MIAMI — Miami International Airport’s (MIA) 3,230-acre land parcel was designated as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) magnet site by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD).

MIA gained the final approval of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the FTZ. It allows existing or prospective airport tenants to operate manufacturing, warehousing and distribution centers on airport property, and have their federal tariffs deferred, reduced or eliminated – providing time and cost savings for approved importers and exporters.

“The MIA FTZ creates an attractive business opportunity for companies to begin or expand their operations directly on-site at the passenger and cargo gateway of the Americas,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez.

Mayor Gimenez also remarked the designation brings a strong potential for new business revenue and job creation for the community.

“I commend the Aviation Department and PortMiami, for bringing this important designation to MIA and to Miami-Dade County. Because of their efforts with our federal partners, MIA can be an even larger economic engine for our community,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Chairperson of the County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee

Miami-Dade County already has a trade zone magnet known as FTZ 281. The new FTZ is an expansion of the existing one and encompasses land from S.W. 8th Street to the Broward County line, and from Miami Beach in the east to the Urban Development line in the west.

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Companies within an FTZ may defer paying duties only when product exits the site, reduce duties on combined finished products instead of on each product, and eliminate tariffs on products being imported to the site and then exported.

“Six years after being approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce, FTZ 281 has more than 65 approved sites. Adding MIA as a magnet site is a huge accomplishment. It makes Miami a more competitive global gateway for growing international trade and commerce in Miami-Dade County. We welcome MIA to FTZ281,” said PortMiami Director and CEO, Juan M. Kuryla

The new magnet site will allow companies to receive and process materials and merchandise with reduced or eliminated customs duties upon entry into the country at MIA.

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Companies that are handling high-traffic commodities at MIA—pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, footwear, auto parts, aircraft parts, avionics, machinery equipment, consumer goods and perishables —are expected to be FTZ applicants.

To be an FTZ operator, companies must first complete the grantee of FTZ 281 with PortMiami as an application and then receive approval from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The expedited application process takes approximately 30 days.

“Our FTZ magnet site approval dovetails perfectly with our growth strategy as one of the world’s leading pharma hubs, as well as our efforts to become the e-commerce hub of the Americas. We look forward to opening new doors at MIA within the trade and logistics industries,” declared Miami-Dade Aviation Department Chief of Staff, Joseph Napoli

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In 2016, MIA’s air trade was valued at $57.3 billion – representing 92% of the value of Florida’s total air trade and 40% of the State’s total (air and sea) trade with the world.

The FTZ magnet site follows other business development initiatives launched recently by MDAD, including:

  • MIA’s first e-commerce workshop with more than 30 local air cargo industry stakeholders in January, with the goal of establishing Miami-Dade County as one of the world’s leading e-commerce hubs;
  • Florida’s first-ever ocean-to-air perishables trans-shipment program last February, which allows perishable freight from local seaports to be trucked to MIA and depart by air without Customs duties;
  • And MIA’s pharma hub designation by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which certifies that pharma products are transported following global best practices.

Four MIA pharma hub partners became IATA-certified in 2017, and MIA’s pharma trade has grown in value from $1.8 billion 2010 to $4.4 billion in 2016.