Companies in Rockford and across Northern Illinois can now apply to become a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) or subzone through FTZ Rockford and the Greater Rockford Airport Authority. FTZ locations are specially designated areas considered to be outside of U.S. Customs territory. They help to reduce the cost of manufacturing, making domestic manufacturing more cost competitive than overseas production.
In 1991, the National FTZ Board approved the Greater Rockford Airport Authority’s (GRAA) application to become a grantee of the FTZ program, serving the Rockford region. In 2007, FTZ #176 was expanded to serve a defined 11-county service area in northern Illinois. Today, companies within 60 miles of GRAA in Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle, DeKalb, Kane, Lee, Bureau and LaSalle and Putnam Counties can apply through FTZ #176.
WHY FTZ #176
FTZ #176 is one of Northern Illinois’ most valuable assets for companies that engage in international trade. Businesses now have a tool to improve the efficiency of processes and reduction in costs associated with imports and exports.
For some companies, the benefits of an FTZ can have a significant impact on operations and the bottom line. As cargo arrived in the country for an FTZ operator, it receives preferential treatment with duties deferred, reduced or eliminated. When product is not held at the port of entry for customs clearance, supply chain management becomes more predictable and streamlined. Accurate reporting improves inventory accuracy, reducing the need for costly emergency shipments. These are just some of the immediate impacts an FTZ can have on private companies.