Socorro, Texas, becomes Foreign Trade Zone No. 302, the 3rd FTZ in El Paso County


Socorro receives an official Grant of Authority from the Foreign Trade Zone Board  

SOCORRO, TEXAS – On November 13, 2023, the City of Socorro received notice from the United States Foreign Trade Zones Board that its application to establish a Foreign Trade Zone (“FTZ”) under the Alternative Site Framework was approved. The approval of the FTZ application provides the City with its grant of authority, allowing it to permit businesses to set up foreign trade zone sites within its city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction. The new trade zone in Socorro, FTZ No. 302, becomes the 35th FTZ in Texas and the 3rd in El Paso County. 

Foreign Trade Zones are special areas in the United States that benefit companies by reducing import duties and other costs. FTZs encourage domestic manufacturing, help to create and maintain local employment, and promote U.S. economic growth. The City of Socorro formally filed an Alternative Site Framework (ASF) application with the Foreign Trade Zones Board in early 2023 to promote economic development and increase job retention, job creation, and capital investment in Socorro.

Foreign Trade Zones are secure areas under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervision, generally considered outside CBP territory upon activation. Located in or near a CBP port of entry, FTZs are the U.S. version of what is internationally known as free trade zones.

The benefits of Foreign Trade Zones include:

  • Duty-free and excise tax-free exporting of goods from an FTZ 
  • Merchandise may remain in a zone indefinitely
  • CBP duty and federal excise tax, if applicable, are paid only when the merchandise is transferred from a zone
  • Lower logistics costs for high-volume operators

Socorro’s FTZ offers lower zone fees than regional FTZs in Texas and New Mexico, faster application & activation support from a highly experienced Grantee staff, and proximity to the Ysleta and Tornillo ports of entry.

The City of Socorro is grateful to the U.S. Foreign Trade-Zone Board staff, Port Director Eric Fernandez at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry in Tornillo, TX, Congressman Tony Gonzalez, and County Commissioner Iliana Holguin for supporting this project.

Interested parties should contact Jose Quinonez, AZS, by email at or 915-275-1039. 

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