Pesticide manufacturer Syngenta now has foreign-trade subzone status for its St. Gabriel plant and three leased warehouses in Baton Rouge, U.S. Commerce Department officials said Friday.
The approval by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board means the manufacturer will save about $1 million in annual import and export duties, company officials said previously.
It also means the Port of Greater Baton Rouge will receive $10,000 annually for the next five years in return for allowing Syngenta to operate as a subzone of the port’s 27-year-old foreign-trade zone.
Syngenta sought subzone status after Congress chose not to renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, a move that exposed manufacturers to higher import-export taxes.
Foreign-trade zones were authorized by Congress in 1934. Those zones operate under supervision of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
For taxation purposes, subzone manufacturers can choose the lowest of three possible values on materials brought into or processed in the zones — raw or semi-processed materials or finished products.
Under various names, Switzerland-based Syngenta has operated its 300-acre St. Gabriel site since 1970. The company has about 975 employees. Officials said in December those employees make and package 130 selective herbicides, nonselective herbicides and insecticides.