About Us

In 1989, the counties of Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon, under Michigan's Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, formed the Kent-Ottawa-Muskegon Foreign-Trade Zone (KOM-FTZ) Authority with the intent of applying for and receiving permission to offer Foreign Trade Zone services to both existing and new companies within KOM's region. These three counties located within the core of West Michigan recognized the need to offer the local business community the  benefits available through a Foreign-Trade Zone. Rather than competing with one another, the three counties adopted a typical West Michigan approach of collaboration and cooperation, and in 1989 began the application process for a Foreign-Trade Zone with sites strategically planned to be  throughout the region.

On January 15, 1993, Foreign- Trade Zone #189 was approved  recognizing Kent-Ottawa-Muskegon Foreign Trade Zone (KOM-FTZ) Authority to established Foreign Trade Zone grantee. Within several months two operators were identified, approved by the KOM FTZ board, and activated to begin offering FTZ benefits to West Michigan companies.

In 1999, Grand Valley State University became a formal partner of the KOM-FTZ Authority with three representatives serving on its Board. Grand Valley State University oversees the daily activities and administration of the KOM-FTZ through its Van Andel Global Trade Center.

The KOM-FTZ reorganized under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) in August 2012, categorizing the KOM-FTZ’s nine existing sites as Magnet sites. As an ASF Zone, KOM-FTZ provides the same FTZ benefits to the community, such as encouraging and facilitating exports, attracting offshore activity and encouraging retention of domestic activity, creating employment opportunities, assisting state and local development efforts, and helping local business conduct international trade and compete with foreign plants all with much shorter processing times by the National FTZ board. 

History of the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Program

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Page last modified August 15, 2013