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Title 15Subtitle BChapter IVPart 400 → Subpart B

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade

Subpart B—Ability To Establish Zone; Limitations and Restrictions on Authority Granted

§400.11   Number and location of zones and subzones.
§400.12   Eligible applicants.
§400.13   General conditions, prohibitions and restrictions applicable to authorized zones.
§400.14   Production—requirement for prior authorization; restrictions.
§400.15   Production equipment.
§400.16   Exemption from state and local ad valorem taxation of tangible personal property.

§400.11   Number and location of zones and subzones.

(a) Number of zones—port of entry entitlement.

(1) Provided that the other requirements of this part are met:

(i) Each port of entry is entitled to at least one zone;

(ii) If a port of entry is located in more than one state, each of the states in which the port of entry is located is entitled to a zone; and

(iii) If a port of entry is defined to include more than one city separated by a navigable waterway, each of the cities is entitled to a zone.

(2) Applications pertaining to zones in addition to those approved under the entitlement provision of paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be approved by the Board if it determines that the existing zone(s) will not adequately serve the convenience of commerce.

(b) Location of zones and subzones—port of entry adjacency requirements.

(1) The Board may approve “zones in or adjacent to ports of entry” (19 U.S.C. 81b).

(2) The “adjacency” requirement is satisfied if:

(i) A general-purpose zone site is located within 60 statute miles or 90 minutes' driving time (as determined or concurred upon by CBP) from the outer limits of a port of entry boundary as defined in 19 CFR 101.3.

(ii) A subzone meets the following requirements relating to CBP supervision:

(A) Proper CBP oversight can be accomplished with physical and electronic means;

(B) All electronically produced records are maintained in a format compatible with the requirements of CBP for the duration of the record period; and

(C) The operator agrees to present merchandise for examination at a CBP site selected by CBP when requested, and further agrees to present all necessary documents directly to the relevant CBP oversight office.

§400.12   Eligible applicants.

(a) In general. Subject to the other provisions of this section, public or private corporations may apply for grants of authority to establish zones. The Board shall give preference to public corporations.

(b) Public corporations and private non-profit corporations. The eligibility of public corporations and private non-profit corporations to apply for a grant of authority shall be supported by enabling legislation of the legislature of the state in which the zone is to be located, indicating that the corporation, individually or as part of a class, is authorized to so apply. Any application must not be inconsistent with the charter or organizational papers of the applying entity.

(c) Private for-profit corporations. The eligibility of private for-profit corporations to apply for a grant of authority shall be supported by a special act of the state legislature naming the applicant corporation and by evidence indicating that the corporation is chartered for the purpose of establishing a zone.

(d) Applicants for subzones (except pursuant to §400.24(c))—(1) Eligibility. The following entities are eligible to apply to establish a subzone:

(i) The grantee of the closest zone in the same state;

(ii) The grantee of another zone in the same state, which is a public corporation (or a non-public corporation if no such other public corporation exists), if the Board, or the Executive Secretary, finds that such sponsorship better serves the public interest; or

(iii) A state agency specifically authorized to submit such an application by an act of the state legislature.

(2) Notification of closest grantee. If an application is submitted under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) or (iii) of this section, the Executive Secretary shall:

(i) Notify, in writing, the grantee specified in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section, which may, within 30 days, object to such sponsorship, in writing, with supporting information as to why the public interest would be better served by its acting as sponsor;

(ii) Review such objections prior to docketing the application to determine whether the proposed sponsorship is in the public interest, taking into account:

(A) The objecting zone's structure and operation;

(B) The views of state and local public agencies; and

(C) The views of the proposed subzone operator;

(iii) Notify the applicant and objecting zone in writing of the Executive Secretary's determination;

(iv) If the Executive Secretary determines that the proposed sponsorship is in the public interest, docket the application (see §400.63 regarding appeals of decisions of the Executive Secretary).

§400.13   General conditions, prohibitions and restrictions applicable to authorized zones.

(a) In general. Grants of authority issued by the Board for the establishment of zones and any authority subsequently approved for such zones, including those already issued, are subject to the Act and this part and the following general conditions or limitations:

(1) Prior to activation of a zone, the zone grantee or operator shall obtain all necessary permits from federal, state and local authorities, and except as otherwise specified in the Act or this part, shall comply with the requirements of those authorities.

(2) A grant of authority approved under this part includes authority for the grantee to permit the erection of buildings necessary to carry out the approved zone (subject to concurrence of CBP for an activated area of a zone).

(3) Approvals from the grantee (or other party acting on behalf of the grantee, where applicable) and CBP, pursuant to 19 CFR part 146, are required prior to the activation of any portion of an approved zone.

(4) Authority for a zone or a subzone shall lapse unless the zone (in case of subzones, the subzone facility) is activated, pursuant to 19 CFR part 146, and in operation not later than five years from the authorization of the zone or subzone, subject to the provisions of Board Order 849 (61 FR 53305, October 11, 1996).

