"While FTZs were created to provide public benefits, little is known about FTZs' economic impact. For example, few economic studies have focused on FTZs, and those that have do not quantify FTZs' economic impacts. In addition, these studies do not address the question of what the economic activity, such as employment, would have been in the absence of companies having FTZ status.
"Customs has not assessed compliance risks across the FTZ program, and its methods for collecting compliance and enforcement data impair its ability to assess and respond to program-wide risks. While CBP regularly conducts compliance reviews of individual FTZ operators to ensure compliance with U.S. customs laws and regulations, it does not centrally compile FTZ compliance and enforcement information to analyze and respond to compliance and internal control risks across the program. Federal internal control standards state that management should obtain relevant data and assess and respond to identified risks associated with achieving agency goals. Without a program-wide assessment of the frequency and significance of problems identified during compliance reviews, risk levels determined, and enforcement actions taken, CBP cannot verify its assertion that the FTZ program is at low risk of noncompliance. Incorrect determinations about program risk level may impact program effectiveness and revenue collection for the FTZ program, which accounted for approximately 11 percent of U.S. imports in 2015."
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