Foreign Trade Zones

Nashville Area Foreign-Trade Zone

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County is the local grantee for the Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) program. FTZ's assist companies in delaying, reducing or eliminating payment of U.S. Customs duty since no duty is paid on merchandise brought into a FTZ. Merchandise in a FTZ exported outside the U.S. or transferred to another FTZ incurs no customs duty. Merchandise may also be assembled, consolidated, repackaged or otherwise manipulated while in a FTZ to reduce duty payments.

The Metropolitan Government's Foreign-Trade Zone grant also allows companies to designate a facility outside of the general-purpose zone site as a subzone. This designation allows companies to take advantage of FTZ benefits while using their own facilities. Nissan Motor Manufacturing in Smyrna is one such FTZ subzone in the Nashville area.

How A Foreign-Trade Zone May Be Used


  • No bond or duty payment while goods are in the zone
  • Foreign goods may be stored indefinitely
  • If zone goods are exported, no duty is paid


  • Foreign and domestic goods may be mixed together to produce a finished product
  • Duty can be based upon rate of individual parts at a time of entry or the finished product, at your discretion


  • Foreign merchandise in a zone may be: assembled; cleaned; destroyed; displayed; graded; inspected; labeled; manipulated; packed; relabeled; repacked; repaired; sold (wholesale); sorted; tested.


  • Permanent or temporary exhibition of goods is permitted
  • No duty is due on such goods until entering U.S. Customs territory

Quotas and other regulation

  • Goods in excess of quota may be held in the zone until in compliance
  • Goods not meeting certain other government agency requirements may be held until such goods meet standard

Cost Benefits

  • Delay of duty payment gives cash flow advantage
  • No bond is required on zone goods
  • Insurance costs are reduced to value plus ocean freight
  • Unacceptable goods may be repaired or discarded before assessment of duty
  • Zone merchandise may be used as collateral
  • Duty rates may be frozen at time of entry
  • Zone goods may be exported without duty payment

More Information

For additional information contact Audra Ladd at

Information for this page taken directly from

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