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                           (Cite as: 58 FR 44492)


                           DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

                               (Docket 40-93)

   Foreign-Trade Zone 93--Raleigh/Durham North Carolina; Application for
             Merck Pharmaceutical Plant, Wilson, North Carolina

                          Monday, August 23, 1993

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the 
Board) by the Triangle J Council of Governments, grantee of FTZ 93, 
requesting special-purpose subzone status for the pharmaceutical 
manufacturing facility of Merck & Co., Inc. (Merck), in Wilson, North 
Carolina, adjacent to the Durham Customs port of entry area. 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 August 9, 1993.

Merck is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers with
nearly $9 billion in total sales in 1991. Its primary product lines
include: patented prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical
products, veterinary pharmaceuticals and agricultural and specialty
chemicals. This proposal is part of an overall company cost reduction
effort. (Applications for subzone status are also being submitted for seven 
other Merck facilities.)

Merck's Wilson plant (225 acres, 257,576 sq. ft., 7 bldgs.) is located at
4633 Merck Road, near the intersection of I-95 and U.S. Hwy. 264, in the
town of Wilson (Wilson County), North Carolina, some 40 miles east of 
Durham. The facility (270 employees) is used to produce a range of patented
prescription products and to perform granulation and tableting operations
for U.S. promotional sample packages. The finished products include
"Prinivil", "Prinzide", "Vaseretic" and "Vasotec" (ACE inhibitors for
hypertension), "Sinemet" (treatment of Parkinson's Disease), "Prilosec"
(anti-ulcer preparation), "Mevacor" (cholesterol lowering agent), and
"Proscar" (treatment of prostate enlargement). Finished products are then
shipped to Merck's West Point, Pennsylvania, facility (application pending
FTZ Board approval, FTZ Doc. 29-93, 58 FR 38749, 7/20/93) for U.S. 
distribution. At the outset, the production of "Proscar" would account for 
a substantial portion of the savings from zone procedures. Its main active 
ingredient, finasteride, is foreign-sourced and constitutes between 5 and 
15 percent of the finished product's value. The company also may purchase 
from abroad active ingredients for other Merck products (listed above) and 
items in the following general product categories: Gums, starches, waxes, 
vegetable extracts, mineral oils, phosphoric acid, hydroxides, hydrazine and
hydroxylamine, chlorides, phosphates, carbonates, hydrocarbons, alcohols,
phenols, ethers, epoxides, acetals, aldehydes, ketone function compounds,
mono- and polycarboxylic acids, phosphoric esters, amine-, carboxymide,
nitrile- and oxygen-function compounds, heterocyclic compounds,
sulfonamides, vitamins, hormones, sugars, antibiotics, gelatins, enzymes,
color lakes, soaps and detergents, medicaments, and pharmaceutical

Zone procedures would exempt Merck from Customs duty payments on foreign
materials used in production for export. On domestic sales, the company
would be able to choose the duty rates that apply to the finished products
(duty-free to 23.5%). The duty rates on foreign-sourced items range from
duty-free to 23.5 percent. For example, "Proscar" is dutiable at 6.3
percent, while its active ingredient, finasteride, has a duty rate of 7.9
percent. The application indicates that the savings from zone procedures
will help improve the firm's international competitiveness.

In accordance with the Board's regulations, a member of the FTZ Staff has
been designated examiner to investigate the application and report to the 
Board. Public comment 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 22, 1993. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during
the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period 
(to November 8, 1993).

A copy of the application and accompanying exhibits will be available for 
public inspection at each of the following locations:
Office of the Port Director, 
Durham, North Carolina, 
U.S. Customs Service, Southeast Region, 
120 Southcenter Court, suite 500, 
Morrisville, North Carolina 27560

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

Dated: August 10, 1993.

John J. Da Ponte, Jr.,

Executive Secretary.

(FR Doc. 93-20319 Filed 8-20-93; 8:45 am)