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SRA’s FTZ Zone encompasses 2,000 acres—the entire footprint of the airport, which includes the airport’s fuel farm, adjacent Industrial Park, and the Sebring International Raceway. The entire complex contains 44 buildings totaling 775,000 square feet.

Understanding FTZ

A free trade zone (FTZ) is a specific class of special economic zone. They are a geographic area where goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities. Only when the goods are moved to consumers within the country in which the zone is located do they become subject to the prevailing customs duties.

Easily found in the heart of South Central Florida, the Sebring Regional Airport and Commerce Park’s FTZ No. 215 assists companies located in Highlands County as well as DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry and Okeechobee Counties, Cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay to streamline the process and minimize the costs associated with qualified importing, exporting, manufacturing and distribution activities. Companies can use the strategic advantages within an FTZ in order to strengthen international competitiveness in respective industries clusters. If you are an importer, exporter, manufacturer, or warehouse & distribution operation, we invite you to browse our website and contact us directly to see how our FTZ program can your business.

FTZ Terms & Definitions

Act: The Foreign Trade Zones Act of 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u).

Alternative Site Framework (ASF): The approach to foreign-trade zone designation process and management of Zone Sites that are located within DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee Counties Cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay. The Alternative Site Framework was adopted by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board as a matter of practice in December 2008 (74 FR 1170, January 12, 2009; correction 74 FR 3987, January 22, 2009) and modified by the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board in November 2010 (75 FR 71069, November 22, 2010) and as may be amended or modified in the future.

Alternative Site Framework (ASF) Service Area: DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee Counties Cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay.

Customs Territory of the United States: The territory of the U.S. in which the general tariff laws of the United States of America apply. The Customs Territory of the United States includes only the Fifty-States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ): One or more restricted-access sites (i.e. Zone Sites) in or adjacent (as defined by §400.11(b)(2)) to a CBP Port of entry, operated as a public utility (within the meaning of §400.42) under the sponsorship of the Zone Grantee authorized by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board with zone operations under CBP’s supervision.
General Purpose Site: A Zone Site intended to serve to attract multiple Zone Operators or Zone Users under the Traditional Site Framework.

Grant of Authority: The document issued by the Unites States Foreign Trade Zones Board that authorizes the Zone Grantee to establish, operate, and maintain an FTZ, subject to limitations and conditions specified in this part and in 19 CFR 146. The authority to establish a zone includes the responsibility to manage it.

Grantee: This is an abbreviation for ”Zone Grantee“. See Zone Grantee.

Magnet Site: A Zone Site intended to serve to attract multiple Zone Operators or Zone Users under the Alternative Site Framework.

Procedures Manual: The document that delineates the Zone Operator’s inventory control and record keeping systems for those activities that relate to all activity within the Zone Site.

Subzone Site: A Zone Site (or group of Zone Sites) tied to a single Zone Operator or Zone User.

Sunset Provision: For Zone Sites located in Approved Adjacent Areas under the Alternative Site Framework, FTZ designation at a Zone Site will expire or sunset if there is not, within three years of FTZ designation, activation and admission into the Zone Site of foreign non–duty paid material for a bona fide customs purpose. This provision is subject to “resetting” whereby activation and an admission at a Zone Site during the Zone Site’s initial sunset period would serve to push back the sunset date by another three years, at which point the sunset test would again apply.

Traditional Site Framework (TSF): The approach to foreign-trade zone designation process and management of foreign-trade zone sites that are outside of the SRA’s Foreign-Trade ASF Service Area.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): The federal authority responsible for enforcement of customs laws relating to merchandise and records pertaining to admission and removal of merchandise from foreign trade zone sites and responsible for approval of foreign-trade zone operator’s bonds and activation and deactivation of foreign trade zone sites.

U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board (FTZB): The federal regulatory authority that supervises the entire U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones program.

Usage-Driven Site: A Zone Site (or group of Zone Sites) tied to a single Zone Operator or Zone User under the Alternative Site Framework.

Zone Grantee: An organization to which the privilege of establishing, operating, and maintaining a foreign-trade zone has been granted by the Foreign Trade Zone Board.

Zone Operator: A corporation, partnership, or person that operates a Zone Site under the terms of an contractual agreement with the Zone Grantee, or third party on behalf of the Zone Grantee, with the concurrence of CBP.

Zone Operator Agreement: The contractual terms with FTZ No. 215 under which a corporation, partnership, or individual receives the authority to operate a Zone Site within FTZ No. 215.

Zone Site: The physical location of a facility with FTZ No. 215 Zone Designation. A Zone Site is composed of one or more generally contiguous parcels of land organized and functioning as an integrated unit, such as all or part of an industrial park or airport facility. Zone Sites are called General Purpose Sites, Magnet Sites, Subzone Sites, and Usage-Driven Sites.

Zone User: A corporation, partnership, or person using a Zone Site under agreement with a Zone Operator for the storage, handling, or processing of merchandise.

Here’s How FTZ Works.

Is your company involved in importing, exporting, manufacturing, or warehouse and distribution activities? Operating under the umbrella of FTZ  No. 215 can be extremely beneficial.

