Announcement of Foreign-Trade Zones Test
This notice announces U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (``CBP's'') plan to conduct a voluntary general test regarding certain foreign-trade zone (``FTZ'' or ``zone'') activities. Pursuant to the FTZ test, under prescribed conditions, zone operators will be permitted liberalized procedures for certain zone activities. Specifically, zone operators approved for participation in the test will not be required to submit a CBP Form 216 (``Application for Foreign-Trade Zones Activity Permit'') for the manipulation, manufacture, or exhibition of merchandise within an FTZ where such activity has been previously approved in that zone's Grant of Authority by the FTZ Board. In addition, zone operators approved for participation in the test will have the option of allowing duty-paid merchandise that has been entered for consumption to remain in an activated zone area for up to 90 calendar days after CBP releases the merchandise, so long as the merchandise remains segregated, does not undergo further manufacturing, and is accurately recorded in the Inventory Control and Recordkeeping system within five (5) business days of release. The FTZ test is intended to evaluate whether liberalizing certain FTZ operational procedures will impact CBP's supervision and control over the zone, as well as the agency's ability to enforce applicable laws. This notice invites public comment concerning any aspect of the planned test, describes the eligibility, procedural and documentation requirements for voluntary participation in the test, and outlines the development and evaluation methodology to be used in the test.