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:

  • Grantee Concurrence Request:
    1. Submit a Request Letter to Grantee or Administrator (Hey, that’s us!), stating the company’s desire to be an FTZ and whether applying for a Subzone or Usage-Driven Site. (Letter template available.) Letter should be printed on the company’s letterhead and turned in to INzone, to be included in the docket for the next INzone board meeting.
    2. Accompanying the Request should be the Operator Agreement, which would include a layout of the building and a border around the area that would represent the desired FTZ designation area. An Operator Agreement can be obtained by contacting INzone directly.
    3. If everything is in order, INzone’s board will recommend that the Indianapolis Airport Authority (Grantee) execute the Operator Agreement and sign a Concurrence Letter.
    4. That Grantee Concurrence Letter will be sent by INzone to company via certified mail, and is required in the next step of the Application.
  • FTZ Board Transmittal
    1. Complete the application, including all questions concerning zone location, type, size, planned activities, zoning, and others as specified by the FTZ Board Application Process.
    2. Attach all required documents, including a map (as required in the Grantee process or a more detailed version), any comments from Customs & Border Protection, and any applicable tax information.
    3. Submit the application (1) and attachment (2) to be filed with FTZ Board in Washington D.C.
    4. Once the application has been reviewed and approved, a Letter of Transmittal will be sent to the applicant company, and is required in the next phase, Activation.

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.

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