Foreign Trade Zone

A foreign-trade zone is a federally designated area located within the United States, yet considered “outside” of U. S. Custom’s territory for the purposes of assessing and collecting import duties and taxes.

The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) serves as administrator of the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) on behalf of Baltimore City and surrounding counties.


FTZ #74 provides economic incentives to companies importing or exporting international goods. Duty-free treatment is accorded to items that are re-exported and duty payment is deferred on items sold in the U.S. market, thus offsetting customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with producers located in the United States.

Businesses can use the space in a FTZ for a variety of purposes: warehousing and distribution of non-ferrous metals for sale on the London Metal Exchange, warehousing spirits and alcohol, and storing vehicles before they are sold in the domestic marketplace.

Baltimore’s FTZ is one of the most active and largest zones in the United States. Because of the Alternative Site Framework (ASF), a company can quickly complete the activation process within a few weeks and can be located at any property in the designated service area.

The Port of Baltimore is among the 10 busiest ports in the United States, servicing a major portion of the eastern half of the United States. With merchandise such as cars, paper and steel, 2017 saw the total FTZ international revenue rise from $44 million in 2016, to more than $396 million in 2017. An 800 percent increase. The total value of shipments through Baltimore’s FTZ was more than $19.9 billion in 2017.

Foreign Trade Zone #74’s service area consists of more than 1,250 acres of designated non-contiguous industrial and warehouse space in the following counties:

  • Baltimore City
  • Anne Arundel County
  • Baltimore County
  • Harford County
  • Cecil County
  • Howard County
  • Queen Anne’s County

For a map of Foreign Trade Zone #74, click here. To learn more about FTZ #74 and its benefits, please e-mail