South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and South Bend International Airport bring awareness to FTZ 125

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Sept. 13, 2022) — The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and the South Bend International Airport (SBN) hosted an FTZ 125 informational event for local economic development partners and commercial real estate professionals on August 31 at the airport. Foreign-trade Zones (FTZs) are designated sites located in the U.S. that are considered outside of U.S. Customs territory. This classification allows users to reduce, defer or even eliminate Customs duties on imported products, as well as increased operational efficiency and other benefits.

FTZ 125 covers Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Starke, and St. Joseph counties, and is facilitated by the St. Joseph County Airport Authority, owner and operator of SBN. However, a company does not need to be located onsite to activate an FTZ. Qualified companies can utilize the benefits of an FTZ anywhere within the covered counties after going through the activation process.

“Qualified companies located anywhere within the six-county service area for FTZ 125 can secure FTZ designation,” said Scott Taylor, an FTZ attorney with international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. “This makes it easier than ever for companies to compete internationally and create jobs here.”

Local stakeholders heard local and national statistics and gained an understanding of the activation process for FTZs. They then had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion featuring Taylor and Jeffery Tafel, the President of NAFTZ, the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, as well as representatives from ASA Electronics, a local FTZ user. The day ended with an open house.

“Foreign-Trade Zones are an effective economic development tool and give American companies a distinct competitive advantage,” said Tafel. “The South Bend – Elkhart region – with its long-standing strength in manufacturing – is an ideal area to take advantage of the benefits of the FTZ program. I hope by raising awareness of FTZ 125, more companies will see the benefits to their bottom line – and that’s good for retaining and bringing more jobs to the region.”

The FTZ program began in 1935 by executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt with the intent to encourage international trade while combatting high Customs duty rates of the time.

For more information on FTZ 125, visit


About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is a collaboration of the economic development partners from 47 smart connected communities in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership focuses on a long-term systemic approach to advance the region’s economy by aligning the efforts of various stakeholders around five key areas: educating a world-class workforce, recruiting and retaining great talent, attracting and growing new economy companies in complement to our remarkably strong manufacturing industries, promoting inclusion and sparking opportunities for minorities and helping entrepreneurs thrive. The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership seeks to unify and collaborate so that together, the communities across the region to work together to achieve what cannot be done individually. For more information about the Regional Partnership, visit

About South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership
South Bend International Airport’s four air carriers provide nonstop flights to twelve cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg with connections world-wide. South Bend International’s multi-modal terminal serves over one million air and rail passengers each year. According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report from the state aviation association, Aviation Indiana, South Bend International’s total annual economic impact on South Bend and surrounding communities was more than $1.7 billion.

For additional information, please refer to or get social with SBN on Facebook (, Twitter (@SBNairport) or Instagram (@SBNairport) to stay informed about the airport and the carriers that serve the South Bend region.

Media Contacts
Sarah Niespodziany
South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership

Julie Curtis
South Bend International Airport