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                           DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

                             [Docket No. 24-91]

 			Foreign-Trade Zone 84--Houston,
              TX, Application for Subzone, Shaffer, Inc., Oil
                   Drilling Equipment, Harris County, TX

                           Thursday, May 9, 1991

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the 
Board) by the Port of Houston Authority, grantee of FTZ 84, requesting 
special-purpose subzone status for the oil drilling equipment manufacturing 
plant of Shaffer, Inc., in Harris County, Texas. 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 April 16, 1991.

The Shaffer plant (68 acres) is located at 12950 West Little York Road in
Harris County, northwest of Houston, Texas. The facility employs 365
persons and is used to manufacture oil drilling machinery, such as blowout
prevention, motion compensation and offshore well production control
equipment. Some 20 percent of its components are foreign sourced, including
compressors, blowout prevention equipment castings and parts, carbon black
and hand-operated valve castings. Currently, 75 percent of the equipment is

Zone procedures would exempt Shaffer from Customs duty payments on the
foreign components used in machinery produced for export. The duty rates on
most components and finished products range from 3.4 to 3.7 percent. Carbon
black and hand-operated valve castings from the U.S.S.R. are assessed
column 2 (non- MFN) duty rates of 20 percent and 45 percent respectively.
With respect to carbon black from the Soviet Union, the company is seeking
authority to choose the lower finished product rates that apply to rubber 
seals (5.3 percent) and blowout prevention castings (3.7 percent). Foreign 
merchandise and merchandise to be exported would also be exempt from state 
and local ad valorem taxes. The application indicates that zone savings 
will help improve Shaffer's international competitiveness.

In accordance with the Board's regulations, an examiners committee has been
appointed to investigate the application and report to the Board. The
committee consists of: Dennis Puccinelli (Chairman), Foreign-Trade Zones 
Staff, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; Paul Rimmer, 
Regional Director, Inspection and Control, U.S. Customs Service, Southwest 
Region, suite 500, 5850 San Felipe Street, Houston, TX 77057-3012; and 
Colonel Brink P. Miller, District Engineer, U.S. Army Engineer District 
Galveston, P.O. Box 1229, Galveston, TX 77553.

Comments concerning the proposed subzone are invited in writing from
interested parties. They should be addressed to the Board's Executive
Secretary at the address below and postmarked on or before June 27, 1991.
A copy of the application is available for public inspection at each of the
following locations:
Office of the District Director, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, 
2625 Fed. Courthouse Bldg., 
515 Rusk St., 
Houston, Texas 77002.

Office of the Executive Secretary, 
Foreign-Trade Zones Board, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, 
14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., room 4213, 
Washington, DC 20230.

Dated: May 3, 1991.

John J. Da Ponte, Jr.,

Executive Secretary.

[FR Doc. 91-11097 Filed 5-8-91; 8:45 am]