An increase in the use of Free Trade Zones around the world is playing a role in the rise of countries using Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs). The continued growth of the global economy is also responsible for expanding FTZ use.

In 2017, the greatest challenges to FTZs will be compliance related, exacerbated by the expected increase of activity within these zones. Within the past three years, a record-high $99.2 billion in merchandise was exported from U.S. FTZs, according to data from the Foreign-Trade Zones Board.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is working to complete the final deployment of core trade processing capabilities in the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). As part of the delivery of core trade processing in ACE, CBP has established a series of mandatory use dates for transitioning to ACE. ACE is now the primary system through which the trade community reports imports and exports and the government determines admissibility. Through ACE as the Single Window, manual processes are streamlined and automated, paper is being eliminated and the trade community is able to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations. Working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the Border Interagency Executive Council, and the White House, CBP is on track to meet an executive order signed in 2014. An executive order in December 2016 gained further ground for ACE.