Kansas City ranks first in the country in Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) space, featuring several general purpose FTZ sites totaling more than 10,000 acres of space for storage and/or processing. In addition, four manufacturing subzones are used in the assembly of automobiles, automobile parts, and agricultural chemicals. The Kansas City trade zones handle more volume than those of Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.
The trade zones are under the authority of Greater Kansas City Foreign Trade Zone, Inc. Kansas City was the first inland area to be granted the right to operate a FTZ and the first administered by a private, not-for-profit corporation. In the early 1970s, Kansas City pioneered what is now referred to as the “distributed” FTZ, which includes several zones and subzones throughout the area. Companies can consider the advantages of several area sites on both sides of the state line.
The available storage space in the zone sites includes modern, above ground warehouses and energy efficient underground storage. Companies in Kansas City FTZs take advantage of outstanding air, rail, truck, and barge transportation systems.
The FTZ encourages international commerce and offers businesses many cost saving advantages:
Under the supervision of U.S. Customs, foreign goods may enter Kansas City’s designated FTZ areas duty and quota free for an unlimited period of time.
While in the zone, goods may be stored, manipulated, mixed with domestic and/or foreign materials, used in a manufacturing process, or exhibited for sale.
Imported goods assembled or manufactured in a zone may be subject to a lower duty rate. Duty is assessed on the value of the imported parts at the duty rate applicable to the imported parts or applicable finished product, whichever is lower. Duty is not assessed on U.S. labor or materials used in assembly or manufacturing.
Since there are no time restrictions, merchandise may be stored indefinitely without duty until it is sold and moved out.
Damaged, defective or non-salable merchandise may be destroyed without being subject to U.S. Customs duty.
Merchandise may be exported without being subject to U.S. Customs duty.
The FTZ offers small and medium sized businesses (less than 500 employees) reduced costs of access through simpler application processes and shortened application time frames when businesses are locating in existing FTZ space. Kansas City has more available space than any other area in the country.