International Commerce

International Commerce



The volume of commerce crossing our borders has more than tripled in the last 25 years, increasing the number of goods moving through America’s ports of entry (POEs).

The United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA) Free Trade Agreement, includes major changes on cars and new policies on labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and some digital trade provisions.

Starr County is home to a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ #95) east of the Starr County Bridge. The Roma-Ciudad Miguel Aleman International Bridg is located in the city of Roma. With a close proximity to Northern Mexico, domestic companies interested in more effectively competing with foreign companies may take advantage of duty-free benefits and other processing procedures by U.S. Customs in FTZ 95.



Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

The FTZ 95 was established in 1983 for warehousing and distribution of machinery, equipment and liquor. Domestic companies interested in more effectively competing with foreign companies may take advantage of duty-free benefits and other processing procedures by U.S. Customs in FTZs.





Benefits of Foreign Trade Zones

  • DUTY EXEMPTION ON RE-EXPORTS: If merchandise is re-exported after being placed in a FTZ or shipped to another FTZ and then re-exported then no duty is ever paid.

  • RELIEF FROM INVERTED TARIFFS: Generally, if foreign merchandise is brought into a Foreign-Trade Zone or Subzone and manufactured into a product that carries a lower duty rate, then the lower rate applies.
    FOR EXAMPLE: A Foreign-Trade Zone user imports a motor (which carries a 5.3% duty rate) and uses it in the manufacture of a vacuum cleaner (which has a 1.4% duty rate). When the vacuum cleaner leaves the FTZ and enters the commerce of the U.S., the duty owed on the motor drops from the 5.3% motor rate to the 1.4% vacuum cleaner rate.

  • DUTY ELIMINATION ON WASTE AND SCRAP: No duty is charged on most waste and scrap from production in Foreign-Trade Zones.

  • NO DUTY ON REJECTED OR DEFECTIVE PARTS: Merchandise found to be defective or faulty, may be returned to the country of origin for repair or simply destroyed. Whichever choice is taken, no duty is paid. Many companies suffer from the "double duty crunch." That is, they pay duty on imported merchandise, find it to be faulty and return it to the country of origin for repair, and then pay duty again when the merchandise reenters the United States. If you are a Foreign-Trade Zone user or Subzone, the "double duty crunch" is never a problem, because your merchandise never enters the commerce of the United States.

  • DUTY DEFERRAL: No duty is ever charged on merchandise while it is in a Foreign Trade Zone, and there is no limit on the length of time merchandise may be kept in a Foreign-Trade Zone. By deferring the duty, capital is freed for more important needs.

  • NO DUTY ON DOMESTIC CONTENT OR VALUE ADDED: The "value added" to a product in a FTZ (including manufacture using domestic parts, cost of labor, overhead, and profit) is not included in its dutiable value when the final product leaves the Zone. Final duties are assessed on foreign content only.

  • RELIEF FROM LOCAL AD VALOREM TAXES: Foreign merchandise stored in Foreign-Trade Zones, or merchandise held in a zone for export, is not subject to any state or local ad valorem taxes.

  • NO DUTY ON SALES TO THE U.S. MILITARY OR NASA: No duty is charged on merchandise sold from a Foreign-Trade Zone to the U.S. Military or NASA, returned to the country of origin for repair or simply destroyed. Whichever choice is taken, no duty is paid.