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                           DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

                               (Docket 25-92)

 Foreign-Trade Zone 119--Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Application for Subzone,
        Wirsbo Company (Polyethylene Tubing Plant), Apple Valley, MN

                           Monday, August 3, 1992

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the 
Board) by the Greater Metropolitan Area Foreign-Trade Zone Commission, 
grantee of FTZ 119, Minneapolis/St. Paul area, requesting special-purpose 
subzone status for the polyethylene tubing manufacturing plant of Wirsbo 
Company (Wirsbo) (a subsidiary of Uponor Group, Finland), located in Apply 
Valley, Minnesota. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions 
of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the 
regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally filed on 
July 21, 1992.

The Wirsbo plant (10.5 acres/60,000 sq.ft/47 employees) is located at 5925
148th Street West in Apple Valley (Dakota County), approximately 15 miles
south of Minneapolis. It is used to produce cross-linked polyethylene (PEX)
tubing for floor-installed hydronic radiat residential/industrial heating
systems. The production process involves mixing and heating powdered
polyethylene resin with certain chemicals. The viscous compound is then
extruded into tubing (HTSUS# 3917.32.0020-4; duty rate: 3.1 percent).
Foreign-origin materials used in the process include polyethylene (HTSUS#
3901.10.00 and 3901.20.00; duty rate: 12.5%) and polyvinyl alcohol foil
(HTSUS# 3921.19.00, 6.6%). According to the applicant, total U.S. value
added is about 70 percent. Some 30 percent of the finished tubing is
exported, and PEX tubing sold in the U.S. market will displace company
imports. The plant will also be used as a distribution site for such other
foreign heating system parts/materials as thermostats, brass fittings, and
aluminum pipe.

Zone procedures would exempt Wirsbo from Customs duty payments on foreign
materials used in products made for export. On its domestic sales, zone
procedures would allow the company to choose the duty rate that applies to
finished PEX tubing (3.1%) on the foreign material inputs noted above. On
other foreign materials stored at the plant, Wirsbo would be able to defer
duty payments. The application indicates that subzone status would help
this new plant compete internationally.

In accordance with the Board's regulations (as revised, 56 FR 50790-50808,
10- 8-91), a member of the FTZ Staff has been designated examiner to
investigate the application and report to the Board.

Public comment on the application is invited from interested parties.
Submissions (original and 3 copies) shall be addressed to the Board's
Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their
receipt is October 2, 1992. Rebuttal comments in response to material
submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the
subsequent 15-day period (to October 19, 1992).

A copy of the application and accompanying exhibits will be available for
public inspection at each of the following locations:
U.S. Department of Commerce District Office, 
108 Federal Building, 
110 S. Fourth Street, 
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Office of the Executive Secretary, 
Foreign-Trade Zones Board, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, room 3716,
14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20230.

Dated: July 23, 1992.

John J. Da Ponte, Jr.,

Executive Secretary.

(FR Doc. 92-18257 Filed 7-31-92; 8:45 am)