Gaining Foreign Trade Zone status is now faster and easier for businesses under regional Foreign Trade Zone No. 216’s Alternative Site Framework, which was recently approved by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
The ASF allows businesses in the zone’s area that are engaged in importing, exporting, assembly, warehousing and distribution to apply for expedited approval through the FTZ program. This means significantly less paperwork for a business’s application process and only a 30-day wait to receive approval from the federal Foreign Trade Zone Board.
Along with the new Alternative Site Framework, FTZ No. 216 has undergone a substantial geographic expansion. It now includes all of Thurston County, almost all of Lewis and Mason counties, and the southern part of Kitsap County. Previously, the zone comprised 3,428 acres among the four counties.
Port of Olympia has administered the zone program in collaboration with the four counties since the zone’s inception in 1996. Also partnering with the zone are the Economic Development Councils of the four counties. Public property stakeholders are Port of Olympia, City of Lacey, City of Yelm, Port of Centralia, Port of Chehalis, City of Chehalis, Port of Shelton and Port of Bremerton. The zone also includes some privately owned land.