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LATAM Airlines Group Becomes Miami International Airport’s First Foreign Trade Zone Operator

LATAM Airlines Group has started shipping aircraft parts from Chile to their maintenance facility at MIA for repair, and then shipping them back to South America, all without paying federal import taxes.


LATAM CArgo Boeing 767-300 Freighter - Courtesy MIA

On Tuesday (April 18, 2023), Miami International Airport (MIA) announced that LATAM Airlines Group has become the airport’s first Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) operator. LATAM has started shipping aircraft parts from Chile to their MIA maintenance facility for repair, before sending them back to South America, all without paying federal import taxes. This is possible thanks to their new status as an operator within MIA’s FTZ magnet site. LATAM was the first approved operator within Miami International Airport’s Foreign Trade Zone magnet site, which allows airport tenants to import materials that can be manufactured, repaired stored, and/or redistributed anywhere on the MIA property, with federal tariffs deferred, reduced, or eliminated.


In Tuesday’s announcement, MIA’s Director and CEO, Ralph Cutié, said,


“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.”


Also commenting on the carrier’s milestone FTZ operator designation, LATAM Airlines USA’s Director – Supply Chain and Logistics, Ricardo Zuniga, said,

“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.”


The MIA FTZ magnet site was approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce before the pandemic, and is part of Miami-Dade County’s existing FTZ 281 designation granted to PortMiami. In order 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 around 30 days.



Source: Miami International Airport

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