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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Business & Industry
News Release
Friday, August 31, 2018

FREEPORT, Texas – Port Freeport proudly celebrates 30 years of successful operations of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 149.  In July of 1988, Port Freeport received its authorization and first shipment into FTZ 149 from Riviana Foods, formerly known as American Rice. Since receiving its first shipment, the FTZ has continually presented an opportunity to bring cost-savings to customers through deferment, reduction and even elimination of U.S. Customs duties.

“The knowledge of FTZ rules and regulations coupled with strong relationships with the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ), the FTZ Board and U.S. Customs and Border Protection allow Port Freeport to provide economic benefits for users of the well-established FTZ 149,” said Port Freeport Executive Director/CEO, Phyllis Saathoff.

Many companies in the area currently benefit from FTZ 149, including steel importer Tenaris Bay City and manufacturing operators Phillips 66 and Dow Chemical Company.  Petrochemical companies are also realizing duty-related savings associated to the heavy-lift equipment being utilized for area plant construction projects.

“Port Freeport is pleased to offer this important program to area industries. FTZ 149 delivers real savings which consequently support many jobs,” said Paul Kresta, Port Commission Chairman. “We look forward to supporting future foreign commerce movements through Port Freeport and offering the advantages of the FTZ program when needed by our customers.”

The FTZ program was created by Congress in 1934 to expedite and encourage foreign commerce.  This program establishes secure areas within the United States that are considered to be outside of the U.S. Customs territory for tariff purposes.  Currently, there are 195 active FTZs within the United States that are utilized by more than 3,300 companies.

Port Freeport is ranked 10th in chemicals, 26th in containers, and 23rd in total tonnage. The Freeport Harbor Channel serves Dow Chemical, Phillips 66, BASF, Tenaris, Vulcan Material, Mammoet, Freeport LNG, Riviana, Dole, Chiquita, Seaway, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Hoegh Autoliners.

Port Freeport is committed to keeping the local community informed of our operation and results. If you have questions or comments about this article, please email or call Lauren McCormick, Public Affairs Manager.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Construction equipment manufacturers are among those that utilize Port Freeport’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 149.

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