• Foreign trade zones (FTZ), sometimes known as free trade zones, are geographically designated and secured areas that for legal purposes are considered outside of U.S. Customs territory. FTZs offer several economic advantages for companies involved in international trade. North Carolina has four general-purpose FTZs and eighteen active subzones approved for use by individual companies. In addition, three of the zones have successfully transitioned to the Alternative Site Framework (ASF), which greatly simplifies service to users. An ASF has a large, preapproved service area in which the organization in charge of the FTZ, the grantee, can propose new sites. Within this broad service area, which incorporates several counties, the grantee can work with interested companies to establish sites intended for either an individual company’s use or the use of several companies.Foreign or domestic merchandise may enter an FTZ without a formal customs entry document or payment of customs duties or government excise taxes. If the final product is exported from the United States, no customs duty is levied. If the final product is imported into the U.S., duty and excise taxes are due at the time of transfer from the FTZ and formal entry is made into the United States. Duty is paid on the product itself or its imported parts, whichever is lower.
  •  Foreign-Trade Zone #214 is located in Southeastern North Carolina (SENC) and offers individuals and businesses in 22 counties the opportunity to import foreign goods into a duty-free zone. The N.C. Department of Transportation is the Grantee and oversees FTZ #214 SENC.



  • FTZ service area encompassing a 24-county region
  • Midpoint between Maine and Florida
  • Air cargo facility at Kinston Regional Jetport, which can accommodate the world’s largest aircraft
  • Located along two major interstate highways with international trucking facilities
  • Encompasses rail and aviation facilities at Wilmington International Airport (ILM) and Kinston Regional Jetport (ISO), as well as two sea ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, N.C.
  • Skilled workforce, with customized training programs through North Carolina’s Community College System
  • Home to three industrial parks in the FTZ magnet sites, Global TransPark, Carven County Industrial Park and Wilmington International Airport, serving businesses in manufacturing and assembly, research, fulfillment centers, and warehousing and distribution, among others.


Magnet sites are essentially the same as the current general-purpose zone sites with a warehouse operator that has already been approved within FTZ #214 SENC. A magnet site can be used by many importers.

Current FTZ #214 Magnet sites include:

N.C. Global TransPark
N.C. State Port at Morehead City
N.C. State Port at Wilmington

Carven County Industrial Park

Wilmington International Airport


​“Usage-Driven” sites are managed by individual companies that commit to operating within the inventory and reporting requirements of U.S. Customs, after recommendation from FTZ #214 and approval by the U.S. FTZ Board.  “Usage-driven” sites are able to be approved in approximately 60 days.

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  • The North Carolina Biotechnology Center collaborates with North Carolina communities to attract life science economic development projects. Its Bioscience Industrial Development team provides industry-specific expertise and resources. The Center also supports community efforts through its Economic Development Award (EDA) Program.The EDA Program provides performance-based grants to local units of government in support of life science company projects. Grants are linked to job creation and retention milestones for specific company projects in the locality of interest. The local government administers the grant and allocates funds to the company to be used for project-related investments providing sustainable benefit to the company and community. The Center partners with both community and company to determine the appropriate use of EDA funds.EDA grants awards are made in amounts of up to $100,000 per project based on project job-creation estimates. As for all of its funding programs, the Center has established an application, review and award process for the EDA Program. Companies and local units of government apply for this program by invitation from the Center’s Bioscience Industrial Development staff. For more information about the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Economic Development Award Program, contact Courtney Skunda, Director of Bioscience Industrial Development at the N.C. Biotechnology Center at (919) 549-8887 or


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