Once a zone or subzone site is approved by the FTZ Board, an application must be made to the local CBP office, with the concurrence of the FTZ grantee, to operate the zone/subzone site (or portion thereof) under FTZ procedures. This CBP process is known as activation and generally includes steps such as background checks, a written procedures manual, posting a bond with CBP, as well as a review of the security of the site(s) and the inventory control methods.

Activation Limit:

The size of the physical area of a particular zone or subzone authorized by the Board to be simultaneously in activated status with CBP pursuant to 19 CFR 146.6. The activation limit for a particular zone/subzone is a figure explicitly specified by the Board in authorizing the zone (commonly 2,000 acres) or subzone or, in the absence of a specified figure, the total of the sizes of the approved sites of the zone/subzone.


According to Section 400.21 , general-purpose zone sites must be within 60 miles or 90 minutes driving time of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry.

Admit, Admission:

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection terms describing the shipment of merchandise into U.S. foreign-trade zones under CBP supervision (19 CFR 146.1).

Alternative site framework (ASF):

An optional approach to designation and management of zone sites allowing greater flexibility and responsiveness to serve single-operator/user locations. The ASF was adopted by the Board as a matter of practice in December 2008 (7 4 FR 1170, January 12, 2009; correction 7 4 FR 3987, January 22, 2009) and modified by the Board in November 2010 (75 FR 71069, November 22, 2010).

Articles Consumed:

Interpretation of the FTZ Act holds that all materials to be consumed in manufacturing or processing operations within a zone must first be entered for consumption with duties paid.

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