Miami's 'magnet site' approval for its airport free trade zone

15 / 02 / 2018

Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) has gained final approval from the US Department of Commerce to designate Miami International Airport's (MIA) entire 3,230-acre land parcel as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 'magnet site'.

The magnet site designation allows existing or prospective airport tenants to operate manufacturing, warehousing and/or distribution centers on airport property, and have their federal tariffs deferred, reduced or eliminated – providing time and cost savings for approved importers and exporters.

"The MIA FTZ creates an attractive business opportunity for companies to begin or expand their operations directly on-site at the passenger and cargo gateway of the Americas," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

The new magnet site - an expansion of Miami-Dade County's existing FTZ 281 - will allow companies to receive and process materials and merchandise with reduced or eliminated Customs duties upon entry into the country at MIA.

Companies handling high-traffic commodities at MIA — pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, footwear, auto parts, aircraft parts, avionics, machinery equipment, consumer goods and perishables — are expected to be FTZ applicants.

To be an FTZ operator, companies must first complete an application with PortMiami – the grantee of FTZ 281 – and then receive approval from US Customs and Border Protection. The expedited application process takes approximately 30 days.

"Our FTZ magnet site approval dovetails perfectly with our growth strategy as one of the world's leading pharma hubs, as well as our efforts to become the e-commerce hub of the Americas," said Miami-Dade Aviation department chief of staff, Joe Napoli.

"We look forward to opening new doors at MIA within the trade and logistics industries."

Companies within an FTZ are able to defer paying duties until product exits the site, reduce duties on combined finished products instead of on each individual product, and eliminate duties on products being imported to the site and then exported.

In 2016, MIA's air trade was valued at $57.3bn - representing 92% of the value of Florida's total air trade and 40% of the State's total (air and sea) trade with the world.

"Six years after being approved by the US Department of Commerce, FTZ 281 has more than 65 approved sites," said PortMiami director and chief executive Juan Kuryla.

"Adding MIA as a magnet site is a huge accomplishment. It makes Miami a more competitive global gateway for growing international trade and commerce in Miami-Dade County. We welcome MIA to FTZ281."

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