The Foreign Trade Zone
Sellers benefit from the FTZ by now having a place to locally and legally show foreign-flagged vessels to U.S. buyers. Foreign-made newbuilds can be brought into the FTZ without the need to pay the typical and significant 1.5- percent import duty.
Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) are secured, designated locations around the United States in or near a U.S. Customs Port of Entry where foreign and domestic merchandise is generally considered to be in international commerce and outside of US Customs territory. As a result, activated businesses in an FTZ can reduce or eliminate duty on imports and take advantage of other benefits to encourage foreign commerce within the United States.
FTZ provided many benefits to owners looking to sell their vessel to U.S. buyers or have them repaired in local marinas. In the zones, vessels are able to come and go as they please on charters or owner’s trips. Newly built yachts that have entered the U.S. within three years can use the zone to file for a refund on previously paid duties.
Back in January of 2017 the United States Customs and Border Protection officers, MIASF, US Immigration Services and key industry players with more than a dozen shipyards, suppliers and marina companies met to determine the inner workings of the zone at each proposed location. Locations designated as FTZ include LMC, Bahia Mar in Fort Lauderdale, Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard and the Port of Seattle – among others.