-chairs create agenda from previous month topics and initiatives
- Co-chairs take meeting minutes and facilitates / sends follow up as necessary
The goals of the NAFTZ Program Committee are to organize, schedule, and promote the association’s various conferences and events, including Fundamentals, the Legislative Summit, the Spring Seminar, and the Annual Conference. The committee also facilitates educational webinars throughout the year through its webinar subcommittee. Program Committee members select the trade and government representatives that the FTZ community needs to hear from based on current and future trends in the industry. We always welcome new members ready to roll up their sleeves and add new ideas to continue to make NAFTZ’s events a tremendous success for our members. The committee typically meets every other week for a one-hour conference call.
The purpose of the Social Media Task Force is to develop outreach campaigns using social media platforms to increase interest of the FTZ program and engagement with current and potential members.
We are looking for members that will become designated Social Media Ambassadors for multiple events throughout the year. Ambassadors do not need to be part of the Task Force, but are expected to post on social media for various campaigns and the events NAFTZ hosts.
SPONSORSHIP TASK FORCE
“It is a great opportunity to work with professionals from across the country. I love the creativity of the team and the willingness to give of their time to benefit other members and the organization,” said Danielle Converse / Port of Corpus Christi Authority
The sponsorship taskforce is responsible for generating financial resources to support NAFTZ’s activities through an attractive sponsor program and diversify the sources of income by launching new sponsor programs. We seek to establish a constructive and creative collaboration between NAFTZ and its existing and new members, as well as to actively seek alternative sources of income for the organization.
We welcome all ideas and participation. Please join us or share your ideas to improve the value and benefit to our sponsors, our members, and the organization.
The Sponsorship Task Force meets monthly.
FTZ Industry Committees
The Automation Committee is committed to understanding the impact of ACE and all CBP system updates on the NAFTZ members and their business. The Automation Committee also provides tools and communication to the association when CBP updates systems or regulations that will impact the members daily processing. Examples of tools provided to the association by the Automation Committee include the e214 Handbook published to members on the NAFTZ website and the e214 Issues list provided to NAFTZ board to help voice issues and concerns of members related to the e214 process as CBP updates to the ACE system.
PROJECTS/ACTIVITIES FOR 2022
Depending on CBP priorities in 2022 the following priority lists may change:
- Support the Partner Government Agency (PGA) working groups and the NAFTZ board as PGA’s consider moving to data collection on the admission.
- Support Phase 2.2 of admissions in ACE. The details of this CBP update are still unclear; however, we assume they align with the recommendations provided to the NAFTZ by the Automation Committee. Verifying and communicating these changes to the membership will be critical since it will impact what and how members report to CBP daily.
- Continue to review best practices for manifest discrepancy reporting (MDR) to see if the association can push CBP for an automated way to collect and report manifest discrepancies.
The Automation Committee meets regularly on the the 2nd Tuesday of every month to review open issues. If a new CATAIR’s or CBP issues arises between calls, the Automation Committee will have a call in between our standing call to ensure we are providing timely feedback to the NAFTZ board on open issues.
“Joining the Grantee Committee is a great way to gain a better understanding of Zones nationwide and the overall direction of the industry. It also lets you network with other Grantees to help support and grow their Zone Project area.”
The Grantee Committee serves to bring together FTZ Grantees to optimize their Foreign Trade Zone and to further their professional development. Grantees are a specialized group of members who oversee the development of zones in their Project Area. Each zone is different in their composition and operation, and each face different challenges. This committee also focuses on supporting and developing each Grantee to help grow and facilitate their Project Area. It is also an advocacy group to help promote FTZs through marketing initiatives/suggestions, help navigate regulatory and compliance issues, and expand program knowledge. Members of the Grantee Committee share best practices in operations, marketing, events, and training.
The networking opportunities of this committee help Grantees in their professional development and provides contacts throughout the country. Grantees also have the unique opportunity to share questions amongst the committee on regulations and issues to improve their knowledge and optimize their operations.
Grantees share ideas on events they can host in their service area and on marketing techniques they can use in growing their client base in their zones. The Grantee Committee hosts the Catherine Durda Marketing Award each year to promote best practices in marketing the FTZ program by Grantees.
As of March 2022: Currently working on advocating for an adjustment on the FTZ Board’s updated OFIS reporting system so that the system will provide each Grantee with better metrics for their zone which will help facilitate growth and local program support.
The Grantee Committee meets monthly.
The NAFTZ Operators & Users Committee was established as a forum for NAFTZ operators and users in foreign-trade zones. The committee identifies issues that will impact FTZ operations and refers them to the NAFTZ board. NAFTZ Members are welcome to approach the Committee with issue(s) they would like to have addressed. Although the Committee cannot provide advice, they will review suggestions and forward to the NAFTZ Board.
The Operator/User Committee meets every 3rd Thursday of the month by conference call for 60 minutes.
*CPSC WORKING GROUP
The primary purpose of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Working Group is to monitor and influence, where possible, CPSC reporting requirements and possible expansion of CPSC reporting in ACE as it relates to FTZ operations. The group continues to monitor CPSC developments and requirements.