(5) Zone grantees, operators, and users (and persons undertaking zone-related functions on behalf of grantees, where applicable) shall permit federal government officials acting in an official capacity to have access to the zone and records during normal business hours and under other reasonable circumstances.

(6) Activity involving production is subject to the specific provisions in §400.14.

(7) A grant of authority may not be sold, conveyed, transferred, set over, or assigned (FTZ Act, section 17; 19 U.S.C. 81q).

(8) Private ownership of zone land and facilities is permitted, provided the zone grantee retains the control necessary to implement the approved zone. Such permission shall not constitute a vested right to zone designation, nor interfere with the Board's regulation of the grantee or the permittee, nor interfere with or complicate the revocation of the grant by the Board. Should title to land or facilities be transferred after a grant of authority is issued, the zone grantee must retain, by agreement with the new owner, a level of control which allows the grantee to carry out its responsibilities as grantee. The sale of zone-designated land/facility for more than its fair market value without zone designation could, depending on the circumstances, be subject to the prohibitions set forth in section 17 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 81q).

(b) Board authority to restrict or prohibit activity. Pursuant to section 15(c) of the Act (19 U.S.C. 81o(c)), the Board has authority to “order the exclusion from [a] zone of any goods or process of treatment that in its judgment is detrimental to the public interest, health, or safety.” In approvals of proposed production authority pursuant to §400.14(a), the Board may adopt restrictions to protect the public interest, health, or safety. When evaluating production activity, either as proposed in an application or as part of a review of an operation, the Board shall determine whether the activity is in the public interest by reviewing it in relation to the evaluation criteria contained in §400.27.

(c) Additional conditions, prohibitions and restrictions. Other conditions/requirements, prohibitions and restrictions under Federal, State or local law may apply to authorized zones and subzones.

§400.14   Production—requirement for prior authorization; restrictions.

(a) In general. Production activity in zones shall not be conducted without prior authorization from the Board. To obtain authorization, the notification process provided for in §§400.22 and 400.37 shall be used. If Board review of a notification under §400.37 results in a determination that further review is warranted for all or part of the notified activity, the application process pursuant to §§400.23, 400.31-400.32, 400.34 and 400.36 shall apply to the activity.

(b) Scope of authority. Production activity that may be conducted in a particular zone operation is limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in notifications and applications that have been authorized pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, including any applicable prohibitions or restrictions. A determination may be requested pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section as to whether particular activity falls within the scope of authorized activity. Unauthorized activity could be subject to penalties pursuant to the customs regulations on foreign-trade zones (19 CFR part 146).

(c) Information about authorized production activity. The Board shall make available via its Web site information regarding the materials, components, and finished products associated with individual production operations authorized under these and previous regulations, as derived from applications and notifications submitted to the Board.

(d) Scope determinations. Determinations may be made by the Executive Secretary as to whether changes in activity are within the scope of the production activity already authorized under this part. When warranted, the procedures of §§400.32 and 400.34 shall be followed.

(e) Restrictions on items subject to antidumping and countervailing duty actions—(1) Board policy. Zone procedures shall not be used to circumvent antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) actions under 19 CFR part 351.

(2) Admission of items subject to AD/CVD actions. Items subject to AD/CVD orders, or items which would be otherwise subject to suspension of liquidation under AD/CVD procedures if they entered U.S. customs territory, shall be placed in privileged foreign status (19 CFR 146.41) upon admission to a zone or subzone. Upon entry for consumption, such items shall be subject to duties under AD/CVD orders or to suspension of liquidation, as appropriate, under 19 CFR part 351.

§400.15   Production equipment.

(a) In general. Pursuant to section 81c(e) of the FTZ Act, merchandise that is admitted into a foreign-trade zone for use within such zone as production equipment or as parts for such equipment, shall not be subject to duty until such merchandise is completely assembled, installed, tested, and used in the production for which it was admitted. Payment of duty may be deferred until such equipment goes into use as production equipment as part of zone production activity, at which time the equipment shall be entered for consumption as completed equipment.

(b) Definition of production equipment. Eligibility for this section is limited to equipment and parts of equipment destined for use in zone production activity as defined in §400.2(o) of this part. Ineligible for treatment as production equipment under this section are general materials (that are used in the installation of production equipment or in the assembly of equipment) and materials used in the construction or modification of the plant that houses the production equipment.

(c) Equipment not destined for zone activity. Production equipment or parts that are not destined for use in zone production activity shall be treated as normal merchandise eligible for standard zone-related benefits (i.e., benefits not subject to the requirements of §400.14(a)), provided the equipment is entered for consumption or exported prior to its use.

§400.16   Exemption from state and local ad valorem taxation of tangible personal property.

Tangible personal property imported from outside the United States and held in a zone for the purpose of storage, sale, exhibition, repackaging, assembly, distribution, sorting, grading, cleaning, mixing, display, manufacturing, or processing, and tangible personal property produced in the United States and held in a zone for exportation, either in its original form or as altered by any of the above processes, shall be exempt from state and local ad valorem taxation.

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