NEW YORK The Port of Houston Authority is seeking to include a Sims Metal Management Ltd. facility in the Houston area in an expansion of a foreign-trade zone (FTZ).
An application has been submitted to the federal Foreign-Trade Zones Board by the Port of Houston to expand FTZ 84 to include additional sites in Harris County, Texas. The zone comprises 25 sites at port facilities, industrial parks and warehouse facilities in Houston and the Harris County area.
Among the two dozen sites the port authority hopes to include in the expanded FTZ is Timco Scrap Processing Inc., a 7.5-acre facility that Sims acquired in February 2007.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) describes FTZs as secure areas under the agencys supervision that generally are considered outside its territory upon activation. Located in or near ports of entry, they are the U.S. version of what are known internationally as free-trade zones.
"Under zone procedures, the usual formal CBP entry procedures and payments of duties are not required on the foreign merchandise unless and until it enters CBP territory for domestic consumption, at which point the importer generally has the choice of paying duties at the rate of either the original foreign materials or the finished product. Domestic goods moved into the zone for export may be considered exported upon admission to the zone for purposes of excise tax rebates and drawback," the agencys website said.
A member of the FTZ staff has been designated to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record, and will report findings and provide recommendations to the FTZ board.
The authorities have called for public comment from interested parties by Aug. 30.