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USDA Announces Dairy Importer License Fee

Aug 31, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that U.S. companies importing dairy products under the 2017 tariff-rate quota (TRQ) system will now be charged a $250 fee per license granted. According to USDA this is needed to defray administration costs. The application window for an import license is September 1 to October 15, 2016.

These licenses are required for companies importing dairy products subject to the TRQ. Under this system, imports up to a specified amount are subject to a low-tariff rate and all those exceeding the quota receive a higher tariff rate. USDA uses the annual licenses to calculate the amount of a given product entering the United States and subsequently determines the tariff rate for imported product.

“While TRQ rates and quantities vary, licenses are required for most dairy products,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs. “However, soft-ripened cheeses like Brie or cow’s milk products imported under a Free Trade Agreement that fall under a ‘first come, first-served’ system are exempt.”

In the notice, USDA reiterated that the licenses are issued on a calendar year basis and “authorize the license holder to import a specified quantity and type of dairy article from a specified country of origin.”

For more information, contact Hughes at

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