Economic Development

Cambria County Foreign Trade Zone
Cambria County has spearheaded an initiative with local business and government leaders to create a Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) for south-central Pennsylvania.  The FTZ program can help businesses engaged in importing by providing tariff, duty and entry fee deferment, reduction or elimination. This helps companies hold onto their cash longer and elongate their importing expenses.  It also adds an additional economic development tool to our box.  With the leadership of the Board of Commissioners, the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Authority, the FTZ is projected to begin operating in the fall of 2015 and will be administered from the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

If you'd like more information about this venture and/or would like to speak with someone directly, please contact Nick Felice at: (814) 792-2759 or email him at: .

FAQs: Foreign-Trade Zone

What is a Foreign-Trade Zone?
Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs) were created in the United States to provide special customs procedures to U.S. plants engaged in international trade-related activities.  Duty-free treatment is accorded items that are processed in FTZs and then reexported, and duty payment is deferred on items until they are brought out of the FTZ for sale in the U.S. market.  This helps to offset customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with domestic industry.  The Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board (composed of representatives from the Departments of Commerce and Treasury) has its operational staff in the International Trade Administration's Import Administration.
How can companies benefit from using FTZs?
FTZs are considered to be outside of U.S. Customs Territory for the purpose of customs duty payment. Therefore, goods entering FTZs are not subject to customs tariffs until the goods leave the zone and are formally entered into U.S. Customs Territory.  Merchandise that is shipped to foreign countries from FTZs
is exempt from duty payments. This provision is especially useful to firms that import components in order
to manufacture finished products for export. There is no time limit on goods stored inside a FTZ and certain foreign and domestic merchandise held in FTZs may be exempted from state and local inventory taxes. 
This allows firms to minimize their costs while their products are waiting to be shipped. In addition, quota restrictions are in some cases waived for items entering an FTZ; however, the restrictions would apply if the items were to enter the U.S. market.  A variety of activities can be conducted in a zone including: assembling, packaging, destroying, storing, cleaning, exhibiting, re-packing, distributing, sorting, grading, testing, labeling, repairing, combining with foreign or domestic content or processing. Manufacturing and processing require specific FTZ Board approval, however.
What is the EB-5 program?
The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by immigrant investors by creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business. There are 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas available annually. In 1992 and regularly reauthorized since then, 3,000 EB-5 visas are also set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on proposals for promoting economic growth.  You can read more here


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