Below, you will find a preliminary guide for the FTZ Application and Activation processes. This information should not serve as a consultation and does not make any representation of or for any organization other than INzone.

We highly recommend that any interested company partner with an FTZ consultant to ensure that the application process is completed entirely and according to the regulations set by the FTZ Board at Washington D.C. You may choose any consultant you like, but there is a list of consultants with whom our current and past customers have worked, available on our website.

Application Process:

  1. Submit an FTZ Designation Request Letter
    1. Submit a formal letter requesting FTZ designation on company letterhead. The following should be included for justification of economic impact to the community:
      • A brief overview of your organization (what you do, why the FTZ program will benefit your business).
      • Site description, address, and square footage to be designated.
      • Number of employees that are currently employed directly at the work site and how many new positions will be added, if any.
      • Square footage that you would like to activate (building, trailer yard, etc.).
      • Average annual payroll (rounded).
  1. GIFTZ Board Review & Approval (Grantee Administrator for Central Indiana)
    1. Once received, the FTZ Request Letter is docketed for consideration by the Greater Indianapolis Foreign Trade Zone (GIFTZ) Board.
    2. The GIFTZ Board meets as necessary.
    3. Requests must be received at least 10 days prior to scheduling a GIFTZ Board meeting for consideration.
  2. FTZ Operator Agreement
    1. Upon GIFTZ Board approval, an FTZ Operator Agreement must be reviewed, signed in blue ink, and returned for public docketing and execution by the Grantee, the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA).
    2. Due to uniform treatment provisions under federal regulations, the majority of the language included in the FTZ Operator Agreement cannot be altered.
    3. You must also send an “Exhibit A” site map that includes the following:
      • Aerial map labeled “Exhibit A” that contains the company name and physical address.
      • The desired FTZ area must be outlined in red.
      • Labeled with the square footage of the proposed FTZ designated space.
      • The anticipated FTZ area to be activated in blue.
  3. Indianapolis Airport Authority Board Review & Approval (Grantee for Central Indiana)
    1. The FTZ Designation Request Letter and signed FTZ Operator Agreement are docketed for consideration with the IAA Board, which meets on the third Friday of every month.
    2. For consideration, all requests must be received by the last business day of the month preceding the IAA Board meeting.
    3. The FTZ Operator Agreement will be executed and returned to you for recordkeeping.
    4. A Grantee Concurrence Letter will be issued to you, to be filed with your online FTZ application, upon the execution of the FTZ Operator Agreement.
  4. FTZ Board (Washington, D.C.) Application, Review and Approval
    1. Your FTZ consultant will submit the Grantee Concurrence Letter, proposed site map, and FTZ application to the FTZ Board in Washington, D.C.
    2. The FTZ Board typically processes most FTZ distribution ASF requests within 30 days of filing.
    3. Once an approval letter is issued, you and your consultant will complete the necessary steps to activate the site.


Activation Process:

This part of the process is outside the control of the Grantee or its Administrator. Activation (and later Enforcement) is governed by Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and all related paperwork should be sent directly to CBP. For the most accurate information, please contact an FTZ Consultant or the local CBP Office. As a guide to better understand the process, we have provided the following, per information provided to us by Customs & Border Protection (CBP) in February 2015. This information should not serve as a consultation and does not make any representation of or for any organization.

  1. Submit Request Letter for Security Clearance for the key individuals to be operating the FTZ on behalf of the company.  (Forms for completion are available through the local CBP Office.)
  2. CBP will likely require the submission of an activation application packet by the company, including:
    • letter requesting activation of the FTZ board-approved site,
    • list of specific zone procedures and proposed zone activity,
    • site map illustrating requested area for activation,
    • letter of concurrence from the grantee (from Application Process above),
    • letter stating willingness to interface with US CBP automated systems,
    • blanket CBP Form 216 (Application for Foreign Trade Zone Activity Permit) with full description of FTZ activity,
    • letter requesting CBP to set the Type 4 bond amount,
    • and letter requesting a FIRMS Code.
  3. Establish FTZ software List of Providers.
  4. CBP performs a formal physical security inspection of the building prior to the activation of the zone. Upon approval, CBP will send written notification of approval or remedial action that will be necessary prior to approval being granted by CBP. Once CBP is satisfied, they will issue a CBP concurrence letter stating that they have inspected the site and that the company is now allowed to be active.
  5. The prospective Operator must have a CBP 301 bond established for the new zone. (Company must include Greater Indianapolis Foreign Trade Zone Inc., and Indianapolis Airport Authority as additional insured.)
  6. COI, FTZ Board letter of approval, CBP concurrence letter, and a letter stating the date of which the company would begin utilizing the zone will be turned in to INzone for filing.

As a reminder, the application process will normally take between 30 and 90 days thanks to the ASF. However, the activation process may take longer depending on the individual company. Again, we highly recommend that companies partner with an FTZ consultant to assist with this process and avoid delays.

We are here to help with anything concerning the role of the Grantee/Administrator!

Feasibility Assistance:

If you are still not sure whether the Foreign-Trade Zone is right for your company, please contact INzone directly. We are here to help you access the resources you need to make that decision. We always recommend that any interested company conduct a thorough feasibility study to better weigh the costs and benefits before moving forward with an application. Each company is unique and so are the benefits it would receive through the program.

INzone, Central Indiana’s FTZ Grantee Administrator, pays for your confidential analysis, up to:

Distribution: $2,500

Manufacturing: $5,000

You may choose any consultant you like, but there is a list of consultants with whom our current and past customers have worked, available here.

We are ready to do what we can to help you get clear answers.


var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-2144973-18']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function(){ var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();