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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Foreign-Trade Zones Board
[Docket 23-97]
 
Foreign-Trade Zone 98--Birmingham, Alabama: Application for 
Subzone Status, JVC America, Inc. (Videotape and Videocassettes) 
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board 
(the Board) by the City of Birmingham, Alabama, grantee of FTZ 98, 
requesting special-purpose subzone status for the VHS videotape and 
videocassette manufacturing facility of JVC America, Inc. (JVC) 
(subsidiary of Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.), located at sites in 
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. 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 March 25, 1997.
    The JVC plant (440,000 sq. ft. on 103 acres) consists of two sites 
in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama: Site 1: (400,000 sq. ft. on 101 acres)--
production facility located at 1 JVC Road, adjacent to I-20/59, some 15 
miles east of the City of Tuscaloosa; Site 2: (40,000 sq. ft. on 2 
acres)--warehouse located at 1010 19th Avenue, City of Tuscaloosa. The 
facility (235 employees) produces prepared unrecorded media such as VHS 
videotape and videocassettes. (Compact discs are also manufactured at 
the site, but authority to conduct such manufacture under zone 
procedures is not being requested at this time.) Some 15 percent of 
production is exported.
    Zone procedures would exempt JVC from Customs duty payments on 
foreign materials used in production for export. On domestic shipments, 
the company would be able to choose the duty rate that applies to 
videotape and videocassettes (2.5%, becoming duty-free in 1999 upon 
final implementation of the Uruguay Round of GATT), instead of the 
rates (ranging from duty-free to 9.7%) otherwise applicable to the 
foreign materials. Foreign components, which account for an estimated 
40 percent of material value, include carbon, iron oxides and 
hydroxides, palmitic/stearic acids, plasticizers, printing ink, 
polyvinyl chloride, polyurethanes, splice tape, packaging film, glue, 
polyethylene terephthalate film, cassette housings, cassette hubs, 
bemcot wipes, glass beads, filters, and prepared unrecorded media. The 
application indicates that the savings from zone procedures will help 
improve the plant'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 
June 9, 1997. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted 
during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-
day period (to June 23, 1997).
    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, Export Assistance Center, Medical Forum 
Building, 7th Floor, 950 22nd Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203;
Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, Room 3716, 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20230.

    Dated: March 31, 1997.
John J. Da Ponte, Jr.,
Executive Secretary
[FR Doc. 97-9117 Filed 4-8-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P