This morning I took a tour of the Foreign Trade Zone in Honolulu and the warehouse facilities there. I was quite impressed.
Some key points:
- It is run by the state, but is run like a business (they don’t get annual funding from the state).
- It’s kinda like coworking but for warehouse space. You pay for the warehouse space based on volume. This means that you don’t need to pay for space you don’t need nor do you need to have staff, or a forklift, etc.
- Only goods that are imported or exported are allowed.
- You deliver goods there and store it and when you need to get some goods out you call them and they get it ready for pickup.
- Merchandise of foreign status (before goods are cleared US Customs) can be stored in the warehouse for $.35 per cubic foot for the 1st month and $.15 thereafter.
- The FTZ is on US soil, but is outside of US Customs territory. If you import something and subsequently export it (internationally) you might be able to avoid paying customs import fees because technically it never reached the US. (This is my understanding of it.)
It sounds like a great program and fees seem really good. So if anyone is importing goods or materials and needs storage space, look them up.
As always, let me know if you have any questions.