Our group has recent had a conference call to review the recent CBP CSMS message on the inclusion of CPSC to the 1USG release in ACE. Copies of the CPSC compliance audit from last year was also distributed to the working group as reference as possible legal ground work for making the submission of the certificates of compliance at the time of entry a reporting requirement.
*EPA WORKING GROUP
The primary purpose of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Working Group is to monitor and facilitate, where possible, effective, concise but administratively efficient EPA reporting requirements for certain commodity activities impacting or relevant to FTZ operations.
PROJECTS/ACTIVITIES FOR 2020
Assess/Evaluate current EPA involvement with ACE and potential contacts for collaborative efforts while monitoring EPA and ACE-PGA activities for any new or changing reporting requirements as it relates to or impacts FTZ admissions or withdraw entry activity.
Our group plans to meet as needed but initially at the Legislative session if possible or the Spring Conference with conference calls as needed.
*FWS WORKING GROUP
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Working Group (FWSWG) exists to advocate for its members whose operations include reporting to FWS. The working group is committed to ensuring efficient processing and reporting options enabling members to compliantly meet the FWS requirements while maximizing zone operations.
PROJECTS/ACTIVITIES FOR 2020
- Modernizing e214 Online Admission Process – Phase 2, Release 2 – Create workable solutions and recommendations to the Board for FWS reporting through e214 admissions.
- Partner with FWS through the Board for open communications, recommendations and testing as needed for FWS Partner Government Agency (PGA) reporting through ACE
- Field FWS member questions to ensure best practices
The FWSWG meets every other week through on-line conferencing to align on ongoing and new issues.
*NHTSA WORKING GROUP
The primary purpose of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Working Group is to monitor and influence, where possible, NHTSA reporting requirements for certain automobile parts as it relates to FTZ operations.
PROJECTS / ACTIVITIES FOR 2020
Continuing to monitor NHTSA for any new or changing reporting requirements as it relates to or impacts FTZ admissions or withdraw entry activity.
The group intends to meet quarterly initially but can increase that frequency on an as needed basis.
The purpose of the Petroleum Committee is to act as a point of contact for members of the petroleum/petrochemical community for any FTZ matters. Petroleum FTZ operations are very specific to the industry and this committee acts as a resource for those specific requirements. The Committee provides FTZ information relating to current trends and industry issues for its members, as well as communicating questions/concerns to regulatory agencies, as needed, of behalf of the industry.
Chair responsibilities includes hosting scheduled committee meetings, maintaining to do list of action items determined from meetings, ensuring action items are completed, point of contact for NAFTZ inquiries, point of contact for committee inquiries, and organizing/planning schedule/topics/speakers for annual NAFTZ conference petroleum track.
Vice Chair – Assist the Chair with all tasks.
Projects the committee has worked on includes providing CBP with feedback on the rewrite of subpart H of 146 of the regulations. Most petroleum project initiatives are handled through API unless specific to Foreign Trade Zones.
Below is a list of possible initiatives the petroleum committee would like to work on in 2020:
- Quarterly meetings to discuss experiences with the new CBP FTZ review format issued by HQ for 2020. Inconsistencies noted on a port by port basis will be reported to NAFTZ staff for feedback.
- During the quarterly meetings, it will also be a time for members to discuss any FTZ related questions, issues, concerns that may need to be addressed by CBP, FTZ Board, NAFTZ, etc.
Policy and Advocacy Committees
NAFTZ members have an interest in a variety of topics and areas of advocacy for the FTZ program. Part of the association's 5-year Advocacy vision implementation plan established working groups to focus on certain advocacy issues. By dividing up the issues into these focused groups, the association is better positioned to move multiple advocacy issues forward simultaneously. The advocacy working groups are :
- MANUFACTURING WORKING GROUP - Are you interested in USMCA parity for FTZs, or ensuring fair treatment of FTZ when trade remedy tariffs are suspended/lowered? These are examples of topics affecting the transformation of inputs to create a semi-/ finished commodity addressed by this working group.
- DISTRIBUTION WORKING GROUP - Focused on topics affecting a finished component admitted into a zone, this working group advocates for the ability for FTZs to utilize 321/de minimis entry, for example.
- ZONE OPERATIONS WORKING GROUP - Have you been impacted by CBP’s refusal to allow goods suspected of forced labor to be stored in FTZs or by ACE programming limitations? Topics such as these that affect adjustments/changes in U.S. trade policy and U.S. regulatory framework are the primary focus of this working group.
- PETROLEUM/ENERGY WORKING GROUP - Join this working group focused on topics affecting the energy sector of the economy to help us make a case for duty drawback parity or new renewable energy opportunities in FTZs.
- FTZ AWARENESS WORKING GROUP - Would you be willing to help with overall FTZ education for policy makers, to influence CBP resource allocation and ensure FTZs are not inadvertently impacted by federal policy and funding decisions? Then this working group addressing the overall awareness and competitiveness of the FTZ program is for you.
The NAFTZ Advocacy Committee works to
- Develop, manage, and define goals of the overarching advocacy strategy of the NAFTZ
- Establish a grassroots initiative that supports the overarching advocacy strategy and executes individual projects to attain the defined goals
Each working group meets at their own frequency and schedule needed to address the advocacy topics assigned.