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USDA Announces Dairy Import Licensing Program Final Rule

WASHINGTON, Dec. 08, 2010—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today issued a final rule to temporarily suspend reduction provisions on certain licenses of the Dairy Import Licensing Program.

This rule amends the historical license reduction provisions of the Dairy Tariff-rate Import Quota Licensing Program (7 CFR part 6), by suspending until 2016 the provisions that reduce historical licenses based on surrenders of unused quantities. This action allows licensees to maintain their current license amounts without having their license amount reduced. No license is required to import products at the high-tier tariff rate.

The Department will again temporarily suspend the historical license reduction provisions for a period of five years, commencing Jan. 1, 2011. Historical license reductions will again be implemented beginning 2016, as set forth in the final rule. In 2016, historical license reductions will be based on import data from years 2011 through 2015.

This change allows importers additional time to adjust changes in supply and demand, primarily due to changes in the European Union dairy markets as well as changes in domestic cheese production and consumption patterns. Import licensing is one of the tools USDA uses to administer the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system for U.S. imports of dairy products. For dairy products subject to TRQs, an import license from FAS is generally required to bring in items at the low-tier tariff rate.

The federal register notice of this rule is available online at:

For further information, contact Salam El-Farra, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Sugar and Dairy Branch, Import and Trade Support Programs Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, Stop 1021, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-1021; telephone (202) 720-9439; or email at:




USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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