Foreign Trade Zone expected to grant GTAT operator approval on June 2nd

Posted: May 30, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in Uncategorized

According to the Foreign Trade Zone website GT Advanced is expected to receive final sub zone approval as an operator on Monday.

AZ Central did a great job breaking down what this approval actually means for GT Advanced and Apple.

“Sometimes it might not be a duty-deferral issue, but more the fact that it (a foreign-trade zone) can provide a logistical supply-chain benefit,” Joachim said. “In the case of GTAT and Apple, they have a particular type of material that they’re going to be bringing in from elsewhere, and the foreign-trade zone is a unique opportunity for them to bring that manufacturing and that material to the United States.”

As the plant inches closer to completion, the Mesa City Council is poised to approve one such step, an operator agreement that would offer GTAT a competitive advantage via the creation of a foreign-trade subzone.

Though the Foreign-Trade Zones Board approved the subzone in March. the city can act only as a grantee, not an operator.

That’s where the operator agreement, expected to be approved Monday, June 2, comes in.

“Customs actually comes out and inspects the facility and makes sure their security is appropriate, they know how to handle the materials, who will be there when they need to receive things,” said Scot Rigby, Mesa’s senior project manager for the Gateway area.

Joachim already has received a few parts of the activation application, he said, and expects a formal submittal “in the very near future.”


  1. George Jones says:

    Does this mean there have been no shipments of anything in or out of Mesa?


  2. Steve says:

    I think it means only items imported (raw materials perhaps?).


  3. kschof says:

    My understanding is the FTZ status not being active yet just means they did not get the breaks on import fees and property taxes that they will receive as one of the benefits of the FTZ sub-zone status being granted. Whether they moved forward with importing materials and exporting sapphire anyway (I would guess yes) or decided to wait until FTZ status was granted in order to minimize fees and taxes on the likely (relatively) small amounts of materials imported and exported so far as they ramp up remains to be seen.


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