OneWeb wants changes to import rules

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OneWeb, currently proceeding slowly through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation, is asking the US government to relax its rules on importing satellite components and materials under its Foreign Trade Zone regulations.

The Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) rules permit businesses to lower import duties and easier customs processes.

OneWeb has made its application via its joint-venture (OneWeb Satellites North America LLC) with Airbus which is based in Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida and turns out OneWeb’s satellites.

The US Dept. of Commerce announced the application on the government’s Federal Register on August 19th.

“Airbus OneWeb already has authority to produce satellites for commercial, private, and military applications within FTZ 136. The current request would add foreign status materials/ components to the scope of authority. Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Airbus OneWeb from customs duty payments on the foreign- status materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for the foreign-status materials/ components, Airbus OneWeb would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to its already authorized finished products (duty- free). Airbus OneWeb would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment,” explained the Dept. of Commerce.

Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board’s Executive Secretary and sent to: ftz@trade.gov. The closing period for their receipt is September 28, 2020


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