This example shows how a company can increase its bottom line: Operating within our FTZ allows a business to admit merchandise into our Zone Site for a myriad of operations including importing, storage, manufacturing, assembly, and processing, and avoid formal customs entry procedures along with subsequent payment of duties, taxes, and fees, unless and until the foreign merchandise enters the Customs Territory of the United States.

Why are FTZ’s Special?

A survey, conducted by the International Trade Commission, found that the presence of an FTZ was the fourth most identifiable factor in plant site location decisions.

FTZs provide customs cost savings and encourage improved inventory control. Through the use of FTZs, U.S. based production is placed on more equal footing with production in a foreign country, and FTZs have had a significant impact in retaining U.S. production and employment as well as stimulating new activity in the United States.

As merchandise is imported into the United States, it enters both the Geographical Territory and the Customs Territory of the U.S. All merchandise that is imported into the United States is required to be in compliance with the appropriate U.S. federal regulatory entity, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and ultimately to have all applicable duties; taxes; and fees associated with the merchandise paid.

For customs and tariff purposes, merchandise that is imported and subsequently admitted into a Zone Site is considered outside the Customs Territory of the United States and thus some compliance and payment requirements may be delayed, reduced, or even eliminated. However, the imported merchandise still needs to be reported to CBP.

Once the imported merchandise is withdrawn from the Zone Site and formally entered into the Customs Territory of the United States, all applicable duties; taxes; and fees are due.

Our Advantage

SRA’s Advantage—an ASF (Alternate Site Framework) approved zone.

This means that any company within the South Central Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC) footprint can apply to the Foreign Trades Zone Board through Sebring Regional Airport’s Alternative Site Framework zone status and be approved for distribution related business within 30 days. The following counties and cities are now under Sebring Regional Airport’s Alternative Site Framework Service Area as they are in the Rural Area of Opportunity: Highlands, DeSoto, Hardee, Hendry, Okeechobee Counties, Cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay.

Sebring Regional Airport’s FTZ No. 215 and Alternative Site Framework zone status has made it possible for you to be up and running your business with very little effort or cost. Prior to becoming an Alternative Site Framework approved zone, it would have cost thousands of dollars, a mountain of paperwork and up to one year for the approval process—with no guarantee of approval.

Tax Incentives: Jobs & Equipment

We offer bottom-line advantages enabling long-term profitability for all types of businesses.


Jobs Tax Credit (Sales Tax): Rural Enterprise Zones


Allows a business located within a Rural Enterprise Zone to take a sales and use tax credit for 30 or 45 percent of wages paid to new employees who live within a Rural County.  To be eligible, a business must create at least one new job.  The Sales Tax Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Corporate Tax Jobs Credit.

Jobs Tax Credit (Corporate Income Tax): Rural Enterprise Zones


Allows a business located within a Rural Enterprise Zone to take a corporate income tax credit for 30 or 45 percent of wages paid to new employees who reside within a Rural County. To be eligible, a business must create at least one new job. The Corporate Tax Credit cannot be used in conjunction with the Sales Tax Credit.

Business Equipment Sales Tax Refund: Rural and Urban Enterprise Zones


A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of certain business property, which is used exclusively in an Enterprise Zone for at least 3 years.

Building Materials Sales Tax Refund: Rural and Urban Enterprise Zones


A refund is available for sales taxes paid on the purchase of building materials used to rehabilitate real property located in an Enterprise Zone.

Tax Credits: Property, Energy, Community

The state’s favorable business tax structure, government policies and competitive costs make planning for future growth easy.

This means that any company within the South Central Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC) footprint can apply to the Foreign Trades Zone Board through Sebring Regional Airport’s Alternative Site Framework  zone status and be approved for distribution related business within 30 days. The following counties and cities are now under Sebring Regional Airport’s Alternative Site Framework Service Area as they are in the Rural Area of Opportunity: Highlands, DeSoto, Hardee, Hendry, Okeechobee Counties, Cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay.

Sebring Regional Airport’s FTZ No. 215 and Alternative Site Framework zone status has made it possible for you to be up and running your business with very little effort or cost. Prior to becoming an Alternative Site Framework approved zone, it would have cost thousands of dollars, a mountain of paperwork and up to one year for the approval process—with no guarantee of approval.

Hypothetical FTZ Savings Sheet (Excel)

FTZ 215 Zone Schedule

Property Tax Credit (State Corporate Income Tax): Rural and Urban Enterprise Zones
New or expanded businesses located within an enterprise zone are allowed a credit against Florida corporate income tax equal to 96% of ad valorem taxes paid on the new or improved property.

Sales Tax Exemption for Electrical Energy: Rural and Urban Enterprise Zones
A 50% sales tax exemption is available to qualified businesses located within an Enterprise Zone on the purchase of electrical energy, if the municipality has reduced the municipal utility tax by at least 50%.

Community Contribution Tax Credit Program: Rural and Urban Enterprise Zones
Allows businesses a 50% credit on Florida corporate income tax, insurance premium tax, or sales tax refund for donations made to local community development projects. Businesses are not required to be located in an enterprise zone to be eligible for this credit.

Additional Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Forms

Content Excerpted from: highlandsedc.com

Contact

Address

128 Authority Lane
Sebring, FL 33870


Phone

863-655-6444


Fax

863-655-6447

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