Tax Free Trade Zones of the World and in the United States (Introduction)
TAX FREE TRADE ZONES OF THE WORLD AND IN THE UNITED STATES, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012
48 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 30, 2013
The Introduction posted here is from the author's book on "Tax Free Trade Zones of the World and in the United States" (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), posted on SSRN by permission of the author and publisher.
Within the last few years small and large international companies in all corners of the globe have discovered that tax free trade zones can prove to be an effective tool to develop new markets and to increase earnings from existing foreign trade and manufacturing operations. Presently, there are over 3,000 tax free trade zones, free ports, and similarly designated areas of the world, including about 277 foreign trade zones and more than 500 special purpose subzones in the United States. These zones enable importers and exporters to benefit from a variety of customs-privileged facilities that offer them guarantees, incentives, and numerous advantages. By seeking the sheltered areas best suited to their needs, companies engaged in processing and assembling can also save on taxes and trim costs, including transportation expenses, rental fees, wages, finance charges, and insurance premiums.
Today, thousands of imported products, from delicate caviar to sophisticated electronics and machinery, are lodged in free trade zones located in 135 countries, and the free trade zones abroad and the U.S. foreign trade zones together reportedly have employed more than 43 million workers. Domestic or foreign enterprises buying products from abroad can store goods in a customs-free facility prior to shipment into the country where the zone is located. Storage can result in substantial savings in financing charges and increased cash flows. Some importers depend upon free trade zones to package, label, sort, assemble, process or manufacture finished goods prior to re-exporting their duty-exempt finished products.
Keywords: international trade, international business, free trade zones, foreign trade zones, imports, exports, enterprise zones, free ports, transit zones
JEL Classification: K19, K20, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
By Raúl Torres
By Paul Kossof