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How does my company apply to be in the Foreign-Trade Zone?
Before completing an application, it is recommended that your company does a feasibility study to determine if a Foreign-Trade Zone makes sense financially and operationally. You can either use our   Basic FTZ Calculator, or some companies find it beneficial to hire an FTZ Consultant to provide a more comprehensive analysis.
A list of FTZ Consultants as well as more information on Feasibility Studies can be found in our
Marketing Links in the right hand column
Once you have calculated that your company may benefit from being in a Foreign-Trade Zone, contact either your Grantee (Port of Milwaukee), Consultant, or the Foreign-Trade Zone Board to begin the appropriate application process. Under the ASF format, once your final application has been submitted, FTZB approval may be in as little as 30 days. Once U.S. Customs has approved your operation manual and you pass their inspections, you will be ready to activate your FTZ site.
For more specific instructions on completing an application, please refer to the “How to Apply”
section on the FTZ Board’s webpage at
When does my company activate with Customs?
Once the application has been approved and before operations can begin, the user/operator must activate with the local Customs office. Activation takes place locally under the supervision of the Customs Port Director and involves a review of zone procedures, inventory control, record keeping systems and security. Once the FTZ is activated, users may begin admitting merchandise.
You can view the instructions for Customs Activation via the link under the
marketing materials section in the right hand column.