Capital Region International Airport is now a federally designated foreign trade zone.
The federal government approved the Lansing airport's request last week, airport spokesman Bob Kolt said today. It took almost a year to complete the process.
The zone, which includes about 840 acres around the terminal and runways, allows businesses that import to avoid, reduce or delay paying duties.
Companies can store products in the zone to postpone duty payments until merchandise is ready for shipment.
That doesn't reduce taxes, but it helps companies with cash flow. Actual tax savings come when imported parts are used on-site to manufacture a finished product that has lower taxes than the individual parts. There are no duties on products exported from the zone.