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[Docket 68-96]

Foreign-Trade Zone 121--Albany, New York Area Application for
Expansion and Request for Manufacturing Authority (Eyeglass Frames)

An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 121, requesting authority to expand FTZ 121 to include a site at the Crossroads Industrial Park and requesting, on behalf of Liberty Optical Manufacturing Company, authority to manufacture eyeglass frames under zone procedures within FTZ 121, in the Albany, New York area, within the Albany Customs port of entry. 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 September 3, 1996.

FTZ 121 was approved on July 18, 1985 (Board Order 307, 50 FR 30986, 7/31/85). The zone project currently consists of the following three sites in the Albany, New York area: Site 1: (20 acres, 540,000 sq. ft.)--within the 551-acre Northeastern Industrial Park, Town of Guilderland (Albany County); Site 2: (271,000 sq. ft.)--within the 235- acre Rotterdam Industrial Park, Rotterdam (Schenectady County); and, Site 3: (35 acres, 43,000 sq. ft.)--within the 236-acre Port of Albany, Rensselaer.

The applicant is now requesting authority to expand the general- purpose zone to include a site (Proposed Site 4--12 acres)--located within the 50-acre Crossroads Industrial Park (Lots 4 and 5) in the City of Gloversville (Fulton County), New York, on State Route 29, seven miles from the New York State Thruway. The industrial park is owned by the Fulton County Industrial Development Agency and is part of the Gloversville Economic Development Zone, which provides companies with savings on taxes, jobs, and utilities. The zone will consist of a 41,475 sq. ft. industrial warehouse facility, a 36,000 sq. ft. trailer container storage yard and a 17,015 sq. ft. manufacturing facility operated by the Liberty Optical Manufacturing Company.

The application also requests authority on behalf of Liberty Optical Manufacturing Company to manufacture eyeglass frames under zone procedures within FTZ 121. Liberty Optical's facility (25 employees) within Crossroads Industrial Park is used to assemble frames, grind lens blanks and sun protective lenses. Finished products primarily involve sports and protective/safety eyeglass frames. Materials and components purchased from abroad include temples, fronts, eye frame parts, plastic frames, metal frames, acetate material, polycarbonate shields, hardware (hinges, screws, tips & pads), lenses and eyeglass pouches.

Zone procedures will exempt Liberty Optical from Customs duty payments on the foreign components used in production for export. On domestic sales, the company would be able to choose the duty rate applicable to finished eyeglass frames (4.3%-5.3%) rather than the duty rate (5.3%) that would otherwise be applicable to materials and components. The company is also seeking an exemption from Customs duties on materials that become scrap in the production process (3%). The application indicates that the use of FTZ procedures would help improve the facility'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 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 November 15, 1996. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period (to December 2, 1996).

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, U.S. Customs Service, 445 Broadway, James T. Foley Courthouse Building, Room 216, Albany, New York 12207 Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 3716, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230

Dated: September 6, 1996. John J. Da Ponte, Jr., Executive Secretary. [FR Doc. 96-23649 Filed 9-13-96; 8:45 am]