- The airline group is now receiving select imports tax-free at FTZ magnet site
LATAM Airlines Group has begun to ship its aircraft parts from Chile to its maintenance facility at Miami International Airport for repair and then send them back to South America, all without paying federal import taxes, thanks to its new status as an operator within MIA’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) magnet site.
LATAM Group is the first approved operator within MIA’s FTZ magnet site, which allows airport tenants to import materials that can then be manufactured, repaired, stored, and/or re-distributed anywhere on MIA property, with the federal tariffs on those materials deferred, reduced, or eliminated – providing valuable time and cost savings.
“Congratulations to LATAM Group for becoming our launch partner in this innovative program at MIA. MIA is already the leading U.S. airport for international freight, and its FTZ magnet site creates yet another competitive advantage for airlines and businesses looking to expand their operations at the premier cargo gateway of the Americas,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Companies within an FTZ are able to defer paying duties until the products exit the site, reduce duties on combined finished products instead of on each individual product, and eliminate duties on products being imported to the site and then re-exported. Companies handling high-traffic commodities at MIA such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, auto parts, aircraft parts, avionics, machinery equipment, consumer goods, and perishables are ideal operators for MIA’s FTZ magnet site.
“We are very proud and excited to be the first airline to achieve this important certification at MIA. This opens the door to significant benefits and savings opportunities for cross-docking technical materials entering and leaving the United States. In the long run, this certification is going to provide LATAM Airlines with further opportunities to expand in the FTZ,” said Ricardo Zuniga, Supply Chain and Logistics Director at LATAM Airlines USA.
MIA continues to rank as the busiest airport in the U.S. and the ninth busiest in the world for international freight. In 2022, MIA matched its record of 2.7 million tons of freight set in 2021, by handling 2.2 million tons of international freight and 500,000 tons of domestic shipments.
“We applied for the magnet site designation to make MIA even more cost-efficient for our cargo partners, and we are delighted to see LATAM Group lead the way in taking advantage of this new service. The magnet site opens the door to a variety of time- and cost-saving opportunities for cargo handlers at MIA,” said Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO.
The MIA FTZ magnet site, approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce before the pandemic, is an expansion of Miami-Dade County’s existing FTZ 281 granted to PortMiami. To become an FTZ operator, MIA tenants must complete an application with PortMiami and then receive approval from U.S. Customs and Border Protection – an expedited process that takes approximately 30 days.