MIAMI – The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved an application to the U.S. Department of Commerce that would designate Miami International Airport as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) magnet site. Upon approval by the Commerce Department’s FTZ Board, the new magnet site will allow manufacturers to lease available airport property and have their tariffs deferred, reduced or eliminated.
“I commend the Miami-Dade Aviation Department for developing this innovative concept to generate more economic impact and jobs in our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “MIA’s extensive air service network has made it our leading economic engine, and the FTZ expansion would further diversify the airport’s revenue streams to create additional non-aeronautical revenue.”
The application, which requests an expansion of Miami-Dade County’s existing FTZ 281 to include the airport, would allow companies to receive and process materials and merchandise as soon as it enters the country at MIA, all with reduced or eliminated Customs duties – saving valuable time and money from the supply chain process. Site users would be companies working in industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, footwear, auto parts, aircraft parts, avionics, machinery equipment, consumer goods and perishables.
“With more than 400,000 square feet of space available for lease, activating an FTZ magnet site on airport property will turn vacant real estate into a significant revenue stream,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. Gonzalez. “Combined with our recent designation by the International Air Transport Association as the first pharmaceutical freight hub in the U.S., a magnet site designation has vast potential for opening new doors at MIA within the trade and logistics industries, in addition to being a major job creator.”
FTZ 281 encompasses an area from Southwest Eighth Street to the Broward County line and from Miami Beach in the east to the Urban Development line in the west. Within this area, designated locations with active FTZs are considered to be outside of the commerce and customs territory of the United States. Companies within a FTZ are able to operate without being subjected to federal entry procedures or federal excise taxes, while minimizing involvement from other regulatory compliance agencies. MDAD worked closely with PortMiami, the grantee of FTZ 281, to ensure the application meets the intent of the FTZ regulations and will advance the value of FTZ 281.
In addition to the FTZ, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department is moving forward with a host of new initiatives to expand and diversify MIA’s cargo operations, including: Pharma.aero, an association created by MIA and Brussels Airport in May to grow the global pharmaceutical cargo business through a collaborative network of the world’s top airports; the first ocean-to-air perishables trans-shipment program in the state of Florida, launched in September; and the Cargo Optimization, Redevelopment and Expansion (CORE) Program, a long-term concept to modernize MIA’s existing cargo operation and double its capacity.