Foreign Trade Zones

Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ), sometimes known as Free Trade Zones, are neutral, secured areas legally outside of the U.S. customs territory that offer economic advantages for businesses involved in international trade.
There are six FTZs in North Carolina.  Several subzones are also approved for use by individual manufacturers.

Foreign or domestic merchandise may enter these areas without a formal customs entry or the payment of customs duties or government excise taxes and without a thorough examination.
If the final product is exported from the United States, no custom duty is levied.  If the final product is imported into the U.S., duty and excise taxes are due at the time of transfer from the foreign trade zone and formal entry is made into the U.S.  Duty is paid on the product itself or its imported parts, whichever is lower.
Generally, merchandise is exempt from payment of duty even if it is:

  • Manipulated
  • Used in a manufacturing process
  • Inspected
  • Combined with other domestic or foreign materials
  • Displayed for sale
  • Re-exported

Spoiled or damaged goods or waste materials may be disposed of or re-exported without payment of duty.
New capital investment by firms who might otherwise have located in foreign countries is another important advantage.  This new investment activity spurs development of support industries.

Helpful Resources | Foreign Trade Zones

For general information about Foreign Trade Zones in North Carolina, contact:
John Loyack, VP, Business Services
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
15000 Westin Parkway
Cary, NC 27513

For information on a specific Foreign Trade Zone in North Carolina, please contact:
Zone #57
Charlotte Regional Partnership
550 South Caldwell Street
Suite 760
Charlotte, NC 28202
Tel:  (704) 347-8942
fax:  (704) 347-8981
Laura K. Foor
Project Manager/Foreign Trade Zone Administrator
(704) 347-8942
Zone #66
N.C. Ports Authority:  Wilmington
2202 Burnett Blvd.
Wilmington, NC 28401
Mailing address:
PO Box 9002
Wilmington, NC 28402
(800) 334-0682
fax:  (910) 763-6440
Lance Kenworthy
(910) 343-6228
Zone #67
N.C. Ports Authority:  Morehead City
113 Arendell St.
Morehead City, NC 28557
Mailing address:
PO Box 9002
Wilmington, NC 28557
(800) 334-0682
fax:  (910) 397-1532
Lance Kenworthy
(910) 343-6228
Zone #93
 Triangle J Council of Governments
Mailing address:
4307 Emperor Blvd., Suite 110
Durham, NC 27703
(919) 558-9403
Fax:  (919) 485-8168
Renée Wyatt Boyette, Assistant to Executive Director

Zone #214
Global Transpark Authority
2780 Jetport Road, Ste. A
Kinston, NC 28504
Mailing address:
PO Box 1476
Kinston, NC 28503
(252) 522-4929
fax:  (252) 522-5778
Darlene Waddell
(252) 522-4929 ext. 714
Zone #230
Piedmont Triad Partnership
416 Gallimore Dairy Road, Suite M
Greensboro, NC 27409
(336) 668-4556 or (800) 668-3749
fax:  (336) 668-3749
Penny Whiteheart, Executive Vice President
(336) 369-2201