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[Federal Register: December 21, 1994]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Foreign-Trade Zones Board
[Docket 39-94]


Foreign-Trade Zone 149--Freeport, TX; Application for Subzone,
Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Vitamins and Fine Chemicals), Brazoria County,
TX (Freeport Area)

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board
(the Board) by the Port of Freeport, Texas, grantee of FTZ 149,
requesting special-purpose subzone status for the vitamin and fine
chemical manufacturing plant of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., in Brazoria
County, Texas (Freeport 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 November 29, 1994.
    Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), is a health care products company
with annual revenue of approximately $3 billion in 1993. Its principal
businesses include prescription pharmaceuticals, diagnostic products
and clinical laboratory testing services, home health care services,
vitamins for human and animal nutrition, and animal pharmaceutical
products.
    Roche's new Freeport production facility (731 acres, 183,920 sq.
ft., 11 bldgs.) is located at 1000 County Road 277, Brazoria County,
Texas, some 60 miles southeast of Houston. The facility (some 100
employees) is primarily used to produce beta carotene crystalline
(previtamin A used in the food processing and pharmaceutical
industries). It also produces intermediate chemicals such as C-25
aldehyde and vinyl salt. At full production nearly 80 percent of the
beta carotene crystalline and all of the C-25 aldehyde and vinyl salt
will be exported.
    Currently, foreign-sourced materials account for some 36 percent of
the finished product value and include the following specific
ingredients: Beta ionone, triphenylphosphine and its oxide, C10-
dialdehyde, vinylol and etinol.
    Zone procedures would exempt Roche 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 product (beta carotene crystalline--3.1%). The duty rates on
foreign-sourced items used to produce beta carotene crystalline are:
Beta ionone, 6.4%; triphenylphosphine, 17.7%; and C10-dialdehyde, 5.6%.
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 February 21, 1995. Rebuttal comments in response to material
submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the
subsequent 15-day period (to March 6, 1995.).
    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, #1 Allen Center, Suite
1160, 500 Dallas Street, Houston, Texas 77002
Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, U.S.
Department of Commerce, Room 3716, 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20230

    Dated: December 13, 1994.
John J. Da Ponte, Jr.,
Executive Secretary.
[FR Doc. 94-31358 Filed 12-20-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P