Import Administration
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last update: September 2002 


Foreign-Trade Zones Board
[Docket 62-97]

Proposed Foreign-Trade Zone--Charleston, West Virginia Area, 
Application for Subzone, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. 
(Auto Engines), Buffalo, West Virginia

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board 
(the Board) by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA) 
(a West Virginia public corporation), requesting special-purpose 
subzone status for the auto engine manufacturing plant of Toyota Motor 
Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. (TMMWV), in Buffalo (Putnam County), 
West Virginia. 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 
July 22, 1997. WVEDA has an application pending with the FTZ Board for 
the establishment of a general-purpose foreign-trade zone in the 
Charleston, West Virginia, area. It is authorized to make such 
proposals under West Virginia Code Sec. 31-15-6.
    The new TMMWV plant (currently under construction) is located on a 
229-acre site located on WV State Route 62 at WV Secondary Route 32/2 
in Buffalo, West Virginia, some 20 miles northwest of Charleston. The 
facility (600,000 sq. ft., 300 employees, as proposed) would be used to 
produce some 400,000 auto engines per year. Parts and materials that 
would initially be sourced from abroad include: valve components, 
engine blocks, cylinder heads, bushings, gauges, gaskets, insulators, 
camshaft bearings, bearing caps, piston pin rings, knock control and 
temperature sensors, and oil pressure switches (duty rate range: free-
3.4%). The application indicates that the level of foreign parts used 
in production will decline to 35 percent (of finished engine value) in 
the future. The finished engines would be shipped primarily to the 
NUMMI (GM-Toyota) assembly in California and the Toyota assembly plant 
in Ontario, Canada.
    FTZ procedures would exempt TMMWV from the payment of Customs 
duties on foreign merchandise that is exported. On its domestic sales, 
the company would be able to choose the duty rate that applies to 
finished engines (2.6%) instead of the duty rates that would otherwise 
apply to the foreign components noted above. TMMWV would also have the 
option to ship the engines for incorporation into autos at domestic 
auto assembly plants that operate under FTZ procedures, in which case 
the duty rate applicable to finished autos (2.5%) would apply. FTZ 
procedures would allow the deferral of duty payments on foreign capital 
equipment until fully installed and ready for production. FTZ status 
would also make the plant eligible for state/local exemptions on 
certain inventory taxes.
    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 September 26, 1997. Rebuttal comments in response 
to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted 
during the subsequent 15-day period (to October 14, 1997). A copy of 
the application and accompanying exhibits will be available during this 
time for public inspection at the following locations:

U.S. Department of Commerce, Export Assistance Center, 405 Capitol 
Street, Suite 650, Charleston, WV 25301.
Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 
3716, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20230.

    Dated: July 22, 1997.
John J. Da Ponte, Jr.,
Executive Secretary.
[FR Doc. 97-19809 Filed 7-25-97; 8:45 